Families and Kids

Tempe’s African Fest USA connects communities

3/12/2020 9:15 p.m. – The City of Tempe has cancelled all public events, including African Fest and most public meetings, through April 2020. For more information, visit the City of Tempe website.

Experience the richness of Africa on March 28, 2020 at the African Fest USA in Tempe, Arizona. African Fest USA is an opportunity for African communities of Tempe and surrounding cities to share the culture, food, traditions and lifestyles of their home countries. Festival attendees can expect to see international guests, fashion shows and global music personalities, all while enjoying this beautiful Arizona weather. The festival will take place at Kiwanis Park in Tempe from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We wanted to know more about this festival, so we asked Anibal Abayneh a few questions. Anibal is the General Manager of Cafe Lalibela and Lalibela Wholesale Foods in Tempe and the producer of African Fest USA.

Why did you start African Fest?

African Fest USA was created for the sole purpose of giving the African community of Arizona a platform with which they could share their culture, food, art, dance, music and lifestyle with our great state. Not only does African Fest USA bridge the gap between communities who otherwise seldom engage with and learn from each other, but it provides a unique opportunity for our people to educate and change the false narrative that Africa is a continent of third world counties without much to offer. 

Our vision is to create an accurate and inspirational understanding of the diversity and richness of talent and resources found in the African continent and diaspora. 

Since Cafe Lalibela is located in Tempe, was it important to you to have your event in Tempe as well? 

We felt that Tempe would be the perfect home for the festival because, much like Africa, Tempe is often overlooked. As you may know, there are numerous cultural events held in Phoenix throughout the year. We felt hosting the festival in Tempe would set us apart and give this side of the valley a chance to have something of its own. 

Tempe is also home for my family and we are happy and proud to host our international event in Tempe, a community that embraces the richness of different cultures. 

What can attendees expect to experience? What might surprise them? 

Attendees can expect to see an incredible display of art, crafts, music, dance, clothing and food. Above all else, attendees can expect to receive a whole new appreciation and a wealth of knowledge on the real Africa and its people, not Africa portrayed in mass media. 

We are also building African village in the festival ground. This year, Ghana will be our highlighted country!

Is there a schedule of performers? 

Yes, festival goers can check out the festival program guide that lists all the acts that will be performing as well as their set times and location within the festival ground.

I know that Ethiopian food will be represented. What other types of cuisine can attendees try? 

There will be a multitude of different cuisines for attendees to try such as Ghanaian, Nigerian, Cameroonian, South African, Sudanese and much more.

Anything else that you’d like people to know about your event?

African Fest USA isn’t meant for just people from Africa. In fact, it was created for people of all cultures as an opportunity to learn about and begin to understand what the second-largest continent has to offer. We hope you come to notice and appreciate the similarities between our culture and yours, as we are all one big family. 


Tickets may be purchased in advance
Children 5 and below: free
Ages 6-12: $5
Early-bird general admission tickets: $20
Early discount VIP tickets: $60

Event details

Where: Kiwanis Park in Tempe – Ruben Romero Picnic Area
⁣When: March 28, 2020 
Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Questions? Call 480-570-0615

Written Alicia Griffith

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!

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