Patta & Meo's Colosseum at Kwaku Festival
Kwaku started in 1975 as a small-scale football tournament between the high-rise buildings of the Bijlmermeer. The then initiators, Chas Warning, Roy Groenberg alias Kaikusi, Guno Bakboord and Emile Esajas, paterfamilias of the famous "Esa Boys", thought that this would give the youth who could not go on holiday a pleasant summer. The name of the tournament soon reaches, via the “mofokorantie”, beyond the city limits. Football teams from all over the Netherlands travel to the bird meadow in the Bijlmer to enjoy the often exciting competition and meet each other while enjoying Nasi, Bloedworst and Telo. There was a lively trade in food and drink from the trunks of cars parked there.
Under the inspiring leadership of Winston Kout, Kwaku grew in the 1990s into the current mega happening that has become an integral part of the annual festive calendar. The Kwaku festival now not only offers more football as entertainment, but the event has also programmed a whole range of activities: music performances, sports, food, beauty pageants, the presentation of a literature prize, debates and lectures. But there is one constant; The famous Kwaku atmosphere that keeps the festival going, regardless of the increase in the number of festivals and regardless of the occasional bad weather.
The Kwaku Summer Festival is a grand celebration of cultural diversity and identity in the Zuidoost district, with culture, sports and food as the most important forms of expression and where broad (social) participation and the Surinamese origin are the most important pillars. Since 2008, the festival has added a Pink Sunday to their program as an initiative of the Surinamese LGBTQ+ activist, Mikel Hama and this has now grown into the largest black queer event in Europe
Patta and Meo’s Colosseum will be hosting a stand in Nelson Mandela Park for weekend so let us all unite and celebrate together. Head over to https://kwakufestival.nl/ to get your hands on tickets for one of the upcoming dates.