ORANJEFEEST 2015 ON HOUT BAY BEACH
Today was a colourful day on Hout Bay beach. The festivities were in aid of the day known as ‘ORANJEFEEST’ – a day festival inspired by the Dutch traditional King’s Day during which people dress up in orange colors. The idea is for people and families to gather together as a community to celebrate life by participating in various festivities including music, traditional games, fun sports, children’s activities and more.
Taking place Monday 27th April, ORANJEFEEST Cape Town coincides with South Africa’s Freedom Day and welcomes Capetonians and visitors from all origins and various walks of life to enjoy a day filled with loads of fun activities amidst orange pride.
Upon arrival, I was blown away by the spontaneity of the people. Everywhere to be seen, were people dressed in all different shades of orange. Some had wigs, others had the complete outfit, from hat to shoes, glasses, feathers and bows. I felt like I had been transported into a colourful kaleidoscope.
Part of the festivities included stalls selling all sorts, ranging from books, toys, clothing, African art and even a Dutch wagon had yummy goods for sale. The queue outside this particular shop never ended, as people wanted a little piece of something Dutch to tantalize their taste buds. There was even a very accomplished tattoo artist doing henna tattoos.
Halfway through the morning, a brass band in full swing, walked through the festival playing with great gusto. I had previously experienced them at the Bay Harbour Market and must say, when I saw the procession approaching, I felt exhilarated at the thought. The members range from young to old, all adding their unique part as a band and people just love them.
In the early afternoon, a group of spunky dancers walked up and broke out into synchronized dance moves – I could tell they were professionals, as they had all the right moves. Delightful cheer and clapping followed. Some of the audience and even a security guard joined in for extra fun.
A little background about this day – the idea originated in Netherlands and was known as Koninginnedag – the holiday was first observed on 31 August 1885 as Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heir to the Dutch throne. On her accession, the holiday acquired the name Koninginnedag.
Koningsdag is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt (“free market”), at which the Dutch sell their used items. It is also an opportunity for “orange madness” or oranjegekte, a kind of frenzy named for the national colour.’
Part of the line up included performances by The Rudimentals (S.A) – Reggae, Herman Bakker (Holland) – Jazz, Myrthe Buijs (Holland) – Classics, Sylvestre Kabassidi (Congo) – World music, Shanaaz Abrahams (S.A) – Pop, Ntaba Greenland (S.A) World music.
Didier Moestus did a superb job of introducing all the artists, as well as announcing all the details regarding the event and festivities throughout the day. Didier is a local DJ who travels in and around the country doing his thing and doing a superb job of it. He recently took part in the ‘Grand White Dinner’ where 6500 guests gathered at the Waterfall Polo Fields in Kyalami for a glam affair. Didier is co-founder of LA French Connection and a model for a local Cape Town agency.
To find out more about what he does, check out the website: http://www.lafrenchconnection.co.za/
Ntaba Greenland impressed us with his guitar skills and incredible voice. I stood rooted to the spot, not wanting to move an inch. Ntaba brought an instant smile to my face and a warm glow that filled my heart. In my mind’s eye, I imagined a cold winter’s night listening to this man with the golden voice. In my research, I found that Ntaba is a blind busker who works on the streets of Cape Town. Ntaba is busy recording his music – watch this space for more details.
Myrthe is based in Cape Town. Myrthe Buijs of Holland has an incredibly powerful voice and the thought entered my mind – why hadn’t I seen or heard of her before. From beginning to end Myrthe wowed us with her stage personality and beautiful sound. If you would like a treat, listen to this Dutch song that Myrthe sang. Myrthe has a passion for a large variety of music, from Smooth Jazz to Rock. I felt my arms break out in goosebumps with the sheer beauty thereof. Be prepared to be blown away -listen to her here: https://soundcloud.com/myrthe-buijs
Shanaaz Abrahams entertained from beginning to end. Her voice has a beautiful tone and reminds me of a piece of velvet – soft and beautiful. I could tell that Shanaaz was not a newcomer to a stage. Shanaaz comfortably sang to her heart’s content and showed it visibly for all to see. Young and old were enthralled by her stage personality. Watch her here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcZ-zgJkm3E
Herman Bakker rocked on piano showing us his marvellous skills as a Jazz pianist. He has performed at Jazz concerts in Holland and in Jazz Clubs in Rotterdam, Loosdrecht, Utrecht and South Africa. Living in Cape Town since 1992, Herman continues to play and do what he does best in and around the city. Herman had an accomplished drummer and bass player (boasting an upright bass – very impressive) join him. Check out this cool cat with his sax and captain’s hat.
Watch him on You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwe2m8zGkjI
The much anticipated moment was upon me and as the band took to the stage, I noticed people gathering around, as if they knew something great was about to happen. I could sense the excitement, as young and old spread out on the beach waiting for the band to kick off.
A tiny little toddler stood in awe in front of the stage; her face told the story.
The band has a powerful connection with the audience and from the very first moment people clapped and swayed in rhythm to their music.
The brass section of the band added a spice of their own, with sax and trombone. The band toured with UB40 in South Africa in July 2007. No small surprise, as their music is synonymous with the this great band’s sound.
The rest of the evening played out to perfection, as people gathered for the festivities of fun, music, food and dance.
A special mention must go to Dunes Beach Restaurant and Bar – check them out on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/duneshoutbay?fref=ts. The staff worked tirelessly to serve all the people that packed out the bar downstairs and upstairs as well as the restaurant. Did I forget to mention, they serve delicious salads and make a mean pizza. It was a lovely family outing. If you are keen to enjoy a day like this, make sure you don’t miss out next year; keep your eyes peeled for all event details for future on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OranjefeestCapetown?fref=ts
Watch the video to see what it is all about – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdg5yz_ZkxM