NMB Pride photo shoot (Marc Herve / IgersPortElizabeth)
The organisers of Nelson Mandela Bay Pride (NMB Pride) 2017 have announced that the event will no longer take place this year.
In a statement on the Pride’s Facebook page on Wednesday, the organisation committee and advisory board said the event has been postponed to next year.
They explained that this was “due to time and financial constraints” and said the postponement will “allow for time to raise funds and secure venues and other essential services”.
The organisers called for the “LGBTQIAP+ community to stand together, and, with your help, plan an awesome PRIDE 2018.”
They added: “We really want a Pride for the city and we want to deliver the best Pride that is inclusive of everyone, but that can only be achieved with proper planning and more time.”
The news was met with disappointment from members of the region’s LGBTQ+ community, with some expressing skepticism about the organising team’s capacity and experience in putting on such an event.
The first NMB Pride took place in 2011. A new, more inclusive organising committee was only formed in September 2017, giving the organisers very little time to get the event off the ground.
Earlier, there were signs that the planning was quite not on track. NMB Pride has traditionally taken place in the latter part of the year, but on the 3rd of this month, the organisers had still not confirmed a date and time for the event.
“We had high hopes that we could pull off a successful event, but factors out of our control have led us to take this step,” Kelley Felix, Executive director of NMB Pride, told Mambaonline.
“For many of us this has been our first time organising an event of this magnitude and the expectation was to deliver within one month and a half without any financial backing or support. Availability of venues for proposed dates has also been a factor that contributed towards the postponement of Pride 2017,” she said.
“This decision was not taken lightly and we hope that, with positive support from members of our community, we can plan and execute a terrific Pride 2018.”
Felix admitted that she personally “did underestimate the magnitude to deliver within such a short timeframe. The amount of paperwork involved, numerous meetings and emails back and forth is a big task.”
She continued: “We know now what to expect. It is not impossible to start over and start strong. We too are disappointed and saddened that we had to postpone but we do want to it right and with integrity.”
NMB Pride will next take place in November 2018, she said, adding: “The aim of this Pride is to be as inclusive as possible, not only through attendance at the Pride but through management and volunteering, thus the slogan of the Pride for the people.”