by Thobeka Bhengu
On the 23rd of March 2019, Inkanyiso team attended the Free State Pride celebration under the theme “Our Pride, Our Lives” where hundreds of LGBTI+ youth gathered at Hoffman Square to march to the Visitor’ Information Centre, where the festivities continued into the afternoon.
The small crowd was welcomed to the pride celebration before Free State Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli delivered a message of support. The programme for the day had a jam-packed lineup that included amazing performances from Diamond Queens, Miss Tilly, Dirty Shakers, Miss Melody and many more. The lineup for the DJs had DJ Twin, DJ Khekhe, DJ Mesh and many more. In between performance Miss Free State Pride participants strutted their stuff in their casual wear, creative wear and evening wear.
The outstanding performances from various artists, dancers and entertainers made for a pleasurable afternoon. People started flocking in their numbers and by 16:00 the venue was packed but there was still enough space to move around, and it was completely safe with people laughing, mingling and dancing in their large and small groups of friends.
The atmosphere was warm and pleasant with so much excitement that crowds would flock in front of the stage when cheering for their favourite performers and Miss Free State Pride contestants. One of the exciting moments was the announcement of Miss Pride. An emotional former Miss Free State Pride delivered a touching speech about what holding this crown meant to her. The winners for the Miss Free State Pageant were Portia Mokatsane (2ndPrincess), Cindy Rotobane (1stPrincess) and Jessica Nqula as the newly crowned Miss Free State 2019 who accepted the crown from the former Miss Free State 2018 Mpho Moferi.