The Castle of Good Hope will keep the traditional Cape Town Minstrel Carnival alive on 2 January.

For the second year in a row, the annual event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Castle Control Board CEO, Calvyn Gilfellan says: “This year, we are partnering with the Cape Muslim & Slave Heritage Museum and the Cape Town 7 Steps Minstrels to mark this important day with a small but powerful demonstration of song, dance, and poetry of this centuries-old tradition. The event will be staged in the Castle’s front courtyard, where ten troupe members will give a 30-minute demonstration of what the public will again miss this coming new year.”

The tradition confirms a sad part of Cape history, a reclamation of culture, and honouring the hardships some ancestors had to endure. This year’s event will be dedicated to the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who was honoured in the struggle heroes’ photographic exhibition in the Cape Muslim & Slave Heritage Museum.

According to the curator of the Cape Muslim and Slave Heritage Museum Igshaan Higgins, this year’s event will go beyond mere symbolism: “The minstrel carnival is one of the longest-standing traditions in the Cape and considered to be an integral part of Cape Town and South African culture and history.

This small, COVID-19 compliant cultural event will be held at 10h30 on Sunday 2 January 2022, in the front courtyard of the Castle of Good Hope.