Masithandane’s second Eden Kite Festival was as big a success as was hoped.
Gasps of appreciation and awe could be heard as local, national and international kiters joined the Knysna tourism entity, Knysna & Partners in hoisting their kites into the Karatara sky on Sunday, October 23.
Knysna tourism entity, Knysna & Partners CEO, Greg Vogt was seen admiring the kites and thoroughly enjoying the fringe events. “It is events like these that showcase the diverse destination that Greater Knysna has to offer. Just looking at all the kiters, locals, national and international brings home just how much this festival does towards advertising our area as a sought after destination.”
This colourful festival, organised by locals for locals was lauded by Knysna Executive Mayor, Eleanore Bouw-Spies while declaring the festival Bouw-Spies as open: “I applaud Sedgefield’s Masithandane for recognising such a wonderful way to raise funds for their NGO.”
Masithandane, the much-loved Sedgefield NGO works tireless in assisting those less fortunate. Bouw-Spies thanked them for their commitment to raising the funds necessary. “All proceeds from this festival will be used to complete the newly built Masithandane Care & Respite Centre. This recently opened centre that provides a safe and loving home-from-home for those suffering from severe and chronic diseases. This respite centre is just one of the myriad of programmes run by Masithandane and without the help of all here today, they could not continue with the great work they do,” said the mayor.
Local kiter and festival initiator, Keith Mould who owns more than 300 kites, including 15 Rokakku kites of various sizes and enjoys stunt kite 'ballet' and power-kiting shared the sky with fellow locals Greg Mountjoy and Bryan Freeman in showing the excited festival goers why their kites and skills were respected by their national and international peers.
Joining the local kiters were Capetonians, Ashley and Mari Ware-Lane with their colourful kites including a parrot and a Nemo. Jacques Cronje’s travelled from Pretoria to show off his unique Phoenix kite.
Returning to the festival were international kiters from United Kingdom and Netherlands. Seasoned kiters from Canada, Germany, Singapore and New Zealand joined in the fun on Sunday on-route to the Cape Town International Kite Festival.
Eden Kite Festival spokesperson, Tertia Rothman said that kite festivals like the Eden Festival are not competitions as such, rather a celebration of getting out into the open and merely enjoying the flying of kites. “Kite-flying is something that anyone can do, regardless of age, ability or disability or community," she said.
Knysna & Partners team, CEO Greg Vogt, Belinda and Gavin Hobson, battled their way to victory in the Rokkaku kite challenge. Their kite flying skills managed to bring down all their opponents, resulting in their kite remaining in the sky swooping victoriously. This Rokkaku challenge can be traced by to early feudal Japan.
To assist in the fundraising effort, Southeby’s offered their ever popular Slow-Bike Challenge that was won by community driven Sedgefield Information Office manager, Belinda Hobson.
The final figures raised were not available at time of going to print.