WATCH: Winds cut short International Kite Festival
The competition’s winner, Gerald Gelderbloem, 55, from Parkwood, said his kite’s rectangular design with the words “#Let Hope Fly” emblazoned on it was influenced by the slogan printed on this year’s Cape Mental Health sweaters for its volunteers.
“When I saw the slogan on the sweaters, it gave me the idea to make my box kite. Today there was too much wind and rain, but Saturday was ideal for kiting,” said Gelderbloem, who said he had been taught kite-making from the age of 8 by his father.
Runner-up Bobby Gathoo, 53, from Steenberg, said: “I’ve participated in this festival ever since its started 25 years ago. I was 5 when I made my first kite from a piece of A4 paper from an exercise book and role of cotton from my mother’s sewing box.”
Gathoo and Gelderbloem have been volunteers at Cape Mental Health for several years.
To keep spirits flying high despite the weather, Cape Mental Health announced the renaming of the festival’s Heritage Kite competition to The Ebrahim Sambo Heritage ‘Swaeltjie” (swallow) Kite Competition.
Sambo’s son, Rifaed, spoke of their family’s long history with the initiative. “We got involved here 15 years ago, when we came on a Saturday. When we got home my father made two swaeltjie kites that same night, and that’s how we built a relationship with the festival and Cape Mental Health.”
Cape Mental Health director Dr Ingrid Daniels said the festival aimed to raise awareness about mental health and much-needed funds for the organisation’s work in under-resourced communities.
Cape Mental Health deputy director Santie Terreblanche said: “Statistics tells us that every 40 seconds globally someone takes his or her own life. It’s such a loss of potential and loss of return on investment. Just think what those people could still have provided, sharing their talents and gifts with us. And it’s now lost forever. They leave behind a lot of trauma and tears. We want people to know that there is a lifeline, and that if they need help they need to reach out to that lifeline.”