From street to stadium

Members of the TV Stars minstrel troupe perform their Grand March Pass in the first round of this year’s KKKA Klopse competition at Athlone Stadium, on Saturday. This year’s opening round saw 15 teams strutting their stuff in front of a packed stadium. Picture: Fuad Esack

Minstrel troupes from across the city got the year off to a colourful start with the “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” street parade in the Cape Town CBD and Saturday’s opening round of the 2023 competition season, at Athlone Stadium.

The competition takes place each Saturday until the first week of February, with knock-out rounds determining the winners.

The troupes compete in these categories: A Grand March Pass, Klopse Jol, Best dressed Troupe and Senior and Junior Drum Major.

The first in two years, the Cape Town Street Parade took place in a sweltering hot Cape Town on Monday January 2, and “Tweede Nuwe Jaar” was celebrated as it should be, with about 20 000 minstrels and between 80 000 and 100 000 people filling the streets with colour, and the sounds of the Klopse.

Muneeb Gambeno, director of the organisers, the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA), says that about twenty troupes took part, and while the over 30 degrees Celcius heat was challenging, safety and security, as well as medical personnel, managed the day without serious incident.

He says: “We are thrilled that our people were able to come out and celebrate again after two years of no carnival. We look forward to growing the event further next year with the support of our other sponsors.”

JP Smith, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral committee member for safety and security, says: “It was a pleasure to see thousands of people in the streets of the CBD to celebrate the return of the Tweede Nuwe Jaar Parade, also known as the Hollywoodbets Cape Town Street Parade. This is an event with a historical significance in the past of this beautiful city and people who live here. I would like to congratulate the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association and its partners for putting together a wonderful event. I would also like to express gratitude to the City of Cape Town’s safety and security agencies, SAPS, the CCID and private security agencies for ensuring the event was executed safely. We look forward to hosting the minstrel parade again in 2024.”

Devin Heffer, brand and communications manager for Hollywoodbets, says: “This has been an incredible event to be a part of, to be able to invest in the infrastructure that an event of this magnitude requires, and to support the day itself. You just get blown away by the performers, the Ghoema drummers, the banjos, and the outfits with the sequins, the glitz and the glamour. Coming out of Covid and the two years without the Kaapse Klopse, for us to be able to assist to put on Cape Town’s, and Africa’s, greatest cultural event, has been very special.”

This excitement continued at the weekend, with all 15 troupes turning up at Athlone Stadium for the season opener.

The competition is split into two sections: Section one consists of seven troupes including Carnival Boys, Manenberg Superstars, Fabulous Woodstock Starlites, West London All Stars, Juvie Boy Entertainers, Baruch Entertainers and Cape Town Hawkers.

Section two brings you eight troupes in the form of D6 Raw, Ashwin Willemse Orient, Exquisite Golden Gate Hanover Original D6, TV Stars, Posh Vibrant, MP Young Tycoons and Playaz Inc.

Troupes from Section 1 will compete for top honours on Saturday January 14 and 28 while Section 2 troupes will battle it out against each other on Saturday January 21 and finally on Saturday February 4.

Tickets are available at Computicket starting at R30 each.

Watch our video:

Imtiyaaz Benjamin leads Manenberg’s Ashwin Willemse Orient during their Grand March Pass. Picture: Fuad Esack
Star athlete and international model, Mikhail Manasse, centre, from Hanover Park and a member of Ultra Athletics Club, pictured here with his Ashwin Willemse Orient troupe mates. Picture: Fuad Esack
Ashwin Willemse Orient marching coach, Gino Theyson, a teacher at Newfields Primary School, and the rest of the squad members looking dapper during their turn in front of the judges and crowd.
Saturday’s competition was all about putting your best foot forward in trying to woo the crowd and to impress the judges. Pictured here are members of the Original D6 Hanover Minstrels. Picture: Fuad Esack
Cape Town Hawkers troupe members came dressed to impress. Picture: Fuad Esack
Cape Town Hawkers “Voorlopertjies” warming up ahead of their team’s Grand March Pass. Picture: Fuad Esack
Eyes left…Cape Town Hawkers go through their paces with an attempt at military precision. Picture: Fuad Esack
Exquisite Golden Gate members living up to their name. Picture: Fuad Esack
Best Seat in the house… A young member of the Cape Town Hawkers minstrel troupe has the perfect vantage point during Saturday’s opening round of competition. Picture: Fuad Esack
Troop members on a break during Saturday’s proceedings at Athlone Stadium. Picture: Fuad Esack
A Baruch Entertainers “voorlopertjie” during last week’s Tweede Nuwe Jaar Street Parade in the CBD. Picture: Fuad Esack
An energetic Baruch “Voorlopertjie” displays his acrobatic skills during last week’s Street Parade
Although not up for any of the prizes on offer, the famous Atchas certainly did their bit to add to last week’s Klopse street spectacular in the city. Picture Fuad Esack
It’s all about the look, the style and the vibe for this Pensylvanians troupe member and the rest of the squad. Picture: Fuad Esack
Baruch Entertainers out and about in town during last week’s Tweede Nuwe Jaar Street Parade, from left Nicolas Africa, Faiz Abrahams, Ashraf Davids and Waseem Stuurman. Picture: Fuad Esack