Ekurhuleni Pride 2023 to paint Springs pink in queer celebration


The 16th annual Ekurhuleni Pride will take place in Springs on 9 September 2023 as a celebration of LGBTIQ+ identity, joy and achievements.

The event will bring together communities, families, NGOs, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders and healers, and the LGBTIQ+ community in and around the Ekurhuleni municipal region.

The organisers are hosting the march in Springs this year to bridge the race divide that they say is often seen in township Prides and to also welcome queer foreign nationals who live in Springs, where numerous hate crimes are reported.

“It is a reminder that homosexuality and being transgender and queer is not a crime in South Africa. This is something other African countries need to accept,” asserts Ntsupe Mohapi, founder of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee (EPOC).

“We also want to bridge the classism that we often face in queer spaces, we want to remind all class groups that we are one and that in many different ways, we still face similar struggles and challenges,” says Mohapi.

The Ekurhuleni region has experienced some of the worst cases of gender-based violence and murders of LGBTIQ+ people in Gauteng Province. The organisers point out that the lived realities of members of the LGBTIQ+ community are in stark contrast to the South African Constitution, which protects their rights and their sexual orientations and gender identities.

Despite this, many LGBTIQ+ individuals continue to be terrorised in their homes, places of worship, workplaces and communities at large.

The first Ekurhuleni Pride took place in 2008 after the murders of Eudy Simelane and Girly Nkosi as a platform to raise awareness about hate crimes on the streets of Kwa-Thema. Over the years, the march has rotated around Ekurhuleni townships like Tsakane, Vosloorus, Germiston, Daveyton and Wattville.

This year, however, Ekurhuleni Pride will be more celebratory, complete with a festival and the traditional march reimagined as a parade.

“We have fought and protested in the past and for a change we want to have a celebration of who we are, of our Constitution, of civil unions, of coming out and all the other positives that we experience. We will be having queer DJs, celebrities, MCs, guests and organisations, and we literally intend on painting Springs pink!” Mohapi says.

“Through this year’s Pride we aim to unite the LGBTIQ+ community and the Ekurhuleni community at large, be visible and celebrate our diversity,” Mohapi adds.

Performers and celebrities set to take part in the festivities include Lebo Molax Ft Boys in Heels, Ms Party, Lasizwe, DJ Maphorisa, DJ Nomfleek and Kyotic.

All members of the LGBTIQ+ community, members of the community of Ekurhuleni, civil society organisations, government departments, queer celebrities, and mobile clinics are invited to participate in this year’s event.

Details of Ekurhuleni Pride 2023:

  • Venue: Zig Zag, Springs, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. Free entry to venue
  • Parade: Springs town to Zig Zag (Parade will start at Springs Hotel on 1st Street) at 09:00
  • Dress code: Rainbow colours, pink, feathers, flamboyance
  • NB: No cooler boxes are allowed into the venue. Food and drink will be on sale.

For more information email Ntsupe21@gmail.com or epoclgbti@gmail.com.

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