A clash of cultures

IT WAS quite a hectic weekend of entertainment, ranging from the serious to the vain.

IT WAS quite a hectic weekend of entertainment, ranging from the serious to the vain.

It kind of gave one an insight into understanding how diverse we are, if looking at culture can be said to be a definition of who we are as a country.

I decided to hit the road and party, party very hard, attending a celebrity event, a book launch and a classical music event, all in one weekend.

Tired yes, confused by different signals as to where we stand as a country in what we consider to be priorities. I will explain.

My first port of call was Club INC in Braamfontein, a stylish venue for the happening in our society. It is the kind of club where you are required to part with big bucks just to be allowed in and spend your money.

And drinks at this joint are not for the average Tom, Dick or Harry. You need to be loaded.

On Friday it was packed with famous people that the media is fond of labelling celebrities.

Former Bongo Maffin members Stoan and Speedy, Bianca le Grange, Hlomla Dandala, Pam Andrews and Jamie Bartlett were there.

It was the launch of a product from Tropika, some kind of after-party of the big Zanzibar treat they gave a selected few people for the whole week, such as Khanyi Mbau, Kelly Khumalo and Trevor Noah.

Our guys take their celebrity status so seriously it is not funny. The walk, the talk and the dress say it out loud.

My second call of duty was on Sunday, first to the Massed Choir Festival, which was a different ballgame altogether.

This one was a mature audience that was there to listen to 450 voices do what they known best, sing.

It was great watching Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza perform their favourite tunes backed by an orchestra. The audience obliged, and here we are talking about a well-disciplined crowd where to cough would make you feel guilty.

ButNhlanhla seemed to struggle to sing alongside an orchestra. She was like a novice singing Mafikizolo tunes. The crowd responded superbly though, as they sang and danced along.

Then on the same Sunday, it was off to the launch of Nostalgic Waves of Soweto, a volume of poetry about Soweto 1976, well captured by eccentric and talented actor Bra Sol Rachilo.

Speaker after speaker applauded Bra Sol for his evocative piece about the tragedy of 1976. One could see that publisher Rose Francis was in a happy mood for having pulled this one off, prompting Muvhango producer Duma ka Ndlovu to pass an unkind comment about famous people we call celebrities.

"This kind of work is historic and calls for a need for many of us to occupy this space (recording our history), because if we don't, fools will do so," Ndlovu said

"Failure to tell our stories results in the media giving solace and coverage to half-naked little girls who have nothing to offer except their half-naked bodies because there are no people telling our stories,"