March 02, 2012
Spinsista Mitzi spins the decks for Cape Town Pride 2012 soundtrack
Spinsista Mitzi is a proud Capetonian, philanthropist, Club DJ and Cape Town ambassador. She also happens to be South Africa’s premier drag DJ, with accomplishments longer than her platforms and a wit sharper than her stilettos.
With pink fever about to infect the city, we spoke to her about Cape Town, being out and proud and what to expect this weekend at Cape Town Pride 2012.
What are your top pink spots in Cape Town and why?
I enjoy going to Amsterdam Action Bar, in the De Waterkant district. It has a great vibe and is a cosy bar for guys to meet, play some pool or simply enjoy reasonably priced drinks out on the balcony on a summer night. It is not pretentious, and has friendly staff and patrons!
What is your best-kept Capetonian secret?
Knowing where to find affordable take-away, but decent, food when I'm working and cannot find the time to cook, however, I always prefer my own cooking. I feel the same way about finding great fashion by fabulous local designers at reasonable prices.
What is the best compliment about Cape Town that you’ve heard from a visitor or local?
One compliment centred on the fact that you can get from point A to B at any time, day or night. Also, they are generally impressed that things, such as food, transport and clothing, are still pretty affordable compared with the world standard.
How does Cape Town inspire you?
I get inspired every day, everywhere I go, without knowing it initially. I pay attention to my surroundings, then without warning I've been inspired and I have a new idea.
You have climbed Table Mountain in drag for charity, tell us more about that.
It was for Reach for a Dream Foundation. It was something that came along that we knew we, my friends and I, had to do. It was a cold, wet day in Cape Town, and we had our own camera crew to document the event but we were running a bit late. We arrived after most of the women and some men had already reached the top. My friend Shirley climbed in high heels, and Marie and I completed the climb in flat shoes, but all in glorious drag. I was quite fast and climbed to the top in about an hour. However, the downfall to that was that while I waited for the rest of the crew to catch up, I almost froze! There I was, sitting, eating a sandwich on a rock, in a frock, in the rain! It rained so hard, one couldn't even see down to the city and the cable way was closed, but thankfully nobody was injured. It is certainly a day I will never forget, but definitely worth it.
You were voted South Africa’s favourite drag queen recently. What does that mean to you?
I felt absolutely honoured - there are many great “gurls” working really hard at it. The time, effort and money that goes into these things... It's definitely a good feeling to get a little bit of recognition as an artist, after so many years of work. There have been many changes over the years, and some ups and downs in this city I call home. It certainly has been a bumpy ride in parts and it is not always easy, but it's great to be able to do what you love with passion and hard work. To get a little credit – it just gives one a second breath for the next chapter I guess.
Cape Town hosts two major pink events, the Cape Town Pride Festival and Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) each year. What are your views on these events?
These events are pretty important on the gay and straight calendars. It brings together friends and strangers to unify towards the same common goal. To celebrate life, to raise awareness, visibility - a reminder of just how far we've come. But it is also just to have one hell of a party. MCQP gives you, as an artist, a great platform to show your skills, contribute what you have to offer and give it your best shot. Partygoers come from all over the world to participate and party - and again, seeing there's a different theme every year, it's a great way to unify people of different walks, sexual orientation, etc. through a simple concept of dressing up to party. Both these events also generate much-needed funds into our city. Keep it local, keep the money right here, we have more than enough artists and entertainers!
Speaking of Pride – what will be your involvement with pride this year? What can we look forward to?
You are getting a scoop! During the parade I will be DJ'ing on a unique (possibly a first for Cape Town Pride) float, with some good-looking guys flexing their muscles and busting the moves. I will have my own podium though. Also, I will be a DJ at the after party in the street in front of Amsterdam Bar.
You have released a special two-part podcast for Pride, tell us more about that.
I worked incredibly hard on this project. I usually find a concept - at least one a month - to keep the creative juices flowing, especially during the low season to keep busy and out of trouble. I knew I wanted to do the podcast with a Pride concept - to give the people of Cape Town a soundtrack to the day - but also for those friends far away who cannot make the day to experience a taste of what I would offer at Pride.
The podcast is also as a tribute to Bruno Bronn of Bronx who was murdered in his Sea Point apartment.
Due to it being Pride, I wanted to do my bit for the cause - to raise money for the Cape Town Pride shelter. I approached many businesses, people, organisations for sponsorship or donations and ended up raising R3 000!
Sometimes I finish a project, sit back and it just feels so right. I am so happy that I've accomplished what I had set out to do. I am happy I got to do this project and that it worked out in the end.
Catch Spinsista Mitzi at the Cape Town Pride Festival. It kicks off with a parade from Gallows Hill Traffic Department at 12pm, and ends with the Pride Village Fair Party after the parade in the gay quarter. You can also download the soundtrack to Pide 2012 here and here.