Malay culture celebrated in choir display

2015-04-30 14:44
Cape Malay culture is on display in the Foreshore, celebrating a century of Malay choirs.


Cape Malay culture is on display in the Foreshore, celebrating a century of Malay choirs. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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More than a century of culture has been captured in an exhibition celebrating the Cape Malay choirs.

The exhibition comes as the Cape Malay Choir Board celebrates 76 years.

Launched at the Naspers Building on the Foreshore, the exhibition includes the coveted “Silver Fez” – the trophy awarded to the winning choir – which has been in circulation since the 1940s.

The exhibition boasts photos taken over the years by photographer Yunus Mohamed as well as floats created by different choirs.

The floats started out as vehicles in the 1960s and 70s on which children performed the theme, explains Young Men choir master Abduraghmaan Morris.

Over time, the competitions moved to the Athlone stadium where it was decided the floats may damage the soccer pitch, he says.

“We started making mini-floats which stood on tables instead,” he says.

The detailed floats depict a range of scenes, from the Adderley Street flower sellers to labourers on wine farms.

Cape Malay choirs have been in existence since 1887, says Board chairperson Shafick April. Over 124 choirs have been affiliated to the board over the years.

There are currently 25 choirs registered with the board

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