Know your minstrels

Know your minstrels

SUDDEN DEATH: Suleiman Solly Abrahams of D6

D6 lose veteran minstrel Suleiman “Solly” Abrahams.

These last few days have been such a Klopse whirlwind for me – my head is still spinning.

On Saturday night at the D6 Entertainers High Tea, everyone was in high spirits when the announcement of the new sponsor and partnership was announced by Gasant Abarder from Independent Newspapers.

The troupe would now be called the Cape Argus D6 Entertainers.

It was an amazing, alcohol-free event (contrary to what some believe – not all Klopse are dronkies) attended by over 700 people.

Unfortunately, for all at D6 Entertainers and the entire minstrel fraternity, it will now be remembered for a completely different reason.

The “face” of the Cape Argus D6 Entertainers, Suleiman “Solly” Abrahams, passed away at the end of the night.

The D6 family all gathered at the hospital and the stunned silence and falling tears spoke volumes.

Solly was an amazing entertainer. He had a very unique, laidback style of Klopse dance and his one of a kind uniforms always made him stand out.

But besides being a super-klops, Solly was also an amazing person who worked to uplift his beloved Bo-Kaap community and adored his rugby team, SK Walmers.

He was a man with a a beautiful character who was loved by all – and he will be sorely missed.

And it is in this context that I am so incredibly peeved off at the negative associations made by some, regarding to a shooting incident which took place in Wale Street on Sunday night.

Four troupes did a back march through Bo-Kaap and it was buzzing!

Anyone who has any true knowledge of the Cape Flats knows that the gang violence has flared up in Manenberg and Hanover Park again.

Sadly, this spilt over into the very peaceful road march.

A man was fatally shot at around 10pm in Wale Street. He was not wearing a minstrel uniform.

He was not wearing a troupe tracksuit. He was not jolling with a troupe – because he was NOT a troupe member.

If he had been shot at on the sidelines as he watched the Cape Town Carnival parade on the Fan Walk in Green Point, would he have been reported as being a member of this event?

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association released a media statement making it clear that they distance themselves from this incident and pledged to work with authorities to keep their Klopse members and supporters safe this festive season.

Everyone is in agreement that gangsters and criminals should NOT be allowed to use the Klopse gatherings as a cover for their activities.

That being said, everybody on the Cape Flats is well aware that this particular incident on Sunday night has direct links to gang activity and is NOT Klops-related.

The CTMCA sent in detailed fencing, security and event plans to the City of Cape Town for a permit for Sunday’s back march.

For whatever reasons, the permit was denied and thus the march has been deemed illegal. So be it.

But do you now condemn an entire community for paperwork which was faulty? Do we really not have bigger issues? Can we not rather spend state and SAPS resources on tackling the gangsterism, violence and drug problems in our communities?

People are FAR less fearful of the Klopse in Wale Street than they are in their own homes on the Flats.

There are many who love the Klopse – who are not gangsters and criminals!

By continuously, purposefully making these negative associations between the minstrels, gangsters, violence and crime, you tarnish the memory of the wonderful Klopse people who have passed on – and that is not fair.

Please do not let your ignorance continue to negatively taint us. Our Cape Town culture ROCKS!

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