Minister Mthethwa to speak at the annual Cape Town Minstrels Carnival in Cape Town

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16 Jan 2015

Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will deliver a keynote address at the annual Cape Town Minstrels Carnival, an initiative of the Cape Town Minstrel Association on Saturday,  17 January 2015 at City Hall in Cape Town, Western Cape.

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival takes place at the beginning of every year, wherein thousands of musicians, singers, dancers and crafters gear themselves for the traditional ‘Kaapse klopse’ on the streets of Cape Town to preserve culture, pride and traditions.

Formed in 1996, Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association was tasked with organising such events to manage and keep memories and traditions of the past generation alive. The origin of the carnival stretches back to the 19th century and has its origins in the time of slavery in Cape Town. The ancestors of many of today’s Cape Minstrels had only one day a year when they would dare to relax: 02 January, when their masters were sleeping off the debauchery of New Year’s parties the day before. Hence, this date took on great significance as an opportunity for revelry and self-expression, and was always marked with vibrant song and dance out in the streets.

“Our forebears have weathered the turbulent seas of colonialism, slavery, and apartheid and were never defeated by the many blows to their existence. The pride in their culture was never eroded,” said Minister Mthethwa.

“The Minstrel legacy has through generations given hope and restored sense of belonging amongst the people. It is time to recall that rich heritage and use it to heal the soul of our people,” added the Minister.

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival also affords arts, culture and heritage organisations opportunities to showcase their talents thus contributing to tourism and economic growth, as well as job creation.

The Department of Arts and Culture believes the carnival is important to the construction of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society, as well as enhancing social cohesion.

Enquiries: Mack Lewele 082 450 5076/ MackL@dac.gov.za