Once upon a time when the South Africa was suffering from the plague of Apartheid, i.e. discrimination against black skin people against the white skin people, there came on 19th June , 1890 Orpheus Myron McAdoo’s Virginia Jubilee Singers from the city of Hampton arrived to Cape Town, it was the first black minstrels to perform and tour South Africa. The reception held in there honor was overwhelming and the blacks of the city were giving pleasing smiles, there was aura of happiness around and air was filled with black people’s joy. This event became a legend as it started an historic event, a festival called Kaapse Klopse which has its meaning as clubs in Cape Dutch, or as in English, it is said as troupes.
Kaapse Klopes since then has become the Carnival face of Cape Town, as the festival is celebrated in the heart of Cape Town with all the Carnival feelings and atmosphere of festival. It’s celebrated every year as the day when year ends on New Year eve continuing in January. The spirit of Africa, its rich and vibrant culture is evident in Klopes Festival, as black people now color there faces white, dress up themselves in outlandish bright colors, and an umbrella or playing an array of musical instrument. It paved the way for blacks to enter into the music industry. Some 13,000 minstrels take part in the festival; these people are from good old Afrikaans speaking families, which mostly of these participants are middle class. They have successfully preserved the traditions and customs of mid 19th century and is the lighting hope for people around the world.
Kaapse Klopse festival
This gaily of colorful event has come from the dark times, at times when black people were just not humans but slaves, thus inspiring source of the event. It is one of electrifying festival which has evolved and changed with the passing time. To the world it is known as Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, also called Coon Carnival by Capetonians. Earlier it was a site when blacks used to display their grievances against the whites. It was a protest against indiscrimination, as people whited their faces and made fun of important local figures. It originally used to mark one day off for the black slaves, granted by their masters. But today this festival includes more events, as more festivities have become part of the festival with parades on street, as people sing and dance and have costume competition and marches through the streets. The parade takes place form Cape Town city center to Green Point. Though the Carnival has become commercialized, with some troupes having corporate sponsors, though there are still many who refuse it and remain sticklers to keep up the traditions and customs.
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
Kaapse Klopse is incredible and colorful spectacle, the exuberant revelers fill up the streets, with so much of entertainment and their cultural shows. And there is so much to eat and drink as the rows and rows of stalls are filled up with traditional food and drinks. You can be the part of parade or you can watch the parade from various points in the city. As the city is transferred into a palette of vibrant color, let’s enjoy the spirit of equality of humans with no discrimination on any basis. Let there be brotherhood and peace. And yes, the merriment, carnival time and enjoyment, just have fun.