Cape Town Pride 2022 comes “together again”

Cape Town Pride 2022 was a celebration of the LGBTIQ+ community

Hundreds of revellers came out to celebrate Cape Town’s LGBTIQ+ community on Saturday (Photo: MambaOnline/Ramsey Lewis)

After a one-year hiatus due to Covid-19, Cape Town Pride finally returned to the city’s streets for its 2022 parade on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds took advantage of the sunny weather to come out for the event, which was held under the theme of “together again,” and to celebrate the city’s LGBTIQ+ community.

Starting at noon, participants dressed in colourful attire and waving rainbow flags marched from Alfred Street in De Waterkant to Green Point Track.

The procession was led by Mr Cape Town Pride 2022 Ashwin Williams and Miss Cape Town Pride 2022 Laylah Zokufa. Some, however, chose to motorbike and rollerblade the route instead.

DA Federal Leader John Steenhuisen and Helen Zille, Chairperson of the DA Federal Council, were among those who marched alongside the crowd.

At Green Point Track, a Covid-limited gathering of around 2,000 people were treated to a variety of stalls, speeches, and entertainment from the likes of Manila von Teez and Yahto Kraft.

Speaking to the crowd, Steenhuisen said that while the day was one of celebration, those who were killed in Cape Town last year for being LGBTIQ – like Lonwabo Jack and Lulama Mvandaba – must not be forgotten.

“These were the victims of the most brutal and evil hate crime, and the fact that this can still happen today, here in this modern and liberal city, should be a wake-up call to all of us,” said Steenhuisen.

He also noted that “over 30 countries on this continent still have some form of anti-gay legislation. In many places being openly gay can still – and does – get you killed.”

Steenhuisen called on the South African government to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “[That] country’s LGBTQI community, in particular, must surely now live in fear given Russia’s awful human rights track record,” he added.

Cape Town Pride Festival Director Matthew Van As expressed his satisfaction with the event but admitted that the Covid-19 restrictions had been frustrating.

“Many people were very upset that they couldn’t join due to the limited numbers. There were a lot of people at the gates trying to get in but the City was being very, very strict about it,” he told MambaOnline.

“Otherwise, the crowd had a great time and there were lots of food vendors, and trinket stores for everybody to look at and we had a full, amazing lineup on stage. Hopefully, by next year, we’ll have the lifting of restrictions so everybody can join in.”

Photo: MambaOnline/Ramsey Lewis

While some questioned the appropriateness of Pride being used as a party political platform by the DA, Van As insisted that every party had been given the same opportunity to participate.

“Pride itself is apolitical and what we normally do is that we ask a participation fee from the political parties to make sure that it’s all on equal footing. And the DA came forward. All political parties were offered the same packages and it was their prerogative to join or not.”

The event was backed by the City of Cape Town and corporate participants included companies such as Microsoft and Gilead and brands like Fanta.

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