The South African communities have diverse and yet unique cultures with one common umbrella called South Africa and all of their ways of life form part of our country’s identify and culture. People living in the nine (9) provinces of South Africa have a “way of life” in terms of how they express themselves be that through the expression of the codes of manners, dress, personal decoration like makeup and jewelery, relationships with others, ,language, religion, rituals, norms of behavior such as law and morality, and systems of belief etc. Furthermore culture is not solid and lasting but always changing as each generation contributes its experience of the world and drops things that are no longer useful for them. As a way of an example, today one can hardly find a community in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NM Metro) without a soccer team/club, and many schools have soccer as one of the extramural activities of the school. And therefore soccer has become the national religion transcending race, politics or language group. The e-Mandulo Cultural & Music Festival’s ethos is to celebrate the various cultures of the communities living in the Uitenhage, Despatch, and Port Elizabeth regions and show case their diversity and how cultures have evolved over the years. People from these communities have expressed themselves through their wearing styles, the way they talked, for example in the olden days it was easy to identify someone who came and lived in Port Elizabeth (otherwise known as e-Mambhozane) through the way they spoke, the people from P.E. they often spoke Tsotsi Taal and their glamorous and flashy style of wearing and they thought e-Mambhozane had close similarities to Gauteng which was generally respected for having everything in terms of wearing styles, people with money, and crude and real Tsotsis. On the hand people from Uitenhage were generally considered or perceived as being “i-Bhari” (loose reference to someone considered ignorant and naive) and therefore people from e-Mambhozane considered themselves as being “abo-Clever” (loose reference to someone considered clever and sophisticated). The e-Mandulo Cultural and Music Festival (herein referred to as the Festival) is designed to be an annual summer experience that will attract new and repeat visitors to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality (NM Metro) which consists of Uitenhage, Despatch, and Port Elizabeth and their surrounding areas. We want the NM Metro to be a preferred tourist destination during the summer holidays. In the nearby (about 45 minutes away) areas such as Addo Elephant Park the visitors can enjoy game viewing opportunities and nature reserves, Uitenhage played a vital and significant role in the political history of South Africa and this saw the town paying the ultimate price when more than 20 people were massacred by the then regime and 27 others left wounded on the 21th March 1985. It is also worth noting that the writer, Mr. Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, of the National Athem “Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica” was born in Uitenhage. Port Elizabeth has beautiful beaches that can offer the visitors tranquillity and the city is known for its friendliness with exquisite scenic views. Furthermore there are other tourists’ attractions in the City of Port Elizabeth such as The Donkin Reserve located at the end of the picturesque Garden Route along the Cape coast and this is linked to the Donkin Heritage Trail including Bell Tower, great viewpoint over the City, Monuments, gardens at St George’s Park, and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. The City is also known as the Watersports Capital with Algoa bay being home to scuba diving, game fishing charters, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding to name but a few. There are also many cruises offered from the harbor from sunset cruises to view dolphins to whale watching tours. At launch of the Festival we plan to invite Inkosi ne Kumkani zakwa-Xhosa (the Xhosa Kings / Royals) such as his majesty uKumkani Zwelonke Sigcawu, Ah! Zwelonke! and many others to embrace and open the Festival. This will be very significant in reviving the pride and roots of the people living in the Cities and Towns such as Uitenhage; Despatch; and Port Elizabeth. The Royals and their existence are often thought to be something that belongs to Xhosas living in the country side (commonly referred to as “eZilalini”), and therefore the people in the Cities/Towns do not have to know about them and hence that contributes to the diminishing sense of pride, and lack of knowledge about our roots. OUR VISION To annually provide the people of the Metro Municipality and their visitors with a world class standard cultural and music festival, during the festive season which can compare with the established festivals such as the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Johannesburg – Standard Bank Jazz Festival, and the Macufe Festival in Bloemfontein. OUR MISSION STATEMENT To entertain and unite the metro communities in celebration of our cultural diversity through dedicated provision of entertainment, celebration, cultural dance, drama, poetry, sports and indigenous games, and music. The Festival will make the metro community (and its surrounding areas such Addo) the preferred tourists destination (against the traditional and popular local destinations such as Cape Town and Durban) during the Festive and Summer Holidays through an attraction that is unique and one of its kind in the area. OUR GOALS AND OBJECTIVES • To celebrate our cultural diversity and foster a sense of pride in our communities;
• To promote unity and diversity in communities through sport, arts, and culture;
• To promote and preserve the diverse cultures of the Bay community and create an environment where all persons live in peace and harmony;
• To promote and preserve the traditional and indigenous music genres;
• To promote and raise the profile of Bay through the arts, culture, and entertainment attraction;
• To develop and nurture the talent of young people in arts ,culture, and entertainment;
• To foster and encourage parents to come to cultural events to support and witness their children in action;
• To forge unity and strengthen relations between the established Acts and the emerging groups; • To encourage youth not to engage in alcohol and drug abuse; and • To promote arts and culture as a tool that the youth can use to challenge their unending abilities and talents.
eMandulo c 2015