South Africa: National Arts Festival May Go Live Again This Year


Makhanda residents hoping for a better year following the Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions of 2020.

First published by GroundUp.

The National Arts Festival is planning some live shows in July, according to the festival's public relations officer Sascha Polkey. The festival had to go virtual last year because of Covid-19, leaving vendors, artists and accommodation hosts out of pocket.

The 11-day event is an annual windfall for many low-income earners in Makhanda.

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Polkey told GroundUp: "Talking to audiences and artists, there is definitely a deep hunger to see live performances again and many people have indicated anecdotal interest in coming to a live festival.

"We are planning to have some live shows in Makhanda within the month of July and these events will fall in line with the rapidly-evolving Covid-19 situation - as safety is our priority," she said.

Nomathemba Moleli, who is 71, runs Moleli Homestay in the middle of Joza location. "Every year I know that I'm going to have money. I have so many things to do in this house with the money I get from the visitors during festival," she says.

But last year was a "disaster", she says. She lives...

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