Luminous colour, drums and songs to pull at the heartstring, the opening of the VOC Summer Festival 2016 on Friday night struck at the core of what the festival stands for – bringing the community together.
While a cold wind set into the Vygieskraal stadium, the hearts were warmed as VOC and scores of youth opened up the VOC Summer Festival 2016 with a colourful march on the track.
The opening event was largely centred on young people and included more than a hundred teenagers and children from various schools on the Cape Flats.
Led by the drum brigade, VOC staffers, clad in turquoise and black, waved to the crowds as they did a lap of honour.
The event was opened with the national anthem by a group of primary school learners, who brought a smile as they sang Nkosi sikeleli Afrika.
Newly elected chairperson of the Muslim Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Management Amien Samodien spoke about the importance of the festival in generating funds for the station and its bursary programme. He said the bursary project was a means to give back to the community and to bring those skills back to the station.
Samodien said the MBC’s vision was to see VOC become a dynamic broadcaster, which would continue to touch on the pulse of community issues.
Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) president Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams stirred the audience with his impassioned speech on the significance of VOC in the homes and minds of Cape Muslims.
“This station has served this community for two decades. We have to thank VOC for the beautiful programmes that educate, guide and protect us. And we thank their ulema for giving of their time to educate our community on our wonderful deen,” he said.
Shaykh had the crowd in stiches as he relayed how he had often made calls on Capetonians to “get out of their beds” to support the festival, to which many would oblige.
Representing Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille, Councillor Rashid Adams said expressed his appreciation to VOC for its continued upliftment of the community. He also praised the young children who painstakingly practised for the opening event.
“I was deeply impressed by the determination and discipline of those children. We [the City]are committed to the development of our communities. Sports and the performing arts is one aspect that can improve the lives of children, especially on the Cape Flats,” he said.
The event was formally opened by festival convenor Rashaad Fryddie,
But, there was sweet surprise – a heartfelt rendition of “We are the World” by a group of school children, which had swarms of children on the field waving glow-sticks in the dark.
The opening was followed by a ceremonial soccer match between VOC and the Legends. Organisers predict that 5000 festival-goers attended the event on Friday night. VOC