The Cape Town Carnival is arguably one of the city’s most anticipated events, a day full of with activity and excitement. Each year, the carnival has a different theme, with this year’s being Vuka Ukhanye: Arise and Shine! 

“The culture of our city is unique and vital. It’s in how people treat each other, how we show up, respect and regard each other, how we interact, how we see each other. It’s part of the fabric of our society,” says Brad Baard, Creative Director of the Cape Town Carnival. “This spirit or character comes through in this year’s theme of waking up to our personal power and to our collective power.”

The carnival’s designated workshop is an epicentre of creativity, and fully embodies the spirit of collective power in line with this year’s theme. “It’s incredible to see the voyage from the creative workshops where the concept is developed to the final creations,” says Professor Rachel Jafta, Chairperson of the Cape Town Carnival Trust.

More than 2 200 performances will form 54 performing groups, and Gillian Florence, the head of the costume department for the carnival, says that repurposing and being sustainable plays a big role in the ethos of the workshop.

The Cape Town Carnival Workshop is where the amazing floats are made. (Source: Cape Town Carnival)

The very first Cape Town Carnival was hosted along Long Street in 2010, and 11 000 spectators attended. These numbers have grown exponentially, with 54 000 people showing up at the event last year.

The carnival also causes a boom in Cape Town’s economy, contributing more than R58.5-million to the city’s GDP in 2018.

The Rise African Child float is pegged to be one of this year’s main attractions. (Source: Cape Town Carnival)

The sponsors of the 2019 Cape Town Carnival, which will take place on March 16, include 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), Peninsula Beverages, and Gearhouse.

Picture: Supplied/ Cape Town Carnival

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.