The Africa Centre is thrilled to announce a three-year strategic partnership with SMADE Group, the world’s leading Events Company in contemporary African music, and home of SMADE Entertainment and SMADE Lounge. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the celebration of The Africa Centre’s 60th anniversary celebrations and SMADE Group’s pursuit of growth and innovation in Africa’s music, sports, and culture. For the duration of this arrangement, The Africa Centre will be SMADE Group’s key charitable partner, through which they will deliver a strong social responsibility agenda and they will be jointly delivering events and activities that celebrate The Africa Centre’s 60-year history while re-imagining itself for the next 60 years.

This partnership provides The Africa Centre with a great opportunity to reposition itself as custodians of African music heritage in the UK. Over the last 60 years, an array of amazing musical talent has been incubated at The Africa Centre, providing a safe and inspiring creative haven when performance spaces were not readily available for African artists. Some of the cultural icons that performed at the Centre include Remmy Ongala, Kanda Bongo Man, The Bhundu Boys, Jazzie B & Soul II Soul, Angelique Kidjo, Sonah Jobarteh and Baaba Maal. SMADE Group – through its branded activities that have become cultural mainstays across the world (e.g. curating Afrobeats concerts and co-founding Afro Nation events) – will be working with The Africa Centre to raise awareness of the Centre’s past 60 years, current relevance and establish more meaningful future engagements with audiences that will constitute the next 60 years of the organisation’s history. In particular, it recognises the alignment shared in the areas of culture, intellectual development, community, education and entrepreneurism and innovation.

SMADE, Founder of SMADE Group, and co-Founder of Afro Nation, has been a champion of African music, fashion, culture, community and more in the UK and beyond for many years. Through his work, he has also strived to inspire the next generation of creatives and promoters. 

SMADE stated that, “The Africa Centre and its communities have played a part in my 20-year journey as a cultural leader and entrepreneur in the UK. It has a special role to play in shaping the UK’s understanding, and advancing the narrative, of the global African. I am excited for this partnership between The Africa Centre and SMADE Group, as we continue to amplify Africa, and unite Africans in the Diaspora.” 

Some of the key highlights through the year include: 

● Commemoration of Mandela Day in July

● 90th birthday Celebration of Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in Literature in July

● 100th anniversary of Amilcar Cabral ● Special archival and art exhibition of 60 years of The Africa Centre

● Royal Albert Hall variety performance in December.

Olu Alake, CEO of The Africa Centre - “The Africa Centre is delighted to partner with SMADE over the next three years and hopefully, far beyond this. Both organisations share a very keen passion to see Africa and especially her young people reach their and the continent’s fullest potential. The work that we focus on in arts, culture and education will complement the world-class talent that SMADE and SMADE Group have access to, which will ensure that our work is relevant and impactful”.

To celebrate our partnership, we're holding a silent auction for two gold tickets to Afro Nation Portugal, starting on June 26, 2024.

All information on the silent auction can be found here! 

Afro Nation Ticket Silent Auction