Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An English woman's take on the KKNK 2015

--> I made the very spontaneous decision to head to the KKNK with my husband this last week. While he is fluently bilingual (being a Matie boy), my Afrikaans is not that great… especially as I’m out of the habit of speaking it frequently and my Afrikaans friends speak English to me in Cape Town. 
What I can say is that this did not hamper my experience of this arts festival – I thoroughly enjoyed it! I discovered some cool wine and – with salad being a scarcity among its Karoo cousins: sweet carrots and mash potatoes – I indulged in lots of rich meaty dishes like Karoo lamb bredie and ostrich neck stew. Aptly I put on about 3kg, despite my walking around the town of Oudtshoorn. But it was all worth it and I’m running my gat off now, as they would say in the Karoo.

A highlight of the trip is, of course, the drive. We went through Robertson on the R62 and stopped in at Strictly Coffee http://www.strictlycoffee.co.za (about 2 hours outside of Cape Town) for a much-needed espresso and a pop in at the local wine shop, La Verne http://www.lavernewines.co.za, to stock up on some red. 

Strictly Coffee
--> I forgot to mention that in my excitement of a long weekend away, I managed to convince my family (my mom has recently relocated to the Cape from Kenya) to attend the festival as well. So they stayed in Calitzdorp, drank port, ate (what they said was the best) Portuguese food and joined us in Oudtshoorn for a coupe of days and shows. Here we are at the Cango Wildlife Centre. We tried to convince my one brother to do Crocodile cage diving (yes, you can do it here!) but in the end he chose, well, life, as my baby brother said... For more info on the ranch, visit http://www.cango.co.za.It's very educational and I always leave somewhat sad considering how many of our local animals are endangered.

Cango Wildlife Ranch

Crocodiles at the Cango Wildlife Ranch
--> Afterwards we went for a traditional Karoo lunch, here is a potpie (small pot) of ostrich neck cooked in a red wine sauce – did someone say hearty?
Ostrich neck in red wine sauce
--> The streets of Oudtshoorn are beautifully decorated and every 10m is an art gallery exhibition, a museum, a theatre, a stage with singers belting out treffers... There are food stalls all around and the biltong (which I always stock up on in the Karoo) is to die for!

Oudtshoorn during the KKNK

How's this local jewellery for some fun?

--> --> I took part in a number of street activities, like painting for charity (yes, I was killing time before a show). I visited the CP Nel Museum. They have some great historical items relating to the period when ostrich feathers were all the rage in fashion – late 1800s to 1920s. There is also a beautiful old synagogue inside the museum, which features newspaper clippings, photographs, books and other historical items showcasing the Jewish heritage of Oudtshoorn from the late 1800s.

I found a shop that made awesome gluten-free pancakes – a rare find in Oudtshoorn

-->I watched a lot of live music, particularly at the Rembrandt Saal, which had live bands playing until 11/12pm at night. Various collaborative acts performed every night and we watched them while drinking De Krans Cab Sauv and Garden Route Shiraz – two local wines that saw me through my stay.

--> The two big music shows I saw were Die Ander Konsert (meaning, The Other Concert) and Kurt Darren en Karen Zoid. I am a big fan of Karen Zoid (she has some English music too), but I was a bit wary of how Kurt would pair with her as they they have two very different approaches to music – stylistically and in terms of how they sound. However, the performance was excellent! I watched both nights and the second night they mixed things up a little differently and it was even better than the first night. Die Ander Konsert was a musical collaboration featuring musicians who are single artists in their own right, like Gerald Clark, Luna Paige and Nick Turner, who perform regularly in and around Cape Town. This show brought seven big of these artists together for a collaboration of comedy, musicality, emotional, poetic harmonizing – it was great! Even if I only understood two-thirds of what was being said...

I also booked in advance to see comedian Nik Rabinowitz’s new show, What The EFF? For more info on Nik and his other shows, visit his website: http://nikrabinowitz.co.za/ He’s a Cape Town-based comedian, who I first saw six years ago. His new show had me in stitches for a solid hour. I felt so elevated after the performance I am definitely going to watch more stand-up comedy in Cape Town. Laughing truly does wonders for the soul.

Nik Rabinowitz and me at the KKNK

Musicians from left: guitarist Henry Steele, drummer Tim Rankin, Singer/songwriter Karen Zoid and blues guitarist and singer Albert Frost at the KKNK
--> For more info on the KKNK, visit http://kknk.co.za/

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