The Embassy of France in South Africa celebrates Bastille Day [fr]
The Embassy of France in South Africa hosted special celebrations this year, on the occasion of Bastille Day, the French National Day (also known as Quatorze juillet).
On 14 July 2017, Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Christophe Farnaud and his team hosted a reception at the French Residence in Pretoria, with more than 900 guests.The South African government was represented by Mr Ratsoma from the National Treasury.
Bastille Day marks the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the ancient royal fortress on this day in 1789.
During the reception, street artists Senzo and Prefixx, facilitated by NGO Baz-Art, based in Cape Town, did a live graffiti wall promoting #Paris2024. The Bastille Day celebration this year was in support of the city of Paris’ bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. A special emphasis was put on sports and Olympic values.
Senzo: Born in Soweto, Senzo Nlapo’s studied fine art at the Funda Arts Centre in Soweto and did a degree in arts in Switzerland. He completed several postgraduate courses at Artists Proof Studio in South Africa, Academy of Art in Germany and the Ecole Des Beaux Art in France. When he started more than 13 years ago, his focus was on depicting township and urban life through oil on canvas, sculpture and print-making and he later incorporated video and graphic design. His latest African Pop Art, is a kaleidoscope of colours offset with cubism of the works of famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
Prefixx (Reezah Potgier) grew up in Mitchell’s Plain where he learnt the art of graffiti. He prefers not to define his style because he is always “flipping the script” to try and connect with different types of people. He likes the balance of messy, unpredictable splashes and drips, nature and nurture portraying a strong connection with the animal kingdom, conceptual art which he has learnt from animation, landscape, portraits and anything related to his culture.
Moreover, a special perfomance was perfomed by South Africa singer Zoë Modiga. Zoë Modiga sang the French and South-African national anthems, before performing some of her very famous songs.
Zoë Modiga has captivated the music scene since making it to the TOP 8 of The Voice South Africa in 2016. She has shared the stage with the likes of Lira and Ladysmith Black Mambazo and recently released her first album entitled: Yellow, the novel.
Bilateral relations between France and South Africa are very dense, be it at political, economic or cultural level. South Africa and France have been strategic partners since 1994. The relationship is based on regular State visits: most recently the successful visit of H.E. President Jacob Zuma to France in July 2016. In the economic field, South Africa is France’s first customer in sub-Saharan Africa. In total, 370 French companies are based in South Africa, major companies listed in the Paris stock index, but also a growing number of SMEs and start-ups that directly employ more than 37 000 people in the industrial and services sectors.