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Day Thirty Four - Song Night

October 26th 2011

sunny 30 °C

After 48 hours of a lull in excitation levels we became ever more anxious to find some fun. We scoured ‘What’s On... Windhoek’ and there it was. Song Night.

With equal measures of culture and entertainment it fitted the bill nicely. It started at seven at the Namibian Crafts and Arts Centre which gave us ample time for more tat shopping and a bit of grub. Two wooden hippos and a reasonably gay scarf later we were having coffee and hot chocolate on a balcony overlooking Redvers in the car park below. The scarf is a beauty. I’ve been in desperate need of an explorers’ scarf for a while and whilst this is not necessarily the end point it’s a good, and as previously mentioned slightly gay, start. It’s mostly purple with a little pink, yellow and turquoise. Naturally it will be extremely versatile in various roles including head dress, sarong, towel, beach towel and of course scarf.

I bottled out of wearing my new accoutrement to the evening show which as it turned out was a blessing. We got in early to have a few sharpeners and the first thing we noticed was a large, extremely effeminate, chap with mascara and a white wine spritzer. He wore a pork pie hat, fashionable thick framed glasses and a waist coat beneath which his long sleeved shirt, with sleeves rolled up, was barely able to reach under his turgid abdomen to his waistline and the security of his belt. His smaller more runty friend, also mascara and make-up adorned, sat giggling at his every word as the big guy turned out to be the most popular person in the place.

The first round didn’t touch the sides and we kept them coming. A while later I was washing my hands in the bathroom when the cubicle door behind me opened in a grandiose sweeping movement to reveal Big Gay. He paused as if the curtains had just been drawn back, like every opening door was his big moment. The big moment over, he introduced himself as Peter and extended his hand. I begrudgingly shook it not knowing quite where it had just been. He was a regular feature at song night and though normally a soloist, tonight had an African theme and he had no such songs in his current repertoire. He would still however be supporting the final act of the evening. The thought of a parallel universe in which I was wearing my new scarf emerged, I panicked and explained I must introduce him to my girlfriend.

Sat in the auditorium we were giddy with alcohol and excitement. The compere arrived, she turned out to be a famous Windhoek radio DJ, a fact that was obviously somewhat lost on us, and she introduced the first act. A youth project of Namibian xylophonists. They were fantastic, but apparently they were something akin to the evenings’ house band, ever present, ever skilled and so consistently good they almost became overlooked. The second act arrived on stage. Their heads hung shyly, toes turned in and dragging their feet as the foursome got into position. They were a brother and two sisters accompanied by the brothers’ girlfriend. One of the sisters was about ten years old with the voice of a full blown show diva, the others sang like cats in a mince grinder. It was all we could do to stifle our laughter. We’d come looking for Namibian culture and got Windhoek’s Got Talent. The evening progressed with middle-aged women murdering Miriam Makeba classics, a rhythm and blues ‘specialist’ who had written a song called ‘I’m So Sorry,’ and after four and a half minutes he wasn’t the only one; and a rapper who was actually quite good. Though it has to said, we wouldn’t have laughed nearly as hard if he hadn’t been five foot four, wearing his best Sunday shirt and ironed jeans, squinting through thick lensed glasses shouting “This goes out to my special girl” whilst pointing and smiling at his missus at the back.

Naturally we can hear you all saying how difficult is to get on the stage in the first place, it’s the taking part that counts; and whilst their efforts are highly commendable for exploring the arts and getting up there, these guys had been through auditions, we’d paid two pounds fifty each and stifling the laughter whilst in polite company was starting to hurt.

Posted by ibeamish 07:26 Archived in Namibia

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