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Macufe festival bounces back

Staff Reporter

The Free State’s popular arts and music event, the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe), is back after being put on hold for the past two years as the province battled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Sisi Ntombela announced the return of the festival on Monday as she delivered her State of the Province Address.

“We are excited that our international festival, Macufe, will return this year after it was stopped in 2020 after the outbreak of COVID19,” she said.

Macufe, established by the provincial government in 1997, is one of the largest festivals in Africa.

It showcases arts, culture and various sport disciplines and normally takes place every October in Bloemfontein.

In her address, the premier also revealed the Free State provincial government had extended some grants to local artists and athletes to help alleviate their challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sport, arts and culture defines the essence of who we are. We will still use these sectors to inspire and celebrate our diversity,” Ntombela said.

“Having witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industry, 692 artists received R5 000 each as part of the COVID-19 relief fund.

“Three hundred and forty-two athletes also received R8 000 each as part of this relief intervention measure.”

She added that her government’s efforts to deliver cultural value will be strengthened through the construction and renovation of indoor sport centres in Dinoheng, Smithfield and Frankfort; arts centres/satellite studios in Fezile Dabi, Lejweleputswa and Thaba Nchu; Basotho Cultural Village; and community libraries in Tumahole, Cornelia, Bluegumbusch and Van Standensrus.

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