Cape Town Minstrel Parade

Updated: Feb 28, 2019

When we hear the word minstrel, a white, bumbling jester in black face is what usually comes to mind. But here in the southern hemisphere, even this concept is upside down. Be it irony, or just oddity, The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival is a jovial parade of mix-raced people, known in South Africa as Cape Coloured or Cape Malay, in white-face (gulp).

Afrikaans, South Africa's former official language, is a funny old vernacular. English is now the official language of SA, but the heritage of language is a strong cultural identifier, and Afrikaans people are hard-pressed to give that up, regardless of ridiculousness. For instance, a chain of religious bookshops is called CUM Books, school is ironically spelled with a K (skool), you don't park your car, you parker it in a parkering garage, and a soda is called, oddly, a cool drink. And there is a cinema disturbingly named 'The Labia'.