Minstrels unite society - Mthethwa

2015-01-18 07:42

Johannesburg - The annual Cape Town minstrels parade has a role to play in the construction of a united society, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Saturday.

"The minstrels have a significant role to play in the construction of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

The success of the project of nation building and social cohesion depends on you, the young generation," he said at the parade in Cape Town.

The parade was held three weeks late. It is traditionally held on 2 January, but this year it was postponed for religious reasons.

It was rescheduled for 5 January but the date was also postponed for logistical reasons.

It could not be held on 10 January as the date coincided with the ANC's 103rd birthday celebration at the Cape Town Stadium.

Mthethwa said the tweede nuwe jaar (second new year) street party has origins that reach back into the colonial era when slavery was rife.

"Local slaves - the ancestors of many of today's Cape minstrels - had only one day a year when they would dare to relax and let loose: 2 January when their masters were sleeping off the debauchery of New Year's parties the day before.

"Hence, this date took on great significance as an opportunity for revelry and wild self-expression, and was always marked with vibrant song and dance out in the streets."

Mthethwa said the minstrel traditions embodied the heritage and culture of the people of the Western Cape and was part and parcel of South African heritage.

"It represents the lived identities of the people from the slave era by echoing the sorrows and emotions of a people who lived in bondage, but were freed in their culture," the minister said.

"Our forebears have weathered the turbulent seas of colonialism, slavery, and apartheid and were never defeated by the many blows to their existence. The pride in their culture was never eroded."

He said the minstrel legacy has through generations given hope and restored sense of belonging amongst the people.

"It is time to recall that rich heritage and use it to heal the soul of our people," Mthethwa said.

"It is time to free our own minds and those of future generations by reclaiming our dignity and changing a culture of violence, neglect, depression and cultivate values that can provide a sound moral compass to our children."

  • Umlilo-HanifManjoo - 2015-01-18 08:32

    The 'minstrels' are overall descendants of the KhoiSan aborigines (we accept under clarification the term 'Coloured') and the Malays, who were the first ever resistance against white colonialism and wre also the first ever prisoners at Robben Island. Today, we, the so-callee Coloureds (and other black minorities) that were in the struggle for all are virtually marginalized and discriminated against. How often we heard 'not white enough then, not black enough now'? Is that a false card? No! Go to any Government department in Gauteng and see how many Coloureds / Indians are there. What of prospective, high-achieving students being denied entry to Wits (and other institutions)for medicine? The lack of service and adequate police control in historical 'Coloured' townships where drugs, gangsterism and crime are open season? Even the national chains where you see no Indian / Coloured; this, on the back of AA/EE. What is damning is that the majority of these black staff are 'permanent casuals' earning peanuts. Unfortunately, Minister Nathi, you and your corrupt, inefficient and mostly racist Government have placed a wedge between us blacks; worse than apartheid. 2016 will show you (and the DA which remains selectively silent on such blatant issues not to offend its black bridesmaid voting base), the First Nation will stand up as one united block! We will take on board all marginalized minorities for a different, trustable and honest future for all.... black, white and brown!

  • Neels Minnaar - 2015-01-18 08:35

    Culture minister? He doesn't even have agriculture.

  • Emone Nomore - 2015-01-18 09:20

    My comments keep getting removed. Is there a technical glitch or is it media restrictions??

  • Leighton Thomas - 2015-01-18 09:51

    Where can I read more about these ideas?

  • Marcelleno Trout - 2015-01-18 10:57

    Du Toit, please use the rational side of your brain before you comment, it's no secret that in the Western Cape (except for you of course) that the Minstrels support the DA. The DA could not rule the Western Cape without the colored vote, and in order to achieve that you need the support of the Minstrels.

  • Emone Nomore - 2015-01-18 11:05

    The ANC tried to cleane CT and the WC of "coloureds" a few years back in the name of social engineering, with regards to jobs etc. Now they want to praise the Minstrels and hope to score some points. People remember.

      michael.kleber.376 - 2015-01-18 15:30

      Minstrels unite while Zuma divides

  • Johns - 2015-01-18 19:17

    While the ANC devides society

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