I’ll no go as far as to say that we ought to switch allegiances, but I firmly believe that South Africans are now exempt from any scrutiny should they cheer on another team at the Cricket World Cup. We are, however, a strange lot, and for that reason I suspect that we’ll latch onto the efforts of a handful of minnows. I suspect that many will cheer on Bangladesh, but those who do should not cry foul if that particular team fails to make the semi-finals. If you’d to pick a winning team, go India – it is nigh on treason to back the Poms or the Aussies.
I do feel, as things stand at present that this edition of the sport’s flagship tournament is by far the worst one from a Proteas perspective. Yes, we failed to advance past the group stages on home soil back in 2003, but that team still had some semblance of pluck about it; 2019’s charges just seem so bitterly, bitterly lacklustre. We now, once more, sit in a position (as we have done so many times when a South African team competes on the global stage) where we have to bank on unlikely losses, no results and a little bit of help from the weather gods.
We can technically, I say again, technically make it through to the knock-out stage. For that to happen the stars need to align like they have not done in the 13.772 billion years of the universe’s existence. Don’t hold your breath, though, unless you revel in nerve-wracking and soul crushing contests. From here on out I’ll simply keep my eye on individual performances – there clearly is no cohesion team-wise. Much of the old guard will also call time on their careers post-tournament and we’ll therefore, inevitably, enter an uneasy tenure. I do however think that we’ll be better off for it.
The old dullard that is me figured that this year could have been one in which our sporting teams achieved the incredulous: two trophies lining that web-infested cabinet of ours. It is not to be and, irrationally so, the Proteas now have me doubting that the Boks will be able to restore some national pride. We do have to face off against Canada, Italy and Namibia in our group; there is not too much to worry about there. But it is the prospect of facing the rising North that concerns me most. Anyhow, let’s check out the itinerary before the Proteas ruin another Sunday for us.
- Basha Uhuru: Celebrating 25 Years Of Creative Freedom, 26-29 June
Cost: R75-R100, available through Basha Uhuru
June 2019 marks 43 years since the 1976 Soweto uprisings. Scores of youth arrested during the ’76 protests were incarcerated in the prisons on the Constitution Hill site in Johannesburg. For the past seven years Constitution Hill has commemorated the youth of ’76, through a celebration of creative expression at its annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival. Basha Uhuru was created seven years ago as “June 16, 1976 is a day that is synonymous with South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. It is the day that symbolises the rising of our nation’s youth against oppression. It is the day that changed the course of our country’s history. It is the day that our country’s youth claimed their rightful place in our country’s narrative,” says Constitution Hill’s CEO Dawn Robertson. The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival not only showcases art, design, film, poetry and music, it also provides inspirational workshops and entrepreneurial support programmes for young creatives. Basha Uhuru, the foremost urban, creative youth festival in South Africa, is brought to you by Constitution Hill in partnership with Nando’s, the Department of Arts and Culture, Brand SA, Gauteng Tourism, Gauteng Department Of Economic Development, Business Arts South Africa, Gauteng Film Commission and the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller. All events are free, aside from the concert. The festival ends on Saturday, 29th June with The Sounds Of Freedom concert starting at 13h00 and ending at 01h00 that will feature hip hop, house, gqom, kwaito, amapiano and afro soul’s finest in the form of Riky Rick, Msaki, Langa Mavuso, Thebe, Khuli Chana, Mthuda & Njelik, DJ Kent, DJ Dimples, The Brother Moves On, Urban Village, African Rhythm Productions, Ikati Esangweni, Coppashot & Bobotical, DJ Zero, Rosie Parade, Deniece Mars, Sistamatic, P Kuttah, Scott The Girl, Tha Muzik, Ace of Spades, DBN Gogo and FOSTA and The Charles Géne Suite who were developed at Bridges For Music a Nando’s supported non-profit organisation. Constitution Square, with our nation’s highest court as the backdrop, will be filled with eclectic up and coming sounds, smash hits and the bustle of the Makers Market which opens at 10h00 on the 29th – The Makers’ Market will bring together the finest local food, drink, art and craft producers in the area, ensuring goods that are unique, original and designed to inspire. During the week, before the concert, there will be an array of culture available for free to Joburg residents this youth month.
- Vaal River Wine Expo, 22 June
Cost: R200, available through Computicket
It still baffles me that this is a thing given the rich viniculture in other parts of our country. Still, it’s a nice-to-have for those who may find a ‘quick’ drive to the Western Cape a little arduous over a weekend. The location is nigh on perfect because it is well out of the city and it is situated next to a major waterway. It is winter, however, so I do suspect that it might get a little cold on the river banks should any part of this expo venture that far. Not only will this event provide entertainment, stalls, food and something for the kids to do, but you’ll be treated to a cruise of sorts where you’ll be able to sample in excess of 200 different wines paired with mouth-watering eats that’ll have you leave believing that your weekend was well spent.
- Winter Solstice @ Brewcraft South Africa, 22 June
Yes, that time has come – a time that we often tend to forget unless a friend or colleague informs us that the year’s longest night is upon us. I’m glad that it falls over a weekend this year because it means that I have just that much more darkness on hand if I elect to sleep in. The Finns will tell you that people get a little crazy when they are exposed to a prolonged absence of daylight; why not then get a little crazy for one evening as the winter solstice sets in for the Southern Hemisphere? BrewCraft SA therefore invites you to spend an evening at Unit F7, Palisades Office Park in Boksburg where the craft beer will run aplenty from taps all night long. You’ll also be provided with some eats, live entertainment, games and a prize draw. I urge you to attend should you find yourself on that side of the world because that entry fee is nothing to scoff at. For more information, visit BrewCraft.
- GeekFest 2019, 28-30 June
Cost: R120 per day pass, R300 for a weekend pass, available through Viagogo
This is just me making sure that you get hold of either a ticket or a weekend pass. You may thank me later. I must admit, given that this festival now enters its seventh year of existence, I have not heard much of it. It might be that marketing in years gone by have not been as aggressive as the larger competitors in the country. Nevertheless, here we are and those have a keen interest pop culture, comic books and gaming ought to show their support. The event will be hosted at the Sun Arena at Time Square, Menlyn, Pretoria, which is generally a clean and safe environment for any who visit the premises – this will make for an enjoyable experience. Typical of an event of this nature, the usual food trucks, RoboWars, cosplay, craft stalls and live action role playing will be ever present, but like any other festival of this kind, there needs to be a drawcard. They have just that as this year’s theme is ‘Big in Japan’. During that weekend you’ll be able to celebrate all things Otako and Japanese culture in general.
- Knysna Oyster Festival, 21- 30 June
Cost: Visit Oyster Festival for details and programmes
We once more head off to the Knysna Quays to, ahem, enjoy some of the oceans’ most delectable treats. Well, for others, at least, because, despite my ability to consume crocodile, calf brains, frogs and snakes, I simply can’t stomach those loogies in a shell. This is my problem, however, and it should not spoil any fan’s 10-day trek to indulge in as much as they possibly can. Bring forth the Tabasco, I declare! Plus, you know, given that is a school holiday, you’d also have the opportunity to explore the always beautiful Garden Route. Remember, this doubles as a sport and lifestyle festival and there will be plenty of activities to participate in for those who are a little adventurous at heart. You are also urged (no matter where you are in the country) that you trek along with your children because there will be plenty of activities available to keep the tykes busy.