The organizers of Cape Town’s annual Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrel Street Parade anticipate a vibrant and traditional spectacle this year. Over 20 troupes, consisting of thousands of members, are set to illuminate the City’s streets with song and dance, reflecting Cape Town’s rich heritage.
With the event just days away, dedicated seamstresses like Fatima Dulvie are diligently crafting costumes, ensuring everything is prepared on time.
Dulvie, with over thirty years in the “klopse” industry, views this work as a labour of love and a continuation of an age-old tradition passed down from her mother. Despite the long hours and stress, she finds fulfillment in the preparation for this cultural celebration.
“I grew up in this. It’s in me. Every year, I say I’m not going to work in it, I’m retiring every year. But when it comes to this time, I’m there first. It’s like it’s in you, man. People who grew up with this, it’s very hard to get out of your system. You look forward to this. I look forward to the klopse.”
The District Six Hanover Minstrel troupe, known for their punctuality, takes pride in opening the parade.
Kaapse Klopse Karnivaal parade organisers, Ziyaad Williams, emphasizes the historical significance of Tweede Nuwejaar, marking the day when slaves were set free to celebrate. He mentions that preparations for this event have been ongoing since April, involving the creation of costumes, setting up bands, and organizing dancers and singers.
“Basically, Tweede Nuwejaar is the day that slaves were set free to enjoy their day, and painting their faces. That’s why you still see the colorful faces. That comes from slavery time. But, yes, we are all wound up for Tweede Nuwejaar. Our preparations have been going on since April for Tweede Nuwejaar — costumes need to be made, bands need to be set up, dancers, singing, all of those things. But, yes, we are ready for the parade, which will be taking place on the second of January,” Williams explains.
The Tweede Nuwejaar street parade will be followed by the minstrel competition, where troupes will compete in various categories, showcasing their skills and celebrating their cultural heritage.
Source: SABC News