Mambaonline was there!
Africa’s first and largest LGBT Pride celebration, which took place at Zoo Lake Sports Club in Johannesburg, saw a record estimated 18,000 people turning out on Saturday to show that “We Are All African” in our sexual and gender diversity.
“We’re extremely happy with Saturday’s event,” said Joburg Pride Co-Chair Tanya Harford. “We believe that we delivered on our mandate to put on an event that serves the LGBT community, and that carries our message out to the media and public. Without all the people that took part, we don’t have a voice,” she said.
Kicking off at 10am, the festive Pride parade wound its way through the streets of Rosebank. The colourful procession – featuring marchers, floats and open top buses – brought traffic to a standstill as people lined the streets to watch the celebration.
The event, which received considerable media exposure, was held under the theme of “We Are All African” to highlight the deteriorating human rights landscape for LGBT people across Africa.
“The ‘We Are All African’ theme is a call for LGBT Africans to affirm and assert their African-ness. Sexual diversity is a normal aspect of the human spectrum and we want this to be accepted on the continent as part of its rich tapestry of cultural, religious, ethnic and linguistic diversity,” said Joburg Pride Co-Chair Zak Mbhele.
Following the parade’s return to Zoo Lake Sports Club, the celebrations continued until 6pm with live entertainment, featuring various local performers, deejays and drag shows. A highlight was a powerful sneak performance by award winning British pop-star Sonique, who later headlined the Official Joburg Pride After-party that night at the Standard Bank Arena.
Aside from the entertainment at Zoo Lake Sports Club, the daytime event also featured numerous stalls, bars, food stands, a kiddies’ play area and LGBT community organisations. OUT and Health4Men hosted their Pride Village and offered HIV testing, counselling and advice.
Joburg Pride Co-Chair Tanya Harford thanked the thousands who came out to celebrate Joburg Pride 2010, as well as the event’s sponsors and supporters: “We would like to thank DGB, SAB, ABI, OUT, Health4Men, 94.7, the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative, MJ Event Gear and Zoo Lake Sports Club. We’re also very grateful for the assistance of the Joburg Metro Police, the South African Police Service and Think Bike who marshalled the event.”