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December 21, 2008

Johnny Clegg rocks Kirstenbosch Gardens

Just another day in Cape Town. Thirty degrees, sipping pink champagne on rolling green lawns in the shadow of one of the most famous mountains in the world. Oh yes, did I mention we were watching Johnny Clegg at the same time?

Johnny Clegg concert photo

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a private viewing, but the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden manages to make a crowd of 5000 or so seem like a few hundred people.

And it might not have been your average teenage boy’s idea of a jol because most of those 5000-plus were moms, dads, grandparents and small children.

But the concert tonight was fantastic – one of the most beautiful settings you could ask for and good old Johnny Clegg (who must be approaching grandfather age himself) outdid himself once again in his admirable enthusiasm, energy and pure African spirit.

Within a couple of songs the entire crowd was dancing, most were singing, and picnic dinners and fold-out chairs were quickly abandoned in favour of raised arms, clenched fists and impi dancing.

The gardens are looking their best – green, lush and colourful – and my little three-year-old kept asking me what the wonderful smells were (she didn’t seem to accept my answer: fynbos).

The Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts are on at Kirstenbosch every Sunday from 17h30 to 18h30 until April 5, 2009.

It’s great to know that these events are accessible and affordable, at R80 a ticket. (See details on our events calendar for booking for future concerts.)

There’s nothing to make you feel more positive about this country and more inspired to take the “I am an African” stand than singing along to Impi, Spirit of the Great Heart, and Scatterlings of Africa. Just another day in the Mother City.

Pictures and video by Tiffany Turkington-Palmer. Visit Tiffany’s Flickr portfolio.

Johnny Clegg concert photo

Johnny Clegg concert photo

Johnny Clegg concert photo


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