Communities come together for a mass iftar to celebrate their shared humanity

The mass boeka is expected to see over 6 000 people united in Pelican Park on Saturday. Picture: Faizal Sayed

The mass boeka is expected to see over 6 000 people united in Pelican Park on Saturday. Picture: Faizal Sayed

Published Apr 6, 2023


Cape Town - As the holy month of Ramadaan reaches the halfway point, a mass iftar will be taking place in Cape Town for the second year in a row.

An iftar (the time Muslims break their fast) is colloquially known as a boeka.

Street boekas have been happening across Cape Town as is done every year during Ramadaan.

A street boeka will be held on Saturday, April 8, in New Horizons where more than 6 000 people from all races, ages and religious beliefs will unite to break bread.

One of the organisers for the mass boeka, Faizal Sayed. Picture: Faizal Sayed

According to organiser, TV talk show host and activist, Faizal Sayed, last year the street boeka fed more than 5 000 people at the sounding of the athaan (Islamic call to prayer).

“Following the huge success of the massive New Horizons Street Boeka in 2022, the initiative's organisers have announced that the second annual Street Boeka will happen on Saturday, April 8, 2023, at 6pm,” Sayed said.

The organisers also include councillor and advocate Shameemah Dollie Salie and community activist Fatima Morgan.

Street boeka last year saw over 5 000 people participating in the event. Picture: Faizal Sayed

“I recall seeing thousands of people coming from all over Cape Town last year to be a part of this by partaking in that which Ramadaan signifies. A time to share and expand on one's service to humanity and creation,” Sayed said.

According to Dollie Salie, New Horizons is located in the heart of Pelican Park which sees a high unemployment rate and substance abuse prevalence.

“Due to the need for unity and assistance, a seed was planted last year where for at least one day individuals of the area can look forward to a mass iftar where more than 5 000 people were fed. This year the community made repeated calls to the organisers for a repeat of the hugely successful initiative,” she said.

Fatima Morgan, who attends to the ground management processes, said the evening is a culmination of strategic partnerships where non-profit organisations, businesses, individuals and authorities work together to ensure all operations run smoothly.

“I know this year is going to be big as the interest has been phenomenal. Our strategic partners must be thanked for how they serve society in terms of their integrity, willingness, and ability to assist on this scale,” Morgan said.

The street boeka will cover areas of New Horizons, Pelican Park, and Eagle Park.

The event will be taking place between Tinkerbird, Turnstone, and Oystercatcher roads, New Horizons.

Donations are open to the public.

Organisers have opened an invitation to anyone wanting to join in on the momentous occasion.

Members of the public are welcomed to volunteer and serve the City's housing insecure at the Boeberaand Under the Bridge hosted on Thursday, April 6.

On Thursday evening, the annual Boeberaand Under the Bridge will be held.

Boeberaand (boeber night) occurs halfway during Ramadaan when boeber is made and shared.

Boeber is a Cape Malay sweet milk drink made with vermicelli, sago, sugar, and flavoured with cardamom, stick cinnamon, and rose water.

One of the organisers, Gasant Abarder has put out the call for volunteers to serve boeber to the housing insecure.

Abarder said while they have very generous sponsors, of which Gift of the Givers is a part, they will not just be distributing under the bridge.

“We are looking at 100 people under the bridge but then we are going to several other sites around the city where homeless people live,” he said.

A pot of akni is also to be shared.

Abarder said people from all faiths are welcomed to share in the tradition.

“Cape Town has a rich inter-faith tradition. It’s one of the strongest possibly in the world and it was led by none other than Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who first started embracing other faiths and looking at the common humanity among all of us.

“And it is certainly something I have advocated in Cape Town.

“People are very intrigued by Ramadaan, and iftar and I think the more we can expose people to our religion and our faith, the better.

“This is also a way for us to acknowledge the more vulnerable in our community. Look them in the eye, have a conversation, share a meal with them, and learn their stories,” Abarder said.

He said last year’s boeberaand was a success.

Boeberaand Under the Bridge will be held in Ebenezer Road in Green Point at 6pm.

Those attending are urged to bring along their salaah (prayer) mats and a bite to break their fast.

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