This year’s Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe) will prioritise diversification of cultures. This is according to Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, during the State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Tuesday.
“We will continue to connect various races, genders, cultures and religions in our drive to instil social cohesion in the Free State province,” explained Ntombela at the Fourth Raadsaal in Bloemfontein. “We will host Macufe to celebrate our identity. This festival which attracts about 18 000 visitors to Mangaung will serve as a medley of cultural diversity,” she elaborated.
The premier expressed that her office has been in discussions with young people and local artists who have a host of new ideas on how to revitalise the festival that has been running since 1997. “Young people raised some of the following issues: More investment is needed in the creative economy and also the recognition of Free State talent and the need to increase training workshops and platforms for artists, among others.”
“We have to make sure that we also attract white residents to the festival because they are also part of the Free State. They belong in the province and so they must be part of cultural diversification of Macufe,” Mtombela added.
Organised by the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, the festival runs for about 10 days from beginning on the first week of October every year. Locals and tourists attend it to enjoy various musical events, an arts and crafts exhibition, theatre productions, pageants and a soccer match involving Bloemfontein Celtics.