We are here because we don't want to cook – Grannies awaiting Malay choir

2017-12-30 08:05
Fowzia Dollie, 60, and Jasmina Ismail, 63, in Cape Town’s Adderley Street on Friday afternoon (James de Villiers, News24)

Fowzia Dollie, 60, and Jasmina Ismail, 63, in Cape Town’s Adderley Street on Friday afternoon (James de Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town – "We are sitting here because we don't want to cook," says a laughing Fowzia Dollie, 60. 

Together with her best friend Jasmina Ismail, Dollie has been waiting in Cape Town's Adderley Street since Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the Cape Malay Choir march on Saturday evening.

"I enjoy being away from home. Not having to cook; not having to clean, you know."

Dressed in light blue dresses and intricate scarves, the two explain what brings them back to the same spot every year. 

They plan on sitting there until Tuesday for the annual Minstrel Parade or Tweede Nuwejaar. 

"We come every year – for as long as I can remember – we've been waiting days in advance for the choir," Ismail, 63, explains. 

"It’s our tradition – we love it."

The two grandmothers sleep in their car five metres from where they are sitting beneath an old oak tree, using a nearby store's restroom to change. 

Pointing towards the bright yellow tape which cordons off the bicycle lane, Dollie explains that the entire block, roughly 10 metres long, will be filled with 15 Gazabos by Saturday afternoon as their family makes their way from Strandfontein, roughly 30 minutes' drive away.

"We were the first ones to tape the area – the first ones – and now everyone does it. We started a trend," Dollie says with a big smile. "Three years ago and now everyone does it."

Ismail's eyes widen as she speaks: "This morning the cops came and we thought oe jinne here comes big trouble."

"They asked about the taped blocks and we explained to them. They just said 'oh' and walked away. My heart nearly stopped."

Tourists also stop to ask the two women what they are waiting for. 

"They are nice, most of them, asking and taking photos and such… They are good so long they don't use up our water," Ismail says laughing. 

The two quickly grab their purses to put on lipstick when asked to be photographed.   

"Jy moet ons mooi laat lyk, seuna [you have to make me look good, boy]," Dollie says in Afrikaans as puts on her dark sunglasses.

"Ek gaan mos nou 'famous' wees [I am going to be famous now] – make the photo worth it."

* The Cape Malay Choir Parade is set to start at 18:00 in Adderley Street.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  festive season  |  tourism  |  culture  |  good news

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