You haven’t lived until you’ve brought in the New Year in Cape Town, South Africa. After an amazing dinner, we hit the streets to join the masses for their first ever ‘World Design’ celebration. Tamron insisted that we fight the crowd of more than 80,000 to join the special Mandela celebration just adjacent to the beautiful town hall building. This place was everything…lasers, flashing lights, music and dancing in the street, we turned up and got our entire lives… #AllNightLong #MakingItRainFreedom
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For New Year’s Day, the crew once again split up with Tamron and Johnny visiting La Petite Vineyard and Hubby and I hitting the beach. I wanted to show him the posh shops, the fancy seafood restaurants and the open beaches that I had scoped out with Tam the day before. But today there were no posh shops. The fancy seafood restaurants were closed and the beach that had just a few folks at it the day before was all the way live and full of my people. I later learned after chatting it up with some of my fellow beach-goers that this is what they do to ring in the new year. The day after Christmas and New Years day, they come from all over (even townships up to 2 hours away) to wash away the year before, cleansing and purifying themselves in preparation for the upcoming year. It’s also one hell of a party.
At any rate, no matter if you’re in NOLA, RIO or Cape Town, if you get more than a couple of my people together, it’s a party. So despite the clear fact that this was not going to be a leisurely day at the beach, we set up shop anyway, got some chairs and an umbrella and just when we were getting comfortable, a very authoritative figure started yelling , ‘move, move, MOVE!’. I assumed the tide was coming in but he was waving us toward the sea, not away from it. Curious, I asked him what was up and he said, ‘we’re going to land a helicopter where your chair is’ . So we moved our ish and then this happened-
All of the White-owned shops and restaurants closed down for the day. It was nuts, imagine Virginia Beach…only Blacker, with hardly anywhere to eat. It was weird. I won’t speculate as to why this occurred because I don’t know enough about the culture, but, it was weird and a drastic departure from the previous day. We did however, find a nice Black-owned restaurant just off the beach and met these eerily hip Italian women. They walked up to our table, remarked how no restaurants were open and asked if they could sit with us. I immediately said yes, pushed my seafood platter to the middle of the table and ordered another bottle of wine. They were from Rome, and had traveled all over Europe, America and Africa and were, get this…hard-core Beyonce fans. I’m not gonna bother trying to explain how crazy this was, but try to think of Sofia Lauren raving about how much she loves “Drunk in Love”. We may have been singing so loud the staff asked us to quiet down #CigarsOnIce #CigarsOnIce
One final note- Many of the beach-goers were from the Townships and used public transportation to make the journey. On our way home, the cab driver told us that many Black people take the minivans because they cannot afford the taxi fairs. He then hesitantly admitted, that he drives his taxi everyday and can’t afford to take one himself. Did you hear me? I said he can’t afford to sit in the back seat of his own taxi. Something ain’t right.
I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve!
Follow Johnny Wright on Instagram- @johnnywright220
Follow Tamron Hall on Instagram- @TamronHall