A fabulous festival awaits young and old on the beautiful Paarl Mountain
The iconic Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s festival year kicks off on 28 and 29 February 2020 with a weekend of music, stories, children’s entertainment and a market on the pretty Paarl Mountain. There is also a fun walk, yoga, jazz and poetry class to ensure everyone enjoys celebrating one of Africa’s youngest languages. The multilingual, multicultural program will showcase Afrikaans in all its beautiful forms, reminding speakers and non-speakers of the unique, welcoming spirit of this plucky language.
Friday evening 28th, Akkedis Band’s Afrikaans rock, infused with African, reggae and blues sounds, gets everyone in the party mood. Hot on their heels, Die Heuwels Fantasties’ futuristic electronics are intertwined with subtle guitar elements and intelligent lyrics. Beverage and food stalls available; remember warm clothes and blankets.
Saturday, Leap Day, begins with a ’45 Minutes for Afrikaans’ fun walk during which participants can explore the beautiful fynbos-covered mountain slopes and unknown trails step by step. Those who complete it within 45 minutes receive gold medals, but numerous cash prizes are on offer for all participants. A food, arts and crafts market will cater to many needs, while ‘Green and Serene in the Green Gallery’ (the outdoor gallery between the tranquil granite rocks and olive groves where the works of emerging Afrikaans writers are exhibited) addresses deeper needs. The well-known wordsmith Diana Ferrus offers a master of poetry class for one and all, but for those who want to stretch their bodies more poetically, a yoga class is the Zen-est option.
In addition to the children’s playgrounds and outdoor games, energetic child-minders will keep the young ones out of harm’s way with a puppet show, face painting and more. This while the rest can listen to the classic sounds of Paarl Valley Eisteddfod’s talented musicians at the foot of the impressive, symbolically laden sculpture that recognises Afrikaans’s European, Southeast Asian and African roots.
The afternoon programme at 13:00 includes a short welcome by Jawaahier Pietersen, actor and singer, as well as Michael Jonas, director. Then Jaloersbokkies, as Kaaps as breyani and koesisters, like ghoema and winter rain, hops onto the stage. Next up is Vito Heyn, or V.I.T.O, with his first for Afrikaans. This young rapper from Namaqualand is a rising star thanks to his original indigenous Nam-Afrikaans lyrics and Bohemian style.
Elias P Nel, the ‘bek sonner brieke’ is the master storyteller who has everyone hanging on his every word with stories filled with bittersweet and exuberant humour. The Unknown Dance Crew follows him; armed with gloves and masks, this group of crazy theatrical dancers surprise their audiences time and time again with their unexpected, fast-paced performances tailored to original musical combinations.
And then Jak the Priest takes to the stage. Since his debut album, numerous number one hits, accolades, awards, nominations and successful albums have followed – listen why ‘Jak’ and ‘song sensation’ are usually mentioned in the same breath.
Another highlight of the day’s programme is the Jazz Concert in the Garden Theatre; the perfect soundtrack to a balmy late afternoon. Lungelo Motaung, or Lungi, is a popular artist at music venues and is praised for her vocal range, stage personality and interpretation of a wide variety of items. Next up is Ramon Alexander, a musical maestro who breathes new life into Cape jazz with original compositions and fingers that glide smoothly over the piano’s chords. Therefore, an unrivalled sunset dessert awaits on this leap day menu!
Tickets (R150/R70 for Friday and R80/R40 for Saturday) can be purchased in advance at the Taalmonument in Paarlberg, at the Taalmuseum in Paarl (021 872 3441/863 0543) and online via Computicket (www.computicket.co.za). For details on the 2020 festival programme, see www.taalmuseum.co.za/festival-programme-1975-2020/
The Taalmonument manages, among other things, a literacy project, ‘adopted’ a school in honour of Nelson Mandela and sponsors free transport to the monument. By simply attending the festival events, guests support the outreach programs, so a big ‘Baie dankie!’ in advance. Guests are also encouraged to donate a new or second hand children’s book to the Visitor Centre in support of the ‘Let’s Read!’ project.
For more information on all the other events, apart from the 2020 celebrations, at the Taalmonument, call 021 863 0543/4809, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook. Annual permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family, which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.