Pink Mynah festival

2013-12-05 00:00

THE Gay and Lesbian Network will be hosting the fifth Pink Mynah Festival from Sunday to December 14 in Pietermaritzburg.

Not only is the festival an opportunity to showcase local talent from the finals of the PMB Got Talent contest, but it will also create awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender and inter-sex (LGBTI) issues, and promote the equality and acceptance espoused in the South African Constitution.

This year, the network plans to introduce a new aspect to the annual festival: an awards evening that will honour and acknowledge people who have made a difference to the LGBTI community.

The event will take the form of a gala dinner that will also incorporate a pageant where the winners of the Mr & Ms KZN contest will be crowned.

This year’s pageants are different from those held previously in that they are open to all people who identify as Mr or Ms.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be the annual Pink Mynah Parade through the streets of Pietermaritzburg, which ends with a festival fair full to bursting with stalls, entertainment and DJs. The fair will be followed by an after party.

The street parade will include a minute’s silence to remember all LGBTI people worldwide who have been murdered through hate crimes or died as a result of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

The Pink Mynah Festival forms part of the GLN initiative to mark 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse, and all forms of hate crimes in South Africa.

For more information about the festival events or to participate, phone 033 342 6165 or visit the Gay and Lesbian Network’s office at 187A Burger Street.


• ON Sunday, from 12.30 pm to 1 pm at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg, there will be a “bring your own” picnic. The event will launch the HIV and Aids counselling and testing services, which will run from Monday to December 13 at the Thembalethu Centre, 206 Burger Street. Entertainment at the picnic will be provided by DJ Psyfo. Inquiries: Londie at

• Religion and Sexuality Dialogue Workshop: On December 10 at 10 am in the Bessie Head Library auditorium in Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, there will be a workshop that explores what the different voices in the Bible say about religion, culture and sexuality, and what it means in our lives. The workshop will be presented by Professor Gerald West, a professor at the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. There will also be a panel of speakers that will include religious and traditional leaders and healers. Phone: Nompilo at advocacy2@gayles

• Mr and Ms KZN pageants: At 7 pm on December 13 at the City Royal Hotel in Burger Street. Inquiries: Thuli at

• Pink Mynah Street Parade: Starting at 10 am on December 14 at Freedom Square in Pietermaritzburg is the Pink Mynah street parade, which will wind its way through the central business district to the Royal showgrounds. The parade will be led by the winners of the Mr and Ms KZN pageants and supported by bikers, drum majorettes, floats and members of the public who want to show their support.

• The Pink Mynah Fair: Running until 6 pm. The fair at the Royal Showgrounds will include stalls and entertainment provided by performers from the recent PMB’s Got Talent competition, the iTembalethu Academy for Performing Arts, a marimba band and DJs. There will also be speeches to mark the 16 Days of Activisim against Violence against Women and Children. Entry is free. To book a stall, e-mail Anthony at director

• After party: From 8 pm on December 14, there will be a party at Cubana in the Invesco Centre in Chatterton Road. Admission is free. Please note: dress is smart casual. For general information and to purchase pageant tickets, e-mail Zama at

AS part of the Pink Mynah Festival, there will be a number of film screenings at the Bessie Head Library on Monday and Tuesday, from 10 am.

Films on offer include:

• Vito, an American documentary about Vito Russo, founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of The Celluloid Closet, and Aids activist in the eighties;

• The Commitment, an American short film about an inter-racial gay couple who, while adopting a newborn baby, meet the pregnant Asian birth mother and receive a surprise that threatens their relationship;

• We Were Here, a reflective look at the arrival and impact of Aids in San Francisco, and how individuals rose to the occasion during the first years of the crisis;

• Bros B4 Ho’s, a documentary about South Africa’s first Drag King Troupe;

• How to Survive a Plague, a documentary directed by journalist David France, about the early years of the Aids epidemic, and the efforts of Act Up and Tag;

• Dying and Other Superpowers, a British short film about Josh, who finds out on his 18th birthday that he has HIV;

• Leave it on the floor, a feature film; and

• a short-film package that includes: Ms Thing (Canada, 2012), I Still Love You (Brazil/Netherlands, 2012), Unprecendented Longing (Netherlands, 2013), House for Sale (Canada, 2012), Brighton (UK, 2013), and You Can’t Curry Love (2012).

There will be discussions about the films on both days. Inquiries: Sdu at

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