Mzanzi Pride goes ahead despite loss of co-founder


mzansi_pride_goes_aheadDespite its co-founder reportedly “disappearing”, the inaugural Mzanzi Pride event has gone ahead this week.

The last few days have seen a workshop on transgendered communities, a movie screening and comedy and poetry being presented at Constitution Hill in Joburg.

The highlight, according to organisers, is set to be the Mzansi Pride march, festival and after party this Saturday.

Mzansi Pride was launched in September by Cino Shearer, a self proclaimed philanthropist and publicist. He and the organisers promised a week-long festival, supported by a raft of local celebrities, that would help “set up a sustainable development plan to help develop LGBTI people in rural areas.”

When questioned why yet another Pride event was needed in Johannesburg, Shearer said that it would be “a Southern African event, not just a South African event” that would bring together representatives from LGBTI communities in Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho.

Shearer also said that some of the funding for the event would come from his Cino Shearer Foundation.

Earlier this week, sources told Mambaonline that the organisers were in a panic after Shearer apparently “disappeared.”

When Mambaonline contacted co-founder and event organiser Yaya Mavundla, she confirmed that she could not get hold of Shearer but insisted that the event was still on track.

“It’s true. I don’t know why, maybe he had a lot of pressure,” she said about Shearer. Mavundla added: “With or without him, it’s happening. At this point I’m not going to bother with whether he comes or not.”

Mambaonline attempted to contact Shearer on the cell number provided by Mavundla and the cell number on his foundation’s website with no success. We left a message with a woman who answered the foundation’s landline, but Shearer has not returned our call.

According to Mavundla, the Miss Mzansi Pride pageant and a karaoke evening will take place on Friday at Constitution Hill from 6.30 pm.

She said that she expects around 5,000 people to attend Saturday’s event, which starts at 9.30am. The march will start at 10am and the post-march festivities will continue late into the night.

For more information, please contact Yaya Mavundla on 084 221 1917 or email

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