This audience can respond. Or, now I’ve been here in Cape Town three days, I’ll try that again. Oh geez, this audience can respond. Give the Capetonians a song they know, give them a performer with a place in their hearts, and there may be nothing quite like this anywhere on earth.
Here in the media room, festival old-stagers have been coming back transfixed by the warmth the opening few minutes of the Hugh Masekela show in the main 8,000 capacity venue. I saw young singer Zahara serenaded by – it seemed – every member of a huge outdoor crowd. And spectators who had been kept waiting nearly an hour to hear Dorothy Masuka (above) instantly forgave, forget and fell in love with her within just a few bars of Khawuleza, Matsuka’s song from the 1950’s immortalized by Miriam Makeba. I won’t be forgetting any of this in a hurry.