As the dust settles on all the excitement following a weekend of stalls, entertainment and endless fun at the 2017 Boland Summer Festival, organiser’s report an overwhelmingly successful event. Described by many as one of the most successful events on the local calendar, the 18-year-old event was initiated by the Paarl Muslim Jamaah (PMJ) to support the work of local community organisations. The event kicked-off at the Dal Josaphat Stadium in Paarl from 31 March to – 2 April 2017.
Convener of the Boland Summer Festival, Ebrahim Patel explains that following an 18 year tradition, the 2017 Boland Summer Festival, which is aimed at benefiting three masaajid, four satellite masaajid, madaaris and a zakaah fund in Paarl, was resoundingly successful.
Describing the festival as an event that is organised “by the people, for the people”, he says that it is organised by community members who use their free time to assist in the process.
While the profits is yet to be tallied, the publicizing of the profits of the event is made available in an annual AGM, which is hosted by the PMJ, of which the minutes of the meeting and the financial reports are made available to the community.
“Whatever profits are made is due to the Almighty and each year there has been an increase; last year our profits grew by 100 per cent and inshallah this year there will be an improvement again,” Patel noted.
He says that the biggest highlight of the festival is the unity amongst festival goers.
“If you see the enjoyment of the people – different cultures, religions, and diverse groups – I think that is a showcase to the world that no matter who and what we are, we can enjoy ourselves together.”
Attracting in excess of 30 000 attendees, the event provides festival goers for a small fee of R15 with an array of entertainment ranging from Waasief Piekaan and Toya Abrahams to MJ Li Chafeker.
“Anyone from any denomination is able to attend the festival. There are those who may not normally be able to attend anyone of these shows, but during the festival weekend people are able to meet and see these entertainers – and, therefore, maybe we should have the festival over two weekends. ”
Patel says that the lady’s mouloud, inclusive of ladies from various communities’, opening the festival, set the tone for an event organised by a team dedicated to serving the community.
“The people organising it, it is not for their own gain, it is only for their love for the almighty – all these factors together makes the festival a great success.”
Reaffirming the selfless efforts of the organising team, Patel says that the stalls have grown from some 70 stalls to more than 170, 90 per cent of which was booked prior to the advertising of the event, but asserts that organisers continue to work to improve their standards.
“You can do so much planning, but there are always issues that you can improve on and we try to improve on what we give our festival goers. And this year I spoke to the Drakenstein Municipality and said we need to sit on a month to month basis and see how we can improve on what we have done this year.”
“I thank the listener’s, the festival goers and the sponsors for supporting us each and every year. When you do the festival you are tired, but right after the festival if you reflect and see how many people it made happy, you become excited for what will happen next year.”