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There are plenty of activities planned through the year by the City, including sports, culture, art and entertainment, all leading to the Joburg Carnival in December.
A HOST of social, sports and cultural activities have been planned by Johannesburg this year to celebrate its heritage and citizens and firmly cement its ambition and status as a global host.

librariesWorld Book Day is celebrated at City librariesA series of JoLiFe Slam Poetry sessions, a competition in which poets recite original work which is judged by the audience, just ended at various schools around the city. The competition started on Tuesday, 15 March and wrapped on 23 March.
“Slam poetry is most appealing to young people because it allows freedom of expression and creativity,” says Jabu Nkosi, an executive in Joburg’s department of community development.

Sessions are spearheaded by Joburg’s library and information services. Schools and venues on the itinerary were Jabulile Secondary School, Pimville Library, Ponelopele Oracle High School and Florida Park High School.

Later in the month, the City will host Kids Olympics, at a venue still to be confirmed. At the games, children will participate in an assortment of sports, which will teach them appropriate life skills and more about healthy lifestyles. Regional teams will be selected from the competitors, which will go into the final stages of the Kiddies Olympic Games.

The exciting Soweto Tennis Open will start on 11 April, with the finals on 17 April, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Grounds in the Soweto suburb of Southwestern Jabavu. Joburg’s executive mayor, members of the mayoral committee and local councillors will attend the tournament.

African Literature Book Shop
On Friday, 29 April, Joburg’s library and information services will host an intercultural dialogue under the theme “Reading is as cool as social networking” at the African Literature Book Shop, 191 Louis Botha Avenue, in Orange Grove. The event is to celebrate World Book Day, “with special emphasis on reading,” comments Nkosi.

The Mayoral CupSoccer teams from all over Joburg vie for the Mayoral Cup each yearThe month of May will begin with an arts and culture event in Norwood, the Harambe Craft programme. It will be a “celebration of African unity through various crafts and exhibitions”, Nkosi notes. Budding crafters will also receive training.
Then, Joburg’s library and information services will host a Psyched 4 Science campaign in all regions, from 3 to 12 May. Psyched 4 Science is an annual campaign, held during National Science Week. It aims to promote science and technology, making use of libraries as an information source and tool to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Nkosi explains.

Through this campaign, Joburg’s library and information services gives youngsters the opportunity to discover and showcase their scientific abilities.

An African literature book fair will run from 25 to 27 May at the African Literature Book Shop in Orange Grove. It is aimed at promoting indigenous literature, languages and writers through book exhibitions, poetry sessions, storytelling sessions and discussions with authors of books and films.

The Mayoral Cup, organised by the department of sport and recreation, is also scheduled for May. It will be played at its traditional venue, the SAFA Simba Stadium in Pimville, Soweto. It is a mayoral legacy project and involves local soccer clubs around the city.

Africa Day, on Wednesday, 25 May, wraps up events for that month with a series of activities focusing on arts and crafts, dance, storytelling, poetry, music and debate. Festivities will be attended by the mayor, his mayoral committee members and some councillors.

This year marks the 48th anniversary of Africa Day, which has been observed annually on 25 May since 1963. It is designed to celebrate and acknowledge Africa’s rich and diverse history, heritage and cultures, and commemorates the establishment of the African Union.

Youth Month

Joy of JazzJoy of Jazz happens at various venues in NewtownJune is youth month and the focus will be on the CIT:Y Festival, an arts and culture competition tailored to support, expose and inspire students and educators in the creative industries through marketing their work. Almost 20 educational institutions specialising in dance, fine art, music, crafts, filmmaking, design and digital arts are billed to participate in the annual programme. This year, winners will receive bursaries to further their studies.
The annual 16 June commemorations will be held at the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, in Soweto. Joburg’s executive mayor is expected to give a keynote address to commemorate the events of 16 June 1976.

World Refugee Day will be observed four days later, on 20 June. The aim is to acknowledge the economic and social contribution refugees have made to Joburg.

The month of July will be dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s birthday celebrations, including Nelson Mandela Day initiatives. All regions will organise and host different activities to celebrate Mandela’s birthday.

Headlining Joburg’s cultural and musical events in the month of August will be the annual Joy of Jazz, at Mary Fitzgerald Square. The mayor is expected to attend.

The animated Arts Alive Festival will then run from 3 to 25 September at various venues across the city. Arts Alive is a huge, month-long party to which every Joburger is invited.

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, will be hosted in the latter part of September. It is recognised around the world by millions of people and marks Hindu New Year. It represents peace, harmony and the triumph of light over darkness. The festival is all inclusive of colour, creed and race.

As always, Diwali celebrations will be held at Mary Fitzgerald Square, in Newtown.

Joburg CarnivalThe annual Joburg Carnival ushers in the new yearThe annual OR Tambo South African Local Government Association Inter Municipal Games will be played on the West Rand this year. About 14 municipalities from across Gauteng will compete against each other, in paying homage to the late Oliver Tambo.
The games will be held at a date to be announced in November.

National Remembrance Sunday with its wreath-laying ceremony will again take place at The Cenotaph, on Harrison Street in the inner city, in November. It is held to commemorate the lives of soldiers who died in wars and conflicts. The theme is that of unity among military veterans. The event comprises a military parade, religious service and solemn wreath-laying service by the executive mayor, military veterans and others.

It marks Poppy Day, 11 November, and is held on the closest Sunday to that date.

The Johannesburg City Library will be officially opened on Tuesday, 15 November. A centenary celebration of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which partially funded the upgrading of the library, will be held.

The president of the corporation will attended the opening; other high-profile individuals are also expected, including the minister of arts and culture, the City’s mayor, councillors and members of the mayoral committee.

A Christmas lunch for elderly people will be hosted by the mayor in December and all regions will be involved. Every Child’s Birthday, also hosted by the mayor, will come a week after. It is held for Joburg’s orphans and vulnerable children.

The year will end on a high with a feast of colour, when the City hosts the Joburg Carnival on Saturday, 31 December.

But that’s not all. A host of other activities big and small are planned for the year, details of which will be released throughout the year.

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