Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An interesting... change has already come

I live in oddly the most racist city in South Africa, but also boasting some of the most chilled subjects when it comes to race integration. This utter anomaly that is Cape Town was on full display at Assembly just off Buitenkant Street last night. Freshlyground launched their new album there, so there were a lot of black folks in the place ("a lot" being relative - probably 80% white and 20% black - more than you see in the average Cape Town establishment). I only arrived afterwards when Freshlyground had gone and some odd, yet interesting, Eastern European dancy music was playing.

After about an hour, people began dribbling out and it got to a point where there were only about 60 of us left there - the averages were now probably around half black folks and half white folks.I was drinking so my maths may be off.

The DJ eventually got over his Eastern European obsession, and started pumping out some local tunes. And we danced to a few of them. Out of the blue, he started playing Vuli Ndlela by Brenda Fassie, and simultaneously, the dancefloor all became excitable. I shrieked like an excited schoolgirl because it is one of my favourite songs, and then I realised that my friend's new boyfriend was also amped that it had come on. It is not often I come across other white folks that know any Brenda Fassie songs, let alone are able to sing along with them phonetically (I know it's lame - I have fokol idea of what the song is about, but I know how the words sound, so I sing along).

Straight after Vuli Ndleda the DJ played Weekend Special (also Brenda Fassie) and the mood on the dancefloor carried on. Now, I have no co-ordination whatsoever, and it is just not a nice thing to look at when I begin throwing myself around during a song. I can't dance to save my goddam life, but what I lack in ability I make up for in effort and enthusiasm. And my enthusiasm was directed to some like organised dance movement thing by other people - we threw ourselves in and tried to copy (some more successfully than me) and all danced together.

Yup, the white folks and the black folks and the coloured folks and old folks and young folks and gay folks and breeder folks all danced together. If Nelson Mandela had seen it he would have orgasmed.

South African folks, dancing together, to classic South African music.

Really, this divisive shit we like to espouse all day gets over-ridden by what happens when we all get together with a few drinks and some tunes and just fucking chill.

Christ, I love living in this country.

If you go out looking for some happiness here, you'll find it. Easily.


al mackay said...

What an awesome night that was. If I could figure out the name of that spontaneous line dance I'd be going for lessons tomorrow. Bus shelter? Diski?

Mid-Thirty Misfit said...

Simon, interesting that you should mention all creeds and breeds in this post. Another white, gay mate of mine absolutely adores this song - the more sherry we drink, the louder he sings along. One night we got somewhat toasted and ended up "langarm'ing" to this very song. I have no clue what it's about, but I know that there is always some good memory to be made when it's on.