Fest a chance for cultures to show skills

Different cultures were embraced by hundreds of traditional poets, dancers and artists who performed and exhibited their skills at the Isingqi Sethu Wild Coast cultural festival.

GRAND SHOW: Dancers perform at Isingqi Sethu Wild Coast Cultural Festival, which continues today and tomorrow Picture: MBALI TANANA
GRAND SHOW: Dancers perform at Isingqi Sethu Wild Coast Cultural Festival, which continues today and tomorrow Picture: MBALI TANANA

The three-day festival, which has been held in Port St Johns for the past 17 years, boasts a diversity of heritage and culture from various nations throughout the province.

Sport, arts and culture MEC Pemmy Majodina and a German delegation from Lower Saxony, which has had a twinning agreement with DSRAC for more than 20 years, attended.

Majodina said of the eight festivals hosted by the province annually, none preserved the identity of the Eastern Cape like Isingqisethu.

“Isingqisethu in itself means ‘our rhythm’, and with every artist performing here you are able to derive their origin based on their rhythm and how they dance – it tells you which nation they belong to.

“This is a platform where diverse nations get to show off their heritage and culture and share it so it can be embraced, preserved and advanced.”

Majodina said she looked forward to a festival in future where all municipalities would come on board in support of its artists.

“So many traditional artists jump at the opportunity to be part of the festival and you’d find that most are relying on the support of the department and the Port St Johns municipality, which can be strenuous.”

Eastern Cape parks and tourism agency board member Silumko Ncume, one of the partners of the festival, said it created many economic development opportunities for the area. It also received an economic boost from the influx of visitors and artists. — mbalit@dispatch.co.za

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