Die Kaapse Klopse
The Kaapse Klopse is a minstrel festival that takes place annually in the beginning of January in Cape Town. It is also referred to as Tweede Nuwe jaar (Second New Year), by local Capetonians. As many as 13000 minstrels took to the streets this year garbed in bright colours, either carrying colourful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments.
Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class Cape coloured families who have preserved the custom since the mid-19th century.
People consider the festival a right of renewal that has been shaped by the Cape’s history. The events that are associated with Klopse in the festive season include competitions for the Christmas Choirs, Cape Malay Choirs and Cape minstrel choirs.
Although it was called the Coon Carnival by the Klopse themselves, local authorities have renamed the festival the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival as foreign tourists find the term “coon” derogatory. Appart from the controversy, The Kaapes Klopse remains one on Cape Town’s proudest and definitely most colourful traditions.
© Photos: Armand Hough