Regarding the furore the naming of the festival has raised on social media among other avenues, I am writing with keen interest as a defender of the constitution and a concerned citizen of the Western Cape to find out why it is that the festival is named after what many previously disadvantaged South Africans agree is a representation and seemingly a celebration of the colonial culture and history left as wounds in South African minds, just as apartheid was. I quote one of several correspondences I have received:
“Only in Cape Town is the legacy of colonialism so unapologetic... Cape Town Tourism is publicizing the Boschendal Jan Van Riebeeck Festival??? A family day named after a colonialist, thief and rapist... Sponsors include Pick 'n Pay, Coca Cola, SAB, Checkers, NASPERS, Bidvest and Huisgenoot. Is it not enough that the privileged in Cape Town continue to taunt the children of the indigenous and slaves with the wealth they inherited through colonialism and apartheid? Do they now have to celebrate this legacy so flamboyantly as well? It’s a disgrace and deeply trivializes the wounds that are still begging to be healed. And what they don't get is that these wounds will eventually give birth to a wrath that, will this time, be unable to be contained... And Cape Town Tourism supports such [edited]... Greedy punks... Sies!!!” - Anon
While the purpose of the festival, like many other successful festivals hosted in the Cape is well intentioned, you may well agree that its naming seemingly celebrates the history borne by the name itself. The hurt and anger experienced currently by the designated group(s) is irrefutable and we also cannot deny them that right as it is a part of their history that they’d rather forget. Would it be fair perhaps that I request you as the organizers of the festival to address these matters publicly and reassure your fellow South Africans of your commitment to a better South Africa both economically, culturally and otherwise to prevent the exacerbation of the anger and turmoil that is currently stirring and waiting to blow up?
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