by Rekord East, 17 August 2014
More than 20 000 people celebrated the 2014 Feast of the Clowns on Saturday.

According to Tshwane Leadership Foundation facilitator, Joel Mayephu, the event grows bigger every year.

“We normally host about 20 000 people, but this year the number has gone up dramatically,” Mayephu said.

Like in previous years, this year’s Feast of the Clowns started with the clown’s parade.

The parade, which featured about 5 000 participants, started at Burgers Pack, went to Sunnyside via Jeff Masemola Street, turned left into Steve Biko Street to Arcadia, then into Johannes Ramokhoase Street to the inner city, proceeded into Thabo Sehume Street and back to Burgers Park.

It was the 14th time The Feast of the Clowns took place.

Its main purpose was to celebrate the diversity of Tshwane citizens, create awareness about social challenges, encourage festivities, collectively imagining a healthier city, and to encourage socio-economic development through the arts.

Mayephu said the festival raised awareness of homelessness and women and children abuse.

“People are sleeping on the streets. We want the city and all of us to treat them like human beings,” Mayephu said.

He added that the Tshwane Leadership Foundation provide shelters for women, children and girls.

They have educational programmes for children in the inner city.

In attendance was the MMC for Sport and Recreation, Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke, who led the parade.

Tyobeka-Makeke said being part of the event showed that the Tshwane metro was serious to contribute awareness of women and child abuse.

“We say human trafficking must stop,” Tyobeka-Makeke said.

She said the city was rated as the best city to live in because the metro did extraordinary things.

“We take care of youth development through programmes such as Tsepo 10 000, we launched the second phase of the Wifi connections under the leadership of the Executive Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, who is passionate about youth development,” Tyobeka-Makeke said.

She said they will keep on working together with the Tshwane Leadership Foundation to make sure that the festival continues to take place every year.

Tyobeka-Makeke also called on men to respect women and children.

Before the main event on Saturday, there were various activities that focused on addressing pressing social matters such as homelessness, HIV and Aids, gender issues, xenophobia and refugees, human trafficking, greening the city and children’s rights.

The main event featured three stages with live performances, a fashion show, art exhibitions, and craft and food stalls for local traders.

[Originally published by Rekord]