||THE Caribbean African Reunion project (CAR) has established the first African language school in East London. The language school which opened in January 2008 offers languages such as Ghana's 'Twi' and 'Ga', Nigeria's 'Yoruba' and 'Ibo', South Africa’s ‘Zulu’, Senegal’s ‘Wollof’, Ethiopia's 'Amharic', and other East African languages including Swahili.
Founded by Jamaican born Colin Robinson, the African language school is part of his plans to bring the African culture and heritage closer to people living in Diaspora. Colin Robinson made his first trip to Africa in 1980. It was actually a holiday trip but he eventually lived in Nigeria for over a year. On his arrival back in the UK, Colin became involved in the music industry, firstly as an agent before becoming a manager. He also acted as a promoter and has worked for and with some of the biggest names in black music including Fela Kuti, Sanchez, Johnny Clarke, Shaka Demus & Pliers, The Mighty Diamonds and Thriller-U among others. In association with Ebony All-Stars, Colin also arranged the ‘Jammin' for Jamaica' fund raising event in the wake of Hurricane Gilbert 1984 and later in 1989/90 again with Ebony All-Stars promoted Jermaine Jackson, Shaka Khan and other American artistes. Lately, he has established, arranged and promoted The Sam Cooke Tribute, featuring Trevor Walters, Wayne Marshall, Lynn Jarrett and Alan Weekes among others. Currently, Colin, who was one of the founders of the ‘One Love' Cultural Centre in London, has expanded his company to include marketing, and most importantly, has inaugurated a Caribbean and African Reunion programme which seeks to promote relationships between African and Caribbean countries.
Crucial to this is the African and Caribbean Cruise between West Africa and the Caribbean Islands.
"The African Language School is one of the major overall part of the Caribbean African Reunion project," opens Robinson. "In seeking to reunite those Africans born on the continent and those born in the Caribbean as well as Europe and the Americas, we need to promote the cultural heritage that we all share.
Our culture identifies who we are as a people and the primary source of any culture is the language. The concept of the African Language School therefore, is based on the fact that African languages will help to relocate us as Africans and to help us to identify ourselves with our African heritage."
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