Minstrel-lovers can expect a caravansary of colour, sequins, song, drumbeats and dance as the Kaapse Klopse bursts onto Cape Town’s streets on Friday. The Tweede Nuwe Jaar carnival will start from Hanover Street in District Six and head towards the City Hall, where they will march in a horse-shoe shape onto the Grand Parade and back onto Darling Street. They continue up Darling Street into Adderley Street, up Wale Street to Rose Street in the Bo-Kaap. Crowds line the streets along the full route to experience the colourful musical spectacle.
Before the troupes march past, entertainment will be provided on a stage on the Grand Parade in front of City Hall from 12h00. There will be an opening ceremony at around 1pm, with an address by the Mayor of Cape Town, and celebrations will continue up until 10pm.
This year, the event has been moved to 4 January (tomorrow) out of respect for Jum’ah, which coincided with the sunset on the traditional date 2 January.
Muneeb Gambino, director of the Kaapse Kloppse Karnival Association (KKKA) said it is all systems go for tomorrows event.
“We’re busy setting up, as we speak, and we are preparing for what should be a very good carnival. It is now up to the people to come down and support the klopse”.
The parade comprises of various minstrel troupes, each of them playing their own song in their own style and for the audience. Gambino said all teams should be performing on Saturday as the carnival is an all-inclusive parade.
“All teams in the Western Cape should be on show. The carnival is an open event and it’s free,” said Gambino.
Asked about complaints regarding the long wait in between the acts, he explained that the troupes are spread out so that each performance happens separately and that the sound of one band doesn’t drown out the other. There is also a strict formation to each troupe, with non-instrument playing members called “voorlopertjies” leading the way with elaborate dance moves while the band follows them, providing the soundtrack.
There are two aspects to the carnival; the road march and the competition. The competition takes place at the Athlone Stadium every Saturday for about seven weeks. Troupes are judged on various aspects such as best dressed, best choir, best band and the grand finale is set to take place on the 15th February where the winners will be awarded.
There has been some concern from stadium spectators of a price increase but they were reassured by Gambino that the only real hefty spike would be to the patrons that wish to reserve seats.
“The general access tickets have gone from R50, or R55 to R60. That’s either a R10 or a R5 increase from last year, and prior to that the prices were stagnant,” he explained.
“What we’ve done is, we’ve blocked out 1000 out of the 24 000 seats available at the Athlone Stadium and we have designated that grandstand VIP tickets and we’ve priced that at R90.”
Finally, Gambino says he wants the public to understand that both the road march and the stadium event comes at a massive cost and that their funding even with sponsors does not match their expenditure. At the end of the carnival season they “dig deep” into their pockets to cover the costs of the carnival.
But what can be assured is that the entire Cape Town and Cape Flats will be abuzz with the revelry tomorrow. The public is urged to come down to the CBD and enjoy the last of the festivities until midnight tomorrow evening.
See the road closures here: