Minister Anroux Marais Pays Homage To Tata Madiba In Amsterdam
As part of the 2017 Kwaku Festival celebrations underway in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Anroux Marais paid homage to our late great statesman, Tata Madiba.
Following an official visit to the Mandela Monument: Long walk to Freedom, Minister Marais honoured the legacy of Madiba by laying a wreath in commemoration of International Nelson Mandela Day, celebrated annually on 18 July across the globe.
Minister Marais said, “It is most fitting to pay tribute to Tata Madiba who played an instrumental role in not only liberating South Africa from the unjust system of apartheid but in liberating the minds of South Africans through embracing our diverse cultures and heritage. Even after he had passed on, he continues to remind us that our varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation”.
The Kwaku Festival is held in Amsterdam from July to August each year. Esteemed as the largest traditional multicultural gathering in Europe, the Kwaku Festival is focused on bringing people and cultures together for a vibrant combination of food, drink, dance and sport. Its origins lie in celebrating the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles in July 1863, and its name is derived from a statue erected to commemorate the momentous event. The festival attracts around 300,000 visitors, making it one of the biggest events on the Amsterdam calendar.
During the visit Minister Marais addressed the invited guests at the official opening of the festival hosted by the Ambassador of South Africa to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Bruce Koloane. Minister Marais also engaged with arts and cultural stakeholders who are scheduled to brief the Minister on their respective projects during this week. The scheduled briefings are for the purpose of opening dialogue on how best to partner with the Western Cape Government to unlock available opportunities and markets for the remarkable artistic crafts honed in the province.
Minister Marais has prioritised creating an enabling environment to sustainably benefit the arts with meaningful partnerships. This will allow the untold artistic stories of the Western Cape to be highlighted and showcased on an international stage in all cultural expressions.