It was a glamorous evening at the Athlone Civic Centre as the Cape Malay Choir Board hosted its annual draw and awards ceremony.
Almal was dressed to impress for the red carpet affair.
One can tell that the CMCB really put a lot of effort into the event; a red carpet led into the foyer where the coveted Koeffiyah trophy was on display.
There was definitely excitement in the air as people started taking selfies with the Silver Fez and old friends started socializing and reminiscing about the good old days.
Yes, it was almost like a reunion after all these years, as the Cape Malay Choir Board is also celebrating 80 years in existence.
As we entered the Athlone Civic hall it was beautifully draped and we felt as if we were inside a Persian restaurant.
It wasn’t long before we sat down, where we could nibble on a bowl of slangetjies, lekke watermelon and other sweet treats on the table as the entertainment kicked off.
On stage was MCs Maanie Davids, along with comedian Broetjie, Ghakeem Roman and Taskeen Toerien.
My favourite was the formal MC Boeta Amat Ismail, who was quite serious when he called up certain people by their nicknames.
Ek het lekke gelag vir Potjie Rol, and then he reckoned to the son of Potjie Rol, “Jy het dieselfde loep soes jou Pa, daai’s hoe hy sy noemnaam gekry het.”
There was also one moment when Boeta Amat had everyone in stitches when he announced that the Young Men is one of the first and, therefore, oldest teams on the board. Then someone shouted from the audience, ‘ons is 81 years old’, to which Boeta Amat quickly replied: “Is jy versieke? So jy’s ouer as die board?”
He reminded me in that moment why he was the last person to ever beat me in Moppie at the Malay Choirs; he is a natural comic and a true pioneer of the Cape Malay fraternity.
Many awards were handed out on the evening, but the most significant was when the President Award for Best Administrator went to Faiza Abrahams, the first female ever to receive it.
This was a historic moment for the Cape Malay fraternity, given that women can’t sing with a team on stage.
The award spoke volumes about the progressive approach which the CMCB is taking, and I believe we are slowly, but surely, heading in the right direction.
For me another highlight was the lekke food from the creamy chicken soup to the mutton curry and pepper steak all cooked up by YN Events. I even took a barakat home.
The night ended with the draw for the upcoming season, but before they announced the last teams for each section, Loukmaan Adams, who also started his career in the CMCB many years ago, closed off the entertainment in true Cape Town style with a live band and a ghoema beat klopping.
With that said, well done to the Cape Malay Choir Board on a well-planned and well executed event and for showcasing growth in the fraternity and also for honouring your troupes.
It goes a long way when one shows your appreciation like this and may the board continue to exist for another 80 years.