Cape Town, 23 January 2018 – “This year’s theme is VUKA UKHANYE: Arise and Shine!, a call to action to shake off limiting beliefs and be all we can be,” says Cape Town Carnival CEO Jay Douwes. Today, at a press event to discuss the role and popularity of the Carnival, executive mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, shared his enthusiasm for the annual must-attend event taking place on 16 March 2019.

Award-winning artist and arts curator Khanyisile Mbongwa, who is assisting the Carnival team, says, “Cape Town Carnival occupies a unique space and role, communicating through the language of the carnivalesque, which is a combination of creativity, exaggeration, colour and spectacle at the intersection of social commentary and celebration.”

Carnival creative director Brad Baard says that the city’s vital social and cultural character is kept alive by creating and supporting social interaction between all Capetonians and through recognition of each other. “Cape Town’s spirit shouldn’t be underestimated – it’s part of the fabric of our society, “ he says.

Mbongwa highlights how Carnival can be a form of collective healing. “The freedom to play, the time to play, and the opportunity to play: these have been politically and socially denied to many South Africans for a long time, making play a political act. Carnival asserts the right to play!”

“The Cape Town Carnival offers a significant, accessible opportunity for South Africans of all ages to engage easily with the arts and to cultivate a sense of a shared identity,” says Dunisan Chabala, Deputy Director of the National Department of Arts & Culture. “It reflects diversity while encouraging togetherness and unity at the same time.”

Rachel Jafta, chairperson of the Cape Town Carnival Trust, says, “The Cape Town Carnival was envisaged as a way of bringing people together and building social cohesion, while offering an extraordinary visual and creative feast and a skills development hub for a wide array of skills.”

Events like the Cape Town Carnival contributed to Cape Town winning the Global Event & Festival City Award at the 2018 World Travel Awards, notes Dan Plato. Successful major events affirm the attractiveness of the city for investors and audiences alike.

Interventions in the fabric and life of the city affect how people see the city and each other. Carnival brings people together from all over the metropole, creates a platform for participation and artistic expression, reclaims public space for the parade event, and encourages recognition of the many communities, motivated groups and talented individuals who strut their stuff in the annual spectacular.

The sponsors of the 2019 Cape Town Carnival are Multichoice, the City of Cape Town, the National Department of Arts and Culture, the National Lotteries Commission, Kfm, the Western Cape Government, Tsogo Sun, Media24, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment Agency (Wesgro), Business and Arts South Africa (BASA), Peninsula Beverages, and Gearhouse.

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