by Aneeqah Du Plessis
Thousands of performers all masked in painted faces, draped in sequined outfits, blasting sounds from their brass bands came together on the streets of Cape Town over the weekend in celebration of the “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” celebrations.
The Cape Town Street Parade that took place on Saturday the 4th January 2020 (out of respect for Jumuah that would have coincided with the revelry) was deemed a success by Muneeb Gambino, the director of the Kaapse Kloppse Karnival Association (KKKA).
Rows and rows of people had come out to view the carnival, some travelling as far as China to finally catch a glimpse of the minstrel troupes. A 30-something-year-old Tracey says that she is born and bred in Cape Town but finally took the time out to come and see what the fuss is about. “I’ve never seen this before and I’m 33 years old, so for me it’s fun!”
Some spectators had even set up camp several days before to make sure they had the best seat on the side walk.
Gambino said he believes that this years street parade had truly outdone itself.
“It was absolutely incident free. In my opinion the best Tweede Neewe Jaar celebration in many years. Certainly people enjoyed themselves. The improvement that we made to the carnival was visible and we are fairly satisfied that we delivered what we promised to the public.”
Over 30 minstrel troupes came out to show off their performance skills, bringing together all faiths, races, genders and ages. The Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato delivered a speech at the opening of the parade where he urged all spectators whether they be local or foreigners to enjoy themselves at the festivities.
“Let me use the opportunity to say to all of you a wonderful 2020. I’m looking forward to working with all of you like we have done in the past.” He asked the audience to be mindful and to ensure they work together with law enforcement to ensure the safety of everyone not just at the parade but for the whole of the city.
Complaints had come in of certain vices that were displayed at the event. Gambino explained that the KKKA have no hand outside of the events taking place within the parade.
“We don’t have any control of anything that happens beyond the formal footprint of the event.”
He continued by saying perhaps the parade can play its own role in deterring youngsters from partaking in unruly behavior.
“Perhaps the carnival can play a role in re-educating and redirecting people away from these scourges that we struggle with.”
Gambino also touched on the fact that complains were brought forward about the height of the fences that were erected toward upper Bo-Kaap and that it tainted the intimacy between the spectators and the troupes. “I’d rather err on the side of caution and deliver a safe and incident free event and sacrifice a bit of intimacy. ”
He ends off by saying that he owes a big thank you to the Klopse for performing “brilliantly well”.
Tickets for the Klopse competitions that will be held at the Athlone Stadium every Saturday up until mid-February can be purchased from Computicket. Prices range from R60-R90.
Children and Pensioners pay R35.