With no signs of the traditional Easter rain this weekend, campers heading to the annual Shaykh Yusuf Kramat Festival can rest assured that camping will be more favourable this year. The annual festival, held at the burial site of Shaykh Yusuf of Maccassar, kicked off on Good Friday and will end on Easter Monday. The celestial Cape Malay tradition is one of the beautiful reminders of the city’s Islamic and slave heritage. Every year, thousands of people flock to Faure in Maccassar for a weekend of family bonding and spiritual upliftment, but also to pay homage to Shaykh Yusuf, considered the father of Islam in the Cape.
The event is a fundraising vehicle for the Nurul Latief masjid, situated on the foot of the hill in Faure, where the tomb of Shaykh Yusuf is located. This year’s theme is called ‘Preserving the Deen of Islam’.
The formalities kicked off on Friday with an address by the Indonesian Consulate general Krishna Adi Poetranto and Maulana Igsaan Hendricks who delivered the pre-khutbah talk.
Saturday will see a jam-packed programme with the Palestinian archaeologist Abeer Ahmed Zayyad expected to address the traditional Palestinian rally, which features the horse parade and Habibia Brigade.
On Sunday, festival-goers can expect the Golden Hour featuring the Cape Malay Choir Board demonstration choir, historian Ebrahim Rhoda, and Shaykh Sultan Sahib Beitullah, the head of an Indonesian delegation and descendants of Tuan Yusuf.
For those seeking spiritual upliftment, there is the Yemeni moulood by the Mahabbah Foundation, a ratieb display, nasheed and moulood programme. But there is also enterainment in the form of the Cape Malay Choirs, qaseedah groups, comedy and drama sketches and sports.
The full programme here:
In terms of logistics, organisers say they are “up and running”.
“We want to encourage people to attend the event as it’s in aid of masjid funds. We ask that people pay willingly at the gate as there are many costs we have to cover for this event, such as temporary structures, toilets and the septic tanks. People should not try to bypass the gate,” says Ebrahim Peters, one of the coordinators of the festival.
In terms of the electricity supply, Peters said the power grid is able cater for all campers but its municipal events permit requires a generator on standby and an electrician on site for any emergencies.
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