Flying high at festival

2018-11-06 06:02
Orion Brophy from Parkwood Estate and his kite, which took third place in the Heritage Kite Awards at Cape Mental Health’s Cape Town International Kite Festival. PHOTO: Sulize Terreblanche

Orion Brophy from Parkwood Estate and his kite, which took third place in the Heritage Kite Awards at Cape Mental Health’s Cape Town International Kite Festival. PHOTO: Sulize Terreblanche

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The 24th annual Cape Town International Kite Festival took place in Muizenberg over the

The festival is the biggest of its kind in Africa, and kiters from around the world proudly flew their incredible kites in support of Cape Mental Health.

An aerial “big five” flew for all to see when Nemo, Squid, Octopus, Red Teddy and Bertie the Worm took to the skies.

“Rise Up was our theme for 2018,” says Ingrid Daniels, director of Cape Mental Health and president elect of the World Federation for Mental Health.

“We believe everyone is born with potential to rise up beyond life’s circumstances. Our mission and the services we provide help people realise this potential and overcome mental health challenges they may encounter. Kites are one of the tools we use. Almost everyone feels inspired when they simply lift their heads and look up,” she adds.

Statistics show that every year one person in four will have a mental health condition. Mental health affects everyone but for people living in a disadvantaged urban or rural community, the impact of disability and poverty can be particularly challenging.

While renowned international kite-flyers attracted crowds, Parkwood Estate’s Gerald Gelderbloem displayed his creations with his grandson Orion Brophy.

Orion, who lives with his grandfather along with his brother, is a 16-year-old learner at Heathfield High School and is also a talented musician to go along with his expert kite-making skills. He took third place in the “swaeltjie” category of the Heritage Kite Awards at this year’s Cape Town International Kite

The competition was judged by Sandesh Kaddi, a kite-maker from Belgaum, India; Linda Sanders, an Australian fabric artist, and Carol Bosch, deputy director of Cape Mental Health. They were impressed with Orion’s kite’s design, creativity and flying ability. The kite is made from umbrella fabric and bamboo.

“I’ve been flying kites since I was five years old,” says Orion, adding that he has been inspired and taught by his grandfather, who is also an award-winning kite-maker.

“My first kite was an orange diamond shape made out of plastic which I helped my grandad make,” he says.

Over the years Orion has improved his skills and has made diamond kites (“the easiest to make”), box kites and the traditional “swaeltjie”, like the one which helped him to third place at the festival.

“The best thing about kites is when you get that feeling, that pull. It makes you feel like you are with the kite, right up in the sky. I like seeing all the different types of kites there are, it is inspiring and I also help in the workshops to help new people learn to make kites.”


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