The Boland Summer Festival has become a tourist attraction for the Drakenstein and is a key business opportunity for small businesses in the area. So said Moutie Richards of the Paarl Muslim Jamaah, during the official opening ceremony on Saturday evening, which saw throngs of people packed at the main stage. During the opening, dignataries reflected on the success of the cultural event over the past 16 years.
This year, the event has two main title sponsors, Broadway Hardware and Good Hope Meat Hyper. Richards said both businesses had supported the PMJ for years.
“We are also proud to announce our association with Pick ‘n Pay. Thanks to VOC who started this journey with us 16 years ago,” he said.
The PMJ caters for the spiritual, welfare and educational needs of the Paarl Muslim community. The Jamaah’s honourary shaykh Moutie Moerat delivered an opening dua behalf of the PMJ. He was followed by the imam of PMJ, Zahier Moerat who welcomes guests..
“It gives me great pleasure from people from all the surrounding towns coming to support us. This spirit and enjoyment is what is taught to us in the Holy Quran. We can all sit together because we are the children from Adam (as).”
Muslim Broadcasting Corporation managing committee chairperson Achmat Jacobs said VOC’s relationship with the festival was founded on shared values.
“We can without a doubt say this festival is one of the main fixtures on VOC’s social calendar. Since its inception in 1994, the PMJ has played a important role in VOC. We pay tribute to the Boland community.”
Drakenstein municipal manager Johan Medler said the festival is a signature event in Paarl.
“Its been 16 years of good values associated with the jamaah. We have a formal relationship with the PMJ because we want the jamaah to be sustainable.”
Mayor of the Drakenstein municipality Thuys Smit said the local council had forged a good working relation with the PMJ, based on the success of the festival.
“It’s an event of excellence because of the way its presented. You see the order, discipline and detailed planning.”
He added that the event was a boost to tourism in the Drakenstein.
“This festival brings people of different backgrounds together. It builds respect and understanding across boundaries. We need this in the country. We need more festivals and events of this nature, as tourism can better the lives of people.”