Travelling always provides us with an amusing story, but it’s never as funny when the joke is on you. Something that has forever stuck in my mind is the night I landed up ‘cutting the cake’ at a Kwaito disco. But this wasn’t a chocolate gateau, far from it in fact.
It happened in Dundee of all places, I was staying in the local hotel doing a story on the battlefields with a bunch of other journo’s. It was a Friday night and some guys from the nearby township had set up some decks in the hotel bar, apparently this was Dundee’s party spot…
Not being clued up with afro-pop, the music made my ears prick. After mustering up a bit of Dutch courage, a vodka tonic or two later, I got off my bar seat and started wiggling over to the dance floor.
For those of you who don’t know, Kwaito is a South African take on hip-hop/rap. So as you can imagine, I stuck out like a sore thumb. White girl meets ghetto cool just doesn’t work.
The picture of me busting out awkward shapes caused quite a stir. Before long there was a circle of gyrating bodies around me, everyone one was clapping and cheering…apparently my moves had impressed.
Eager to keep me on my feet, I was soon receiving lessons on how to groove Kwaito style. There were a number of willing instructors, all urging me to get a bit more experimental with my moves.
Dance move number one consisted of a ‘dusting the shoulder’ action, that one was relatively easy to master. But then, just I was getting confident, the dance floor took on a whole other level. ‘Dusting the shoulder’ turned into ‘dusting the entire body off’…. A self imposed, touchy, feely, bumping and grinding. Suggestive doesn’t quite do it justice.
The next day with a sore head and a hazy memory, my friend Nhlanhla smugly informed me that the dance I had so readily adopted was commonly known as Sika LeKheke or ‘Cut the Cake’ (as the Zulu translation goes). It was spawned by a rather lurid song by Kwaito artist Arthur Mafokate, whose lyrics were so explicit he was allegedly cut from air-time!
I’m not going to spell out the figurative meaning of ‘Cut the Cake’, but to put it mildly, ‘I am available’ will suffice. Google it if you’re lost.
FYI: I left Dundee feeling rather sheepish but it got me thinking about Kwaito in general. Apparently the Drum Cafe in Jo’burg does interactive Kwaito workshops. At the moment they cater more for functions but in June/July the sessions are opening up to the public, and I’m sure Sika LeKhekhe won’t be on the agenda.
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