The Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association will be handling minstrel celebrations for the third year in a row. And if one takes into consideration what they have accomplished over the past two years, you know it’s going to be a smashing season ahead.
They have grown the carnival with subtle, yet effective, changes.
Last season they made their stance quite clear when they were challenged by the City of Cape Town, who at the time wanted to take charge of the carnival.
The KKKA stood firm, saying this carnival belongs to the people and can never be run by anybody other than the people themselves.
This was an important moment, because it said that our culture is safe in the hands of the KKKA.
The association also introduced a new feature to the Cape Town Street Parade when they created a golden circle on the Grand Parade and sold these coveted seats to the public.
Many people felt that this was just a money-making ploy by the KKKA, but for me it is a welcome addition that adds dignity and pizazz to what is in reality a world class event.
It is quite frustrating to think that every year we go to great lengths to dress up in satin and sequins and paint ourselves with glitter and goo, only to jol past a parade packed with Capetonians.
Yes, the intention is to entertain Cape Town but there is a bigger picture and that is to showcase our talent to the world.
I remember my first meeting with Muneeb Gambeno and Melvin Matthews of the KKKA and they were all about the bigger picture.
The intention of this board since day one was to catapult the carnival into the standard of the renowned Rio carnival.
Imagine you could watch the Rio carnival as a tourist for free every year.
That would be great, but I am done with giving our culture away for free in the 21st century. We are not stupid, there are highly educated people driving this culture now, and I can see this spectacular carnival becoming sustainable under the direction of this forward-thinking board.
They have also made improvements in the competition segment of the carnival, a case in point being the fantastic stage.
Gone are the days of singing on the ground on rostrom.
The KKKA gave us a stage with large screens on the side and it was very well received.
There were some complaints because it blocked some people’s view, but I’m sure this year the necessary changes to the layout will be made taking this into account.
They’ve also done away with the “super league”, where only the top teams competed. But if you look at the carnival now, the one with the most points gathered throughout the carnival, wins.
This teaches our klopse teams to be creative and competitive, thus making for an exhilarating competition.
The KKKA is new, innovative and fresh and I can’t wait to see what new surprises they have in store for us this year.
They also have an open door policy and already have new directors comprised from all the teams who joined them.
In so doing, they are showing they do not want to keep this culture to themselves; they are willing to share it all for the love of klops.
With that said, good luck to the KKKA for the season ahead.