Imbizo restaurant hosts heritage celebrations every year on the 24th of September and has been doing so for quite a number of years. This year I was invited to be part of the celebrations.
The event started at midday, I arrived when people where finalising preparations. Tables were decorated with beautiful statues of women wearing traditional outfits and head wraps. Usually, you get a red carpet in events, but on this occasion, the carpet was interestingly black. The buffet area was decorated with earthy colours and traditional items such as calabashes (amaselwa). Local people started early to order their food and drinks. However, some of these early birds were not dressed up as specified in the invitation: traditional outfits.
The first performance was by a dance group called Amatshitshi. The group is comprised of young girls and boys in their traditional outfits complemented by an array of beadwork. The young dancers set the stage alight with their energetic and lively performance. The dance choreographers were also dressed up in their traditional Zulu outfits cheering and guiding the young dancers.
Next on stage was the Tswelopele kebaTswana Dancers, a group of teenagers and young adults. They were dressed up in the brown animal skin outfits. They are brilliant performers and know how to keep their audience entertained by bringing up their personalities on stage. Traditional dancing doesn’t get better than the Tswana traditional dance. The dancing makes people of Africa proud to be Africans. Isicathamiya group performed well too and was followed by a young group of gumboot dancers. Wow, those kids took me back to my childhood days.
I’m sure you are dying to get to the food part….
Imbizo restaurant is known for selling meat. It is braaied for you as you wait and enjoy your drinks. The waiters then bring your food to your table. On this occasion, there was also a buffet option consisting of traditional foods. Some of the buffet items you’ve seen on the blog (proud moment) such as isithwalaphishi, pap, samp and beans, stews, indigenous chicken, mopane worms, tripe etc. One had a choice between a buffet and the usual buy and braai. After all, it was braai day.
TV personalities such as Sechaba (gospel singer) and Rantebeng Makapan aka Thomas Mashaba from Generations were there. I got a chance to take a picture with the latter. He dressed up in his traditional outfit and complemented the outfit with a traditional stick (thobane/ umnqayi / kierrie), looking all swag and handsome. He was among the very few men dressed in traditional outfits and he made it look so hot – just to prove that sexy and traditional can go hand in hand. Ladies, the camera doesn’t do him justice he looks better in person. 😉
Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end and so was the case for me as I had to rush back to the airport and head back to Cape Town. We had an amazing time. South Africa is a country with diverse cultural groups. It is beautiful when you get these cultures in one area, at the same time and have each one strut their stuff. It is an explosion of colours, impressive and wonderful to watch. It makes one realise the meaning of a Rainbow Nation.
I would like to thank Mam’Rita (the owner) and her team for organising and carrying out such an astounding event. Thank you for presenting our people with a platform to showcase their cultures. Check out more pictures on the facebook page.