Buskers defy the odds

2020-03-19 06:00
Mfuleni buskers entertain commuters on the Mew Way off ramp on the N2. From left: Oscar Masemola and Charlton Ncube.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Mfuleni buskers entertain commuters on the Mew Way off ramp on the N2. From left: Oscar Masemola and Charlton Ncube.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Their job is to bring a smile or smiles to hundreds of motorists and commuters travelling into Khayelitsha daily after a day’s long work without shame.

Mfuleni buskers Oscar Masemola and Charlton Ncube are a popular sight to many using the Mew Way off-ramp on the N2 into Khayelitsha and Blue Downs.

Instead of depending on others to provide work for them, the pair paints their faces with a white paint and poses as statues almost every day to earn a living.

“We call ourselves statues. What we are doing is we paint ourselves and stand on the road with our cups. When a driver or a commuter gives us money we move and dance. People like our moves and always laugh at us,” said Masemola.

He said they paint themselves with water paint or silver paint to disguise. “When we wear suits we paint ourselves with a silver paint. But when we are in other clothes we use water paint,” said Masemola, adding that their dress code depends on their daily moods.

The duo began their trade in Kraaifontein in 2013. “When I arrived in Kraaifontein I met a guy known as Abrizi Chikanya from Zimbabwe, who was a musician. I joined his band as a backup vocalist and a dancer. But because the music business wasn’t going well he (Chikanya) came up with an idea of painting ourselves and becoming statues,” he said, adding that they used to entertain people at Kraaifontein taxi rank and at Long Street in the Cape Town CBD.

In November last year, Masemola moved to Extension 5 in Mfuleni where he met Ncube. They then decided to start a joint venture entertaining people in and around Cape Town. While a lot of effort generally goes into any form of entertainment, the pair said their trade is God-given and requires no practice. “We don’t practise our moves. We just do them,” said Ncube.

He said most of the time they perform at Long Street in Cape Town and in Tokai.

While to some the money that they make might seem little, the pair said it is enough to sustain themselves and their families. They are able to pay rent, buy groceries and support their families in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

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