July 13, 2024

A festival celebrating the culture, food and music of South Africa is set to take place on the Isle of Man for the first time.

About 1,200 people from the country currently live on the island.

Organiser Vanessa Naude said the event would give newcomers a “soft landing” and allow them to meet new people.

The festival is a collaboration between events company Isle Settle and the Isle of Man Chapter of the UK South African Chamber of Commerce.

Ms Naude said there had been a rise in interest from South African people looking to move to the island for work, which had been increased by the Manx government’s efforts to promote business link between the two nations.

Representatives from the government agency Finance Isle of Man, along with the chief minister, recently travelled to the country to strengthen those ties and highlight business opportunities.

Ms Naude said the timing of Saturday’s gathering at the Nunnery in Douglas was designed coincide the nation’s Heritage Weekend and was an opportunity for people to “come together for a celebration of the uniquely South African way of life”.

The idea behind the event was “helping people to integrate within the local South African community and the Manx community” because it “can be hard” for people when they first move to a new country, she added.

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