Following intense debate within the Cape minstrel fraternity in recent weeks, it’s been decided that the Tweede Nuwe Jaar festival will be moved to Monday 5 January 2015, to respect the religious significance of Milad-un Nabi. Moulood, the 12th Rabi-ul Awwal on the Islamic calendar, marks the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The decision came after discussions between the City of Cape Town and the Cape Cultural Events and Carnival Committee.
“This decision has been taken in order to respect the religious significance of the original date of 3 January. Residents are advised to take note of the change in the date. The event will take place between 12:00 and 23:30. The route will now revert back to the original course through the Bo-Kaap,” said Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing.
In Cape Town, Moulood will be observed after Maghrib on Saturday 3rd January, the day the minstrel’s road march was initially set to take place.
Initially, Cape Culture writer for Independent Media, Moeshfieka Botha met with the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) and the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) to address the concerns around the troupes marching during Moulood prayers as a large percentage of the minstrel fraternity are Muslim.
“I thought it was disrespectful to have a Klopse road march go into Moulood prayer time. If we are tolerant of one religion we need to be tolerant of the others. We would never have a road march proceed during Christmas prayers. What I really like is the fact that they showed great respect after we raised our concerns,” Botha explained.
After a decision was made, the organisation agreed to end the parade at 7pm. To accommodate the earlier conclusion, troops would then have shortened their route as well, marching from Keizergracht Street and ending off in Bree Street.
Botha said she welcomed this latest decision by the City.
“Now everyone can enjoy the parade without it infringing on the religious practices of local Muslims,” she added.
The Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade draws thousands of locals and tourists to the CBD every January. Spectators are seen setting up their camping chairs and umbrellas alongside the road from the early hours of the morning, to see the minstrels colour and music come to life.
Bloor said the City will assist with the new logistical arrangements that are required.
“This will include traffic services to minimise the impact of the road closures, as well as the provision of generators, waste management services, Metro Police, Law Enforcement, Disaster Risk Management and Fire and Rescue Services and any other internal costs for which the City is legislatively responsible,” he said.
The City has also given permission for the Cape District Minstrel Board to make use of the Ravensmead Stadium after the CDMB was informed of a possibility that the venue would be moved. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)