Welcome to the eMzantsi Carnival community-building project!

Painted Face
'eMzantsi' means 'in the South' in isiXhosa and the eMzantsi Carnival is all about celebrating life in Cape Town's south peninsula. By showcasing the fabulous diversity of our people and cultures, we bring our communities together and create a shared south peninsula identity.

The Carnival is the culmination of a year-round community-building process that encourages people of the South, especially children and youth, to cross boundaries and collaborate with each other. People from all over the valley join in the colourful parade and stageshow, including minstrels and marimba bands, gumboots and gospel singers, b-boys and ballet dancers. The Carnival takes place annually on the first Saturday of December, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

NLDTF support has allowed the Harlequin Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded in 2004, to market our core intercultural mandate of 'making unity fun' more powerfully since 2009. 'eMzantsi' has subsequently become a byword in the Cape south peninsula for intercommunity interaction. Thousands of people, predominantly youth, have been involved in eMzantsi intercultural activities - from primary and high school programmes to our music and Mapiko projects. Building on local outreach, our homegrown facilitators are now sharing the eMzantsi ethos and experiences with regional and national festivals.

Each one of these adds a thread to the networking web of connections that bind our communities more closely, and increase intercultural understanding as well as employment opportunities. Whether eMzantsi is enabling children from different cultures to play together, giving youth a platform to collaborate musically across boundaries, training a team of single mothers and disabled adults to make craft-from-waste or inspiring spectators with a vision of diverse communities dancing down the road together - we are changing the south, one mindset at a time.

Visit the National Lotteries Board website to find out about other projects supported by the NLDTF.

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