January 09, 2009
Tweede Nuwe Jaar – a Cape Town Tourism Flickr photo essay
Having been born in Athlone and having spent just as much time in District Six and the Bo-Kaap I know the spirit of “the Coons”.
Everyone back then as children wanted to be part of the fun, songs and dancing and wear the colourful “Klopse gear” (minstrel costumes). Everyone went to Caledon Steet or Hanover Street in District Six to see the various troupes parade.
Upright “decent, God-fearing people” just did not join or belong to the “Klopse”. I nagged my father to ask his World War II buddy (whose son had a troupe) to accept me. This at the age of eight. I spent two years with the “Honolulu Darkies”.
This particular troupe, The Beach Boys, have been around for a number of years and have won many trophies and awards for their performances. I shot these photographs on New Year’s Day in Lawrence Road, Athlone, as I knew they always gathered there.
I hope this wonderful tradition survives.
Read more about the tradition of the Cape Minstrel Carnival in the attractions section of the Cape Town Tourism website.
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Images © Mervyn Hector 2009