Refugee Week kicks off in Bristol this weekend
Refugee Week, a celebration of the arts, culture and music of Bristol's refugee community, kicks off this weekend with a concert in Queens Square.
One of the headline acts is Zimbabwean Cecilia Ndhlovu and her band Bulawayo. A renowned singer and musician, Cecilia had travelled the world playing festivals and concerts but back home, under Robert Mugabe's brutal regime, Cecilia was forced to flee the country in fear of her life.
After making her way to Bristol Cecilia thought her musical career was over but, after she was asked to perform at Refugee Week, she found her voice again and now she works once more as a professional musician and teaches African music and dancing in schools across the West.
Fellow Zimbabwean and journalist Forward Maisokwadzo also had to flee his homeland after a vicious crackdown on media professionals. He now is a coordinator of Bristol 'City of Sanctuary' and is a tireless campaigner for refugee rights. For him Refugee Week is a chance to help dispel negative stereotypes that surround the refugee community and, through the talents of refugee artists and performers, give something back to the city.
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They both spoke to Pamela Parkes about their experiences of being a refugee in Bristol.
Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events. Bristol’s programme of events is launched on Sunday 17th June with Celebrating Sanctuary, an afternoon of free music, dance, food and information, organised by Tribe of Doris. It’s from 1.30–6pm in Queens Square.
Full details of events can be found at www.refugeeweek.org.uk.