One of the eMzantsi giant puppets going to the AfrikaBurn Festival in the Tankwa KarooThanks to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and local support from Rodgers Fruiterers, South Peninsula Tool Hire and Thulalula electric bikes, 36 people from the eMzantsi community-building project will be participating in the AfrikaBurn festival in Tankwa in the Karoo this long weekend. AfrikaBurn is a spectacular creative expression of festival-goers who gather once a year to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance. eMzantsi has been invited to join the Ubuntu Mash-Up theme camp and bring their particular brand of intercultural carnival fun to the party.


‘This is a huge opportunity for us’ said eMzantsi Operations Manager Cindy Carelse. ‘While many of our mapiko crew have been invited to work at the Gauteng and Cape Town Carnivals, this is the first time a full eMzantsi-style Carnival will perform outside the south peninsula.’ They will taking giant puppets, the eMzantsi bloco – a ghoema-samba carnival band of brass and drums – and the mapiko crew will be giving workshops in recycled costume-making. After two days mobilising participants, the eMzantsi Carnival will parade on Saturday, demonstrating unity in diversity in action.


Primary schools coordinator Yandiswa Mazwana added ‘As well as being a challenging team-building exercise for all facilitators on the eMzantsi schools, music and mapiko programmes, this is a wonderful way for us to pilot the eMzantsi Carnival Roadshow which we hope to take to other festivals in the future. I can’t believe we’re going to do it in the desert – we’re so excited!’


To find out more about the eMzantsi community-building project, call 021 785 1515, see or find us on Facebook.