After a year’s hiatus, Nelson Bay Pride is back this weekend with a bang, and under new management. As has been the case with Pride in many other cities, there have been claims that previous NMB Prides have not been inclusive. As a result, a new NPO has been registered and the event on Saturday 24th November is being organised by a new more diverse committee. This year’s theme ‘For the People!’ reflects the new direction Pride in Port Elizabeth is taking.
NMB Pride spokesperson Zac Muller said, “This year, we have gone for inclusion, no matter if you are transgender or you are gay, or lesbian, or bisexual. The Eastern Cape is still very homophobic, one of the most homophobic provinces in South Africa, so we are trying to reduce that. We also want to raise awareness; we want people to stop looking down on the LGBTQ+ community.”
There were also doubts as to whether the event was going to happen at all after the City withdrew support following the ousting of former Mayor Athol Trollip in August after a vote of no confidence.
NMB Pride 2018 will be held at a new location, the more accessible Donkin Reserve and will start at 08:00, with the raising of the country’s biggest rainbow flag, which is a gigantic 10 by 15 metres. The venue is on a hill overlooking Nelson Mandela Bay Harbour.
The Pride Parade will start at noon followed by a Mardi Gras event. MC Zikisani Xhotyeni will host the event which will feature a range of DJs, live singers, poetry and Drag performances. More information including artists’ line-ups will be available on NMB Pride’s Facebook page.
There will be an official Pride After Party at ZAZU Nightclub (317 Cape Road Newton Park) from 20:00 until 04:00. Entry is R60 before 22:00 and proceeds will be donated to NMB Pride.