Arrested on Freedom Day
Question: How many holidays can one country have in a month? Answer: In South Africa, the average is about one a week in April (not including my birthday of course, April 17th) – leading to numerous four and five day weekends, holiday traffic and loads of concerts and music festivals.
Last Thursday, on Freedom Day – which commemorates the first democratic elections held in South Africa (on 27 April 1994) – my friends and I joined over eight thousand people at the People’s Celebration Concert at the Joburg stadium.
The lineup included South African kwaito and R&B sensations Zola (known as the king of kwaito), Freshlyground (a seven-piece ensemble known to bring all types of music together) and Loyiso. It was my first time hearing these bands and they were pretty cool. Considering I didn’t understand too much of Zola’s Zulu or Freshlyground’s Xhosa, it was pretty awesome to just tap the energy and spirit of the audience. As the sun started going down, the concert resembled a South African dance club as people sang along and danced to the music.
Next came the American visiting headliners: Pharrell Williams, Mario and Sean Paul – but the grand finale was missing. Snoop Dogg, , a legend here in South Africa – referred to as “the grandfather” – was supposed to wrap up the show, but had been arrested (on Freedom Day, mind you) en route to Joburg at Heathrow airport in London.
Together with 5 members of his posse, he was held overnight for allegedly causing a ruckus at the airport’s first class lounge. Although excited to see the other stars, fans were devastated and many didn’t even show up at the concert. Others wore their Snoop t-shirts, hats and jackets, regardless – hoping that he might find a way to work a bit of magic, escape from jail and come to the concert. Even without Snoop, the audience kept their energy up – dancing and singing the entire time.
Snoop isn’t going to let down his SA fans, though. He is offering another concert (free to last Thursday’s ticket-holders), same place, same time, this Wednesday and you bet I will be there. For more information, visit Computicket.
Editor’s note: SA Blog can confirm that Snoop Dogg performed in Cape Town last night – and was significantly louder than Metallica (SA Blog’s office, which SA Blog sleeps in, is near the Green Point stadium, which was thumpin’). Plus: happy birthday, Shelly!