Doek on Fleek picnic heads to East London

Doek on Fleek founder Thandi Mavata, aso known as "Babes We Doek" is bringing her all-white picnic to East London on Saturday.
Doek on Fleek founder Thandi Mavata, aso known as "Babes We Doek" is bringing her all-white picnic to East London on Saturday.
Image: Supplied

The national all-white Doek on Fleek picnic will make its way to East London this weekend.

The all-white themed all-women picnic has become known as a space where women from all walks of life unwind together. The event takes place at the Alexander Golf Club in Sunnyridge on Saturday.

Doek on Fleek gatherings gained momentum in 2016 as market days and pop-up fun for women in Johannesburg.

When women from other provinces called for the event to take place in their own towns, event founder Thandi Mavata said it soon turned into a national movement. Mavata said it began as a once-off event where a “fleeking doek” was meant to be a trendy theme replicating the doek-fashion that was gaining traction among SA women.

“The hashtag for the first Doek on Fleek event is #rocking your doek like how your mother taught you,” said Mavata. “It birthed the idea to bring women together to rock the garment that’s been a part of their entire life.

“After seeing its success I thought to myself ‘why not take the concept and make it a month to month thing’.”

The monthly markets were launched soon after that as a platform for women to gather in one space and learn from each other, while some traded their items. The only requirement was that women wear a doek.

Mavata said her focus was to bring women from different social and economic groups together. “In December, I decided to grow the concept further to hosting all-white picnics. We still have the markets but now there’s a strict all-white theme with a doek. No men are allowed at our picnics.”

She wanted the picnics to be a gathering where women forgot about their frustrations and shared their life stories with one another.

“Each picnic is different. There’s no strict programme. It is determined by the women of the town we’re in.”

Mavata said while the picnics had grown beyond her expectations, she did not want the event to be the only time women came together.

“Our Cape Town picnic two weeks ago had over 3,000 women. I want to see women hosting their own parties even after Doek on Fleek has left their town,” she said.

Tickets cost R100 per person and are available from Shoprite and Checkers.

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