The Day of Reconciliation is always a strange day for me. It was instituted as a South African public holiday in 1994 as a means of fostering post-Apartheid reconciliation and promoting national unity. I get that. But it’s also a week and a half before Christmas. So it’s the holiday before THE holiday, and pretty much the point from which anyone with enough leave days on hand takes their annual summer break.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille earlier this year said the City would host a celebration on 16 December in honour of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. As the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Tutu epitomises the holiday completely. Just his laugh is enough to bring a smile to the face of any South African.

march for the arch

Thus thousands of people will take to the Cape Town Fan walk this Day of Reconciliation in honour of Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, in what has been dubbed, The Purple March for the Arch.

The march kicks off at the Prestwich Memorial, on the corner of Buitengracht Street and Somerset Road– the start of the Fan Walk. Cement hand prints of Tutu and his wife will be placed at the memorial, and everyone will then make their way to the Cape Town Stadium forecourt for a free concert featuring Jimmy Dludlu and The Soweto String Quartet.

The Purple March for the Arch takes place at 11 am, with the concert scheduled to start at 12:15 pm. Will you be coming out to the Fan Walk this Day of Reconciliation?

march for the arch

Photography courtesy Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

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