Its all systems go for the 2019 Spice Mecca Ramadaan For All exhibition, which takes place from the 26th to 28th April at the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. As South Africa celebrates 25 years of democracy on Freedom Day on the 27th April, the fight for freedom and justice will be a strong theme at this year’s event. While the exhibition will showcase the best in culinary and consumer offerings, it will also celebrate South Africa’s 25-year milestone through a series of fascinating exhibitions and public events.
The Ramadaan For All exhibition is more than just a lifestyle experience, but has four main components:
As Muslims usher in the blessed month of Ramadan, they intensify their spirituality during this period. The exhibition has three powerful displays of spirituality.
The event kicked off on Friday morning with a qira’ah programme (reading of the Quran) by Egyptian qari Abdul Hakeem Salaam and Cape Town’s foremost Quranic reciters Abdurahmaan Sadien, Abdul Aziz Brown and Harun Moos.
“What better way to introduce the event than through the recitation of the Quran. There’s a certain aura that is almost palpable,” says Spice Mecca CEO and event brand ambassador Shreef Abbas.
The Qira’ah programme culminated with a mass Jumuah prayer led by prominent Cape Town shaykh and qari Sadullah Khan. The theme for the Jumuah sermon was ‘embracing the spirit of freedom’ – which ties in with the celebration of Freedom Day.
In what is a beautiful Cape Town religious tradition, dhikr jamaahs from across the city will congregate at the Castle on Sunday morning from 9.30am to recite athkaar (remembrance of Allah), salawat (salutation upon the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) and verses of the Quran.
The overarching concept of the Ramadan for All exhibition is about Ubuntu. With Freedom Day on Saturday 27th April, the Islamic Peace University of South Africa (IPSA) will host a Freedom Symposium at the Castle of Good Hope at 10.30am. The symposium will explore the topics of economic freedom, religious freedom, cultural freedom, social justice and education.
The symposium will host the relatives of five anti-apartheid struggle icons: Imam Abdullah Haron, Steve Biko, Ahmed Timol, Dullah Omar, Dulcie September and Sedick Isaacs. Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel is expected to discuss economic freedom and Prof Muhammad Haron, the son of Imam Haron, will speak about social justice.
At 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon, the six stalwarts will be honoured posthumously at the annual Community Legend Awards.
“This event is about breaking down racial, cultural and religious barriers. We have infused the spirit of freedom into the entire exhibition,” added Abbas.
The exhibition also serves as a means for disenfranchised communities to reclaim their space in a place that was once a bastion of oppression and suppression.
“Many of our forefathers were incarcerated in the Castle. But yet, we have been able to make the athaan (call to prayer), perform Jumuah salah two years in a row and reclaim this space,” said Abbas.
Art and culture are another feature of the Ramadaan For All experience. In addition to exhibitions on the life of Imam Haron, Steve Biko, Dulcie September, visitors can also look forward to the Jesus For All exhibition.
Jesus (Nabi Isa AS) is an important religious figure in Christianity but is also revered in Islam. Muslims and Christians both hold Jesus in high regard but view him in very different ways. This exhibition aims to convey this message.
“The way we interact with Muslims and non-Muslims is based on respect and appreciation of people of all faiths and cultures. Allah SWT guides us that we have been created differently but our task is to find a common humanity. Islam is about peace and harmony,” says Abbas.
For art aficionados, there are five art exhibitions where local artists and calligraphers will showcase their artistry. They will host workshops for creative youth.
Designer clothes from Turkey, Indonesia, Middle East and local designers will also be showcased.
The Ramadaan For All experience would not be complete without cuisine. This year’s exhibition will host 150 vendors and 20 food stalls at the Spice Mecca Pavilion.
The biggest attraction is Shamiela Abbas’s Cook Easy Lifestyle show, in which she conducts live cooking demonstrations. This year, Shamiela has added some extra spice to her show with the launch of her new recipe book ‘My Passport: A Culinary Journey’. The culinary artist will cook recipes from this book, which has received good reviews. The book will be on sale at the event.
A shopper’s paradise – the Ramadaan For All experience has something for everyone. For those who love a good bargain, the famous Black Hat sale has become one of the most exciting features of the Spice Mecca Pavilion.
There will be fantastic giveaways at the Black Hat sale and an overseas trip sponsored by Legend Tours will be up for grabs.
The entire event will be televised on ITV on DSTV channel 347 and broadcast on Voice of the Cape radio on 91.3fm. This year’s sponsors are Standard Bank, Awqaf South Africa and Legend Tours.
“This event belongs to the people of Cape Town,” said Abbas, urging the broader community to attend.
Tickets cost R35 for adults, R20 for pensioners and there is free access for children under 12. However, early birds can look forward to a weekend pass available at R75.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.webtickets.co.za or at any Pick ‘n Pay store.
For more information, visit the Spice Mecca Ramadaan For All Exhibition page on Facebook.