UKkasie

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An Afrikaans Arts Festival founded in London in 2001 by Maryna Blomerus. In July 2001 it was held in the Wembley Show Centre, in July 2002 at Stevenage outside of London, but in July 2003 returned to Wembley, sponsored by the KWV and Breytenbach's, a legal firm with offices in London. ****

The UKkasie festival was billed “The UKcasion for the Nation in the UK” and its target audience was the roughly 300,000 South Africans (of whom approximately 60% were Afrikaans speaking) living in London at the time. Although it was described as the first ever Afrikaans Arts Festival abroad, UKkasie was strictly speaking not an arts festival, but rather an Afrikaans cultural occasion, a get-together for homesick (mostly Afrikaans-speaking) South Africans living in England. Traditional South African cuisine was on offer and the entertainment provided was almost exclusively by Afrikaans performers. Some small productions were staged, but the main focus was on music, song and poetry readings. The Afrikaans language and culture were joyously celebrated and an attempt was even made to recognise that Afrikaans was not only the mother tongue of white Afrikaners, but of other cultural and ethnic groups as well: an Afrikaans speaking Kalahari Bushman, Dawid Kruiper, was invited as a guest speaker and the ex-premier of Mpumalanga, Mathews Phosa, gave a reading of his Afrikaans poetry. The headline acts, however, were by popular Afrikaans one-person performers like Patrick Mynhardt and Trix Pienaar, and singers like Karin Hougaard, Coenie de Villiers, Lucas Maree and Cutt Glas.

Since 2002 similar annual Afrikaans cultural festivals, mostly focused on festive celebration and the enjoyment of Afrikaans music, musical performers and culture, have been organised in Canada (called the KaNasie Festival) and New Zealand (called the KiwiNasie Festival).


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