News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday October 2nd 2022

New Cape Town Carnival ‘an invented import’

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3 Responses to “New Cape Town Carnival ‘an invented import’”

  1. […] So if the carnival is a celebration of Cape Town, why then when I think of the flamboyant floats displaying the legendary Van Hunks smoking on Table Mountain, The Flying Dutchman in full sail, the colourful Namaqualand Daisies, the ancient Khoi-San legend of The Mantis and the Moon, the spectacular Queen of Sheba, and fierce Nyami-Nyami, The Spirit of the Zambezi do I still think of the world renowned Rio Carnival? The Cape Town Carnival has been critiqued over the years for “importing” the whole idea of a city carnival from Brazil and disregarding our own heritage in the process. In a discussion as part of the “Infecting The City” public arts festival on Tuesday, UCT Centre for African Studies PhD researcher Oddveig Nicole Sarmiento said that “while the Cape Town Carnival claims to bring together South Africans to celebrate our culture and heritage, it was an invented and imported festival from Rio (de Janeiro)”, implying that our own city is devoid of history and culture. Let’s not forget that Cape Town already has a long standing traditional Carnival – “The Minstrels Carnival” aka “The Kaapse Klopse”, celebrating over 100 years of commemoration to the only day a year that slaves were given the day off, 2 January. Kevin Momberg, CEO of the Cape Town Minstrels Carnival Association spoke on behalf of the Klopse when he said that they felt the city was undermining old carnival routes by implementing this new Cape Town Carnival and that “they have created a carnival on top of us” (  […]

  2. […] floats, processions and costumed revellers along the fan walk, came during … Read more on West Cape News ← Mark McCarthy and friends in Cape Town – Cape Town Video Cancel […]

  3. Rupert says:

    The whole thing was a glorified procession. Without the couple of big screens one would see nothing. Where was all the food? Apparently the food stalls were on the north side of Somerset Rd. With no apparent way of crossing the road we hunted food for an hour, only to spend R20 on the smallest boerie roll i have ever seen.
    The highlight for us was one of the radio stations mobile studios. Folks getting down to some good tunes. Other than that a thoroughly boring walk about. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good street fest. Nottinghill carnival is amazing. The mother city has a lot to learn, and those organising it need to look at their model very carefully. I will definitely not return until the whole approach is relooked, and is better communicated. I can think of dozens of ways to make this thing work. Start things earlier, insert mini stages for local entertainment, food and drink zones – allow locals to sell their home made kos, setup map points (mini billboard that won’t blow over) showing people where they can find what, etc, etc. Come on Cape Town. There is way more to a carnival than a procession of floats. The floats, what we saw of them, were really well done. Shame the rest of the event was such a shambles.

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