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Growing annual Afropunk festival a unique, worthwhile experience

Sneakers sinking into the mud and palazzo pants getting heavier because of the intermittent rain during the Afropunk festival couldn’t stop revellers from turning up at Constitution Hill on December 30 and 31.

Youth came in their hundreds to attend the second consecutive urban youth festival. The mood was electric; giddy people dressed in fantastical costumes and fashions posed for images everywhere.

The festival, billed as an all-inclusive celebration of all things black, returned looking slightly different than the previous year. Brands had a bigger piece of the pie with Budweiser constructing a lengthy double-storey deck and an enclosed VIP area with seating and a basement where revellers could look at artwork, hide from the downpour and dance their hearts out.

The audience was treated to energy-filled sets from various international and local artists. Moonchild Sanelly enthralled the crowds with her sex-kitten ways dressed in fishnet stockings and bathing suit, holding a stuffed pink panther and sporting her signature blue ‘hair-do’.

She vibed so well with the crowd that she jumped off stage and opened a dance circle to the delight of her fans. Another electric performance was by group BCUC, an afro rock psychedelic mixture that made you want to jump up and down as their music cascades down your bones.

The closing act on December 30 was none other than Kathlehong’s very own Kwesta. He performed with a live band and had fans wailing in unison with his guitarist.

Another thing to experience at the festival was the Home of Martell Experience. We were treated to a three-course meal paired with various Martell blends. The menu was created by MangerManje owner and head chef Hardy McQueen.

The H.O.M.E experience boasted a games arcade, a rooftop deck where we had lunch with a stunning view of the stage and a graffiti wall.

On the second day of the festival, the rain came down stronger but so did the crowd. Better attired in Wellington boots, warmer clothing and raincoats, the audience danced their way through the night into the New Year.

As fun as it was to get a total leg workout while dancing in the mud, the festival organisers could maybe try an irrigation solution instead of the hay that was thrown on the ground in an attempt to control the mud situation.

It's the second year of the festival in the country and December is rainy season in SA.

However, it was a truly unique experience to do the countdown with DJ Kaytranada and watch The Internet slowly settle us into the New Year.

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