Freddie the Lion, an eye-catching life-size lion statue designed in the guise of rock legend Freddie Mercury, the iconic frontman of Queen, has arrived in Cape Town. Following an epic voyage by ship from the UK, Freddie has arrived to take part in the spectacular ‘Pride of Cape Town’ event later this week.
The impressive fibreglass Freddie Mercury ‘lookalike’, painted in Freddie’s iconic Live Aid white and yellow striped jacket and trousers, will become part of a pride of 30 lion statues taking to the V&A Waterfront in aid of international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation this Saturday.
Before his departure for sunny Cape Town, Freddie the Lion attended the ‘Freddie For a Day’ event at the world famous Savoy hotel in London, where he was pictured with celebrity friends including Queen’s legendary guitarist Brian May and music icon Tom Jones, all wishing him a fond farewell before setting off for South Africa.
Pride of Cape Town was officially launched last year by Brian May, singing sensation Kerry Ellis and star of the classic film ‘Born Free’, Virginia McKenna, at a lavish event at the Grand Café and Beach in Granger Bay.
Brian May said, “It's good to see this maginificent and unique Mercurial lion, as a reminder of the great legacy left by Freddie, and to know that it will make a great contribution to saving Lions in Africa."
Kerry Ellis said, ”I think the Freddie Lion will be a real show stopper! Pride of Cape Town is going to be a fabulous showcase for some great art and a fantastic way for people to learn more about the desperate plight of wild lions.”
With Freddie creating quite a buzz, the excitement is building ahead of the lions taking to the streets on Saturday. There are still exciting sponsorship opportunities available and numerous businesses are getting involved in the project including leading companies such as Shamwari Game Reserve, Staedtler, Chitwa Chitwa and Lions Club International and Land Rover. Born Free have advised companies that there is still time to get on board with sponsorship opportunities available to become a part of this amazing spectacle, the first of its kind in South Africa.
All proceeds from the sale of the lions will go towards Born Free’s work to protect and conserve wild lions. Lion numbers have dropped dramatically in recent years due to persecution, loss of habitat and unsustainable trophy-hunting. Their position has never been more perilous and today there may be as few as 25,000 left across the entire continent. The Born Free Foundation already has long-established links with South Africa and operates Big Cat Rescue and Education Centres at the prestigious Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, as well as working in the field across the continent to stop the persecution of lions in their natural habitat.
For more information on the Pride of Cape Town, visit www.prideofcapetown.com