Peter Obenga is one of the team members of Afrinordiclink, a groundbreaking initiative to foster culture and market integration in Sweden. The inaugural Africa Nordic and Fashion Expo will be held on the 1st of June at Clarion Hotel Malmö. The event is expected to attract the creme de la creme of fashion, cultural arts and beauty queens from the Nordics and Africa, where Peter himself hails from.
When DailySweden (DS) spoke to him, Peter (PO) was buoyant about the event, one of the most well planned and glamorous occasions earmarked for the summer in Malmö.
DS: How did this event come about?
PO: Although we live in a society that reflects cultural diversity, with over 182 different cultures noticeable within Malmö city, I strongly believe there is need to bridge the gaps that divide us based on cultural difference, race and creed.
DS: Are culture and integration something you have always burned for or was it a coincidence?
PO: The passion and desire for Afrinordic link and ANFCE and its vision was given birth to during my studies as a student of International migration and ethnic relations at the University.
I was disturbed by the statistics in one of my classes, reflecting the hustle and challenges for a migrant to fully integrate into both the job market and business sector. Writing my thesis on Transnationalism was an eye opener which made me realize that for the status quo to change there was a need to create an atmosphere which could bring different cultures together, to learn from each other but also provide a conducive atmosphere for social networking and this was the beginning of a journey that started with a simple idea to become a vision of over ten team members from different backgrounds. That is how Afrinordic link and the First Africa Nordic and Fashion Expo were born.
DS: It must be hectic preparing for such a high-level expo event, how has this been going so far?
PO: The preparation have taken us over seven months and so far we do have over 22 participants from 14 different cultures with artists such as Promoe, Lazee, Janice, Laila Adele, Frida Sundemo on the same stage with different Artists across the Nordic region and from African Descent.
DS: How about from the fashion sector?
PO: We equally have seven designers and cultural performing groups from different regions residing within our community, over 30 volunteers have signed up to facilitate and make this event memorable and we just launched our new hashtag campaign #ilovemyculture.
DS: What are your hopes and aspirations regarding this event?
PO: Our hope is that this will be a beginning of something new and different, an annual event which focusses on putting our differences aside but rather bridging the gaps that have for long divided our society and create an atmosphere of learning and appreciating the cultural diversity with in our society.