Africa's oldest lesbian and gay event celebrates 20th Anniversary
Africa's oldest lesbian and gay event celebrates its 20th anniversary this week. The 2009 Joburg Pride Day and Parade will take place on Saturday October 3rd at Zoo Lake Sports Club under the theme of 'You Need Pride'. The theme, announced in early August, "...aims to highlight the importance of Pride -- both historically and in today's world."
“It’s a call to action for the LGBT community and all freedom-loving South Africans. It’s a reminder that we can never take our freedoms for granted and never be complacent,” said Joburg Pride Co-Chair Zak Mbhele.
“Pride is our community’s most visible day of the year – and it is one that we must treasure and ensure continues to make an impact.”
Organisations, businesses and entertainment providers in Joburg and Gauteng are once again urged to plan their gay-interest and gay-friendly events for the week preceding the Pride Day and Parade to ensure a week-long series of celebrations and cultural events which can be included in the 2009 Pride Calendar.
Co-Chair Tanya Harford emphasised that while funds were raised through last year’s highly successful event to carry the organisation through the coming months, fundraising and sponsorship for the 2009 event was an ongoing priority, made especially difficult in today’s harsh economic times.
The Board called on members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual community to play an active role in Joburg Pride, by contributing where and when they can to ensure that the event remains relevant and vibrant.
The 1990 Joburg Pride March was the first lesbian and gay pride parade to take place on the African continent. It was organised by the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) headed by the late legendary gay rights and anti-apartheid activist Simon Nkoli. Many of the participants wore brown paper bags over their head out of fear for their safety. The event has taken place every year since then, making the 2009 Joburg Gay Pride Festival the 20th annual Pride event in the city. Today, Joburg Pride is organised by a Section 21 company run by a board of volunteers.
For more information on this event visit Joburg Pride.