KITING: The Cape Town International Kite Festival, October 26 and 27, 2019, Muizenberg.

A quarter of a century! Congrats to The Cape Town International Kite Festival which celebrates its 25th edition this weekend – October 26 and 27, 2019 on the grounds of Zandvlei Nature Reserve, Muizenberg (corner Axminster and The Row).

The festival, tagged with the theme, #LetHope Fly for 2019, is the flagship event for Cape Mental Health. It’s a fun day; a family day and an important day in raising awareness for the work of Cape Mental Health and an essential part of its fundraising. More on that below but first the details on the festival.

Kiters from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey and the UK will fly with our kiting community and kiters from our continent. There are workshops (ongoing through weekend) and activities for kidlets; food, entertainment (free), rides (additional; cost) and other diversions.

The Cape Town International Kite Festival: EVENT DETAILS 2019.

Address: Zandvlei Nature Reserve, Muizenberg (corner Axminster and The Row).

GPS: -34°05’59.7″S 18°28’20.9″E

Date and time: October 26 and 2, 2019- 10am to 6pm

Tickets: R40 and R15 for children (12 years and younger)

Book: Quicket South Africa or buy at the gate for. Online link 

Parking: In the area – streets of Muizies- car guards on duty as security detail but don’t leave stuff in cars ?.

Website: or call Cape Mental Health on 021 447 9040.

? Reflections on The Cape Town International Kite Festival

❇ The festival is the flagship event for Cape Mental Health and in addition to celebrating the art of flying kites (vooma, fun and creativity), it is a vital platform for Cape Mental Health’s fundraising and awareness programmes.

❇ In twenty years of covering this festival, the statistic that has been given is that around one in four people will deal will experience a meant issue at some point in life. That stat may be tweaked here and there and some believe that the number is higher and that one in three is a more realistic number. Never mind stats, the numbers are high. Reflect on that for a moment and think about people in your orbit who could do with a kind word of support or even a query about how they are doing.

Let Hope Fly is the theme of the 2019 The Cape Town International Kite Festival and ties in with Cape Mental Health’s annual October Mental Health Month campaign. The campaign this year is on “suicide awareness and prevention”.

❇ Dr Ingrid Daniels, director of Cape Mental Health and president-elect of the World Federation for Mental Health has noted that “self-harm and suicide rates on the rise” and that the organisation wants “to share a message of hope and encouragement.” She added: “Just as kiters use a line to keep hold of their kites, hope can be the line to life. Sometimes you may find hope inside yourself; at other times it may need to come from a friend, a loved one or a professional. The important thing is to hold on and not let go.”

❇ Sadly, many people say after a suicide that they had no idea that loved ones and colleagues were in crisis. There also seems to be increasing reports on “accidental overdoses” – people who presumably did not mean to overdose but took too much of a substance; or the substance interfaced with a medical condition or a substance was laced with a lethal additive. Impossible to audit. The deceased person is not here to tell the story. We can only surmise.

❇ As they say in the classics – be careful what you drink and what you pop into your mouth. There have been very sad stories in the last year. I know about a tragic story where a man was apparently “just fine”. Looking back and auditing the person’s life, there was no hint of what went wrong. No financial issues; zilch. Family, friends and colleagues were/are flummoxed. From the millennial generation, there are increasing stories of clubbing going wrong. Who knows if it was an “accidental” overdose or not.

❇ Mental Health is a silent killer and it’s our problem as a society to look out each for other. Sadly, it still tends to be pushed under the table under a veneer of “shame”. The festival is one of the most uplifting events that I have attended. It is wonderful to see people gathered together – from all demographics. Eye opening to see families who are coping with multi-pronged challenges – mental and physical and then they go out for the day and fly a kite and maybe feel lighter for a while.

❇ A shout-out to the over 300 volunteers who give up time to make this event happen and the months of planning and logistics. They have to worry about the weather (wind is needed but not too much and in the right direction etc.) and safety issues (avoidance of lines being tangled- can you imagine the safety regulations involved).

❇ Look out for The Cape Mental Health tent and make a donation – in addition to the entry fee which is priced low so that is accessible to as many as possible.