Last weekend: freedom, solidarity and pride

Thank you to whoever thought of having our first democratic election at the end of April. It means that Freedom Day is celebrated close to May Day and by taking just a little bit of leave you can get a whole lot of time off.

We went to Knysna – four of us in my very small yellow car, very early in the morning on Friday. (Mfundi and Zik made their own way there). For six hours I drove, and Thabisa played at being DJ. At one point I briefly joined her in her seated dance moves – she shot me a look and grinned and said, “Don’t do that again”. It is true – white people can’t dance. My most over-used Xhosa phrase is “Andikwasi kujiva koba ndingumlungu!” (Do you know that song? By Quite A White Ou?)

The event was the Pink Loerie – a kind of three-day Pride.  The mardi gras was a bit disorganised, and I was a bit stressed, trying to take photographs and keep an eye on where my people were. I gave up in the end. Thabisa ended up carrying the flag with the celebs. When I eventually found her, she said, “Sorry darling, I was with my new friends from Cape Town – I do yoga now – ommmm”.

If you were keeping an eye on my twitter TL, you would have seen that on Friday night Thabisa came in the top three of the Ms Butch competition. I seriously think she was robbed. Her answer to the standard question about issues facing lesbians in South Africa was brilliant. She spoke about the Traditional Courts Bill – the only answer with some real content. And she was the best looking, and she downed the dumpy of cider the fastest!

We went clubbing on the Saturday night. Amazing what a difference a good DJ makes. Club Eden should take note. And a not-seedy outside area. And spaces where one can be away from the really loud music and have a conversation. I spent some of the evening trying to teach two lovely Afrikaans boys from Pretoria some Xhosa. In the end, all they managed to say was “Pumeza, jonga pezulu” (Pumeza, look up – an instruction to Pumeza to look up from the dance-floor to see her girlfriend waving from the mezzanine).

Sunday afternoon… a boat cruise to the famous Knysna Heads for Thabisa and Zikhona, a good natter and red wine in the car overlooking the lagoon for Mfundi and me. We didn’t ask what Cebisa and Andiswa did!

We stopped in Port Elizabeth on the way back – first to have lunch with friends, and then to see Cebisa’s mom briefly. We drove to KwaZakhele through New Brighton. I had never been to Port Elizabeth townships before. I was amazed by the solar panels on almost every house – part of a government project. Why not in East London?

The light was beautiful. I took a photograph for you. I love this province.

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