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Cape Town Minstrel Carnival returns after a two-year hiatus from Covid-19

origin 1Performers play, sing and dance as they take part in the Minstrels Parade in Cape Town on January 2. ©AFP

Some 20,000 performers, divided into dozens of troupes, marched through central Cape Town, dressed in colorful attire, playing music and dancing during the annual Cape Town Minstrel Carnival.

“Something was missing,” says the city’s deputy mayor, Eddie Andrews, of the popular event, which is once again lighting up the streets of South Africa’s legislative capital after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to see the march on Monday. Carnival has its roots in colonial times, when slaves – some of whom were forcibly brought to the southern tip of Africa from Southeast Asia – were allowed to relax the day after New Year’s Eve.

It is now seen as a celebration of Cape Town’s diverse culture.