The Coronavirus pandemic has been with us for almost eight months and has changed our lives forever.
It is clear things will not go back to normal for a very long time. Mense, dinge is gechange.
This time of the year, Cape Town would begin to prepare for the Kaapse Klopse season.
Klopskamers would be buzzing with choirs and brass bands.
Supporters would be excited for the season ahead and particularly for the Cape Town Street Parade, which is the biggest street jol to go down in the Cape.
Facebook feeds would be filled with gwarra and klops base, revealing their new signings for the season.
Teams will be almost done with their items and coaches are just about to polish their acts.
This year, however, it’s all quiet and everyone is wondering what is going to happen. And that doubt is all because of Covid-19.
This is once again an indication of the negative financial impact that the virus has had on South Africans.
There are many who depend on the klops season as it is perhaps their only source of income for their families.
There are thousands of musicians who participate in the cultural phenomenon that is the Kaapse Klopse, laaities who earn money oppie pad for playing in the band; the lead singers of the troupes, soloists, male and female.
Then there are the coaches who could all be losing good income.
The klopse competition also takes place in January, which is financially the most difficult month of the year so for many that depend on the klopse to take place to feed their families.
There are security companies and sound companies who all lose out if the season does not happen.
People often frown upon the klopse and many will say that the money could be spent on better things.
But what about the artists who depend on carnival funding each year?
It does not look like the big competition will happen and many have accepted it.
I do, however, feel that perhaps a downsized version of the competition is possible.
Look at the soccer that is still taking place internationally without spectators in the stadiums.
So, too, can the carnival be staged with just the klopse in the stadium, being live-streamed out the public.
This is a tough time for our culture and it’s important that we all stand together and fight in order to keep it alive until the pandemic eventually passes or a vaccine is available.
There is enough expertise in the fraternity to make it happen and the support base of the competition is strong enough to make it sustainable, especially if it is live-streamed.
It will be a sad state of affairs if there is no competition this year because no matter what you feel towards the culture, it is an important part of what defines Cape Town.
What is a new year without the klopse?
With that said, it’s time to put our heads together and start working together.
We need to treat the culture as one big project, and not a competition.
It’s time for the fraternity to show that we all can stand together in the best interests of the culture and its survival.