This week’s episode of the Jive Culture Shock competition has been my favourite one to date, with both the Fairfield Tjommies and the Los Amigos bringing their all.
The Fairfield Tommies were first to take the stage with their stage production and although they used very few props, they had a really strong storyline.
They took us into the heart of Hanover Park and gave us insight into what they are faced with in their daily lives.
The plot of the show is what left the audience with knoppe innie keel.
It’s a raw Cape Flats story about gangsterism and drugs but it’s the commitment with which it was told that brought it home.
The actors came across as very original, none of them were acting but simply portraying people that they see every day and they brought them to life with ease.
One of the guys who was shot by a gangster high on tik ends up being the reason why his friends go in search of something better, which they find in Boeta Washief’s Tjommies.
It showcases the impact that this beautiful culture has on the youth in broken communities like Hanover Park, where being murdered by skollies happens so often, and it shows why it is important to keep the Kaapse Klopse alive.
The guys end up joining Tjommies and go on to compete in the carnival.
These are the types of stories that I believe will bring audiences back to the theatre when the coronavirus draws to an end.
It is also the kind of stories that don’t often get told on mainstream theatre stages and if they do, then usually the realness gets stripped away in order to make the characters more likeable or relatable because of some theatrical reasoning.
For me it was the heart that was put into the Tjommies’ show that made it memorable and it’s definitely a cultural performance that will be spoken of in years to come.
The Los Amigos came out guns blazing as well.
They had all the colours, the harmonies were beautiful, the use of props was phenomenal and the actors were easy on the eye.
Their story was all about the journey a Klopse team went on to win the carnival.
Lead actor Ghakeem Roman was brilliant with his comedic stylings and had the audience crying with laughter.
He also managed to embody just how much Klopse means to the owners of these troupes when, after the team leave the klopskamer the night before competition, he prays alone to the One above, promising to pray every day if he can just win the carnival tomorrow.
The choreography was breathtaking and the performers all pulled off every step to perfection.
Not a beat was missed, not a note was dropped and the overflow of humour made the Los Amigos seem untouchable.
It was a tough ask from the judges as both teams gave award-winning performances.
Los Amigos was like a brand new car you just drove off the floor, and Tjommies was that skedonk you keep fixing and never want to sell because you love it so much.
If it had been up to me, I would have given it to Tjommies because in theatre you can either make an audience laugh or cry and they did both.
But as in all competitions there is a set criteria and judges tend to follow it, so in the end Los Amigos ticked off more boxes and won the segment.
With that said, the standard has been set for the next teams, so get your ticket for this week’s section 3 of the Jive Culture Shock, and show your support for this beautiful culture that we all love.