The 25th Cape Mental Health International Kite Festival had one good day this year, raining out on Sunday.
This year’s theme was #LetHopeFly and was in support of suicide prevention and awareness.
The event is the Cape Mental Health’s major annual fund-raiser, and international and local kiters have the chance to show off their best works.
“With self-harm and suicide rates on the rise, we want to share a message of hope and encouragement,” said Dr Ingrid Daniels, director of Cape Mental Health and president-elect of the World Federation for Mental Health. “Just as kiters use a line to keep hold of their kites, hope can be the line to life. Sometimes you may find hope inside yourself; at other times, it may need to come from a friend, a loved one or a professional. The important thing is to hold on and not let go.”
Kommetjie kiter Philip Hattingh has the world’s longest arch kite, which is nearly a full kilometre long.
He was a guest at the International Kite Culture Forum in Weigang, China, where 10 000 kiters gathered in a space 80 times the size of Zandvlei to show off their kites.
Mr Hattingh said he had had the chance to fly this arch kite on both sides of the equator in one week – having flown it in China and then at AfrikaBurn when he returned.
He fell into kite-making 30 years ago and jokes that he still doesn’t have a “regular job” but loves every moment of this alternative life.
He is a trained Waldorf teacher and says kites are the perfect metaphor for learning all manner of things, including geography, physics and a little bit of magic.