The most predictable thing to start this article with would be to declare that geeks united this weekend at the annual Con.nect Convention in Port Elizabeth! Don’t be mistaken though there were absolutely more than a few self-proclaimed geeks in attendance at the two-day event. But what made it genuinely striking is the attendance of a swathe of different folks across all ages, backgrounds, and fandom affiliations.
This is what lies at the heart of fandom and Con.nect – the creation of a judgment free space where the passion for pop culture is celebrated and displayed to the enjoyment of all in attendance. It just so happens that while you’re enjoying saucy chicken nuggets from Foong’s food-truck and/or 100% vegan honeycomb there are plenty of stalls stacked with figures and Funkos and incredibly intricate handmade artwork, such as Ripley Catco, to browse to your heart’s content.
With a plethora of activities constantly entertaining con-goers from Parkour and Aikido displays to geek quizzes the Cosplay Masquerade on Saturday, and subsequent competition on Sunday, is a standout every year. Let it be known that the Eastern Cape, and Port Elizabeth specifically, has some seriously talented cosplayers in its midst. From MC Roland Gaspar’s impressively threatening Thanos to several incarnations of Harley Quinn it was clear that Port Elizabethans were reveling in the opportunity to demonstrate not only their fan passion but also their incredible attention to detail and creative dedication.
From the hectic nature of the ticket booth it is clear that Con.nect continues to grow in popularity year on year. The atmosphere too is one that oozes inclusivity and a heck of a lot of enthusiasm.