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Essence Festival heads to South Africa for the first time

LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN: Essence Festival is heading to South Africa

ESSENCE MAGAZINE'S annual music and culture festival is heading to Africa.

Essence Festival, long a summer tradition in New Orleans in the US, will be expanding to the international stage with the first-ever Essence Festival in Durban, South Africa.

Essence Festival Durban, the sister festival to the publication's Fourth of July weekend extravaganza in New Orleans, take place in November and will showcase international performers, world-famous speakers, and local artists and experts. It will also pump up small businesses through empowerment seminars, career-guidance workshops and other programming.

"New Orleans and Durban are sister cities, and we are thrilled to present these sister festivals both in 2016," said Essence president Michelle Ebanks.

"As Essence converges on Durban during South Africa's beautiful summer season, we are creating a week-long experience that will inspire women globally and convene our communities across the diaspora."

Mayor Nxumalo of the eThekwini Municipality said the City of Durban is ready for its global close-up, continuing on its international surge.

"This partnership will have a host of benefits for residents, starting with the Durban Business Fair program, which strives to connect local businesses globally," he said. "We have no doubt that through the Festival jobs will be created and our cultural economy enhanced."

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