This time of the year, Malay choir teams would normally be double checking their suits, working on harmonies and planning their routes through the city.
However, the second wave of Covid-19 has forced organisers to postpone the historic singing competition to next year.
One of Cape Town’s oldest teams, Boarding Boys Sporting Club, will be using the time to rebuild.
The club was established in 1948 by Taliep Wolf and Boebie Tande in the historic Hanover Street, District Six.
Chairman, Shameeg Kemp, said they hold the current record for winning the most Silver Fez trophies and walked away with top honours at the Cape Malay Choir Board competition on 11 occasions.
“In recent years, the club has not been so lucky with regards to winning that Silver Fez again, but we want to get back to winning ways and want to start rebuilding this great club and making it a force to be reckoned with again,” Mr Kemp said.
Mr Kemp is the grandson of the late legendary figure within the Malay choir circles, Shafiek April, who passed away from Covid-19 in July. He was a renowned administrator who was at the helm of the Cape Malay Choir Board for 31 years, becoming secretary and then elected as president in 1989.
Now Mr Kemp has the opportunity to continue his grandfather’s vision by taking charge of his own team.
“Our current vision is to basically empower the youth and introduce them to a sport that will keep them away from the everyday challenges that plague our communities today,” Mr Kemp said.
After apartheid’s forced removals from District Six, members of the Boarding Boys Sporting Club were scattered around Cape Town, moving to places such as Bo-Kaap, Hanover Park and Mitchell’s Plain. However, they have been based in Salt River for the last 30 years.
“We are trying to focus on our youth now and we want to keep this pack together. This is a team with lots of history and we want to build on that history.”
He said they managed to attract more than 20 youngsters to the club this year.
“We currently have many young members, most of whom are under-18, and our aim is to teach them important life skills alongside the history of our cultural background,” Mr Kemp said.
Yazeed Sadien from Salt River is another long-standing member on the managing board.
He said their club has a proud history and their current members are doing all they can to bring back the glory days.
“We are trying to restore this great name in the choir game. We are starting from scratch and we want to do things properly.
“During Covid, the club has found ways to keep the members together, all within the guidelines and protocols,” Mr Sadien said.
Excitingly, the team will make their debut on air when they feature in a movie called Twisted Christmas on kykNET on Saturday December 26.
Mr Sadien said they are also planning community clean-ups and a feeding scheme, building on the food parcel hampers they handed out recently.
“Our aim is to create a positive environment for our youth at the club. We also strive to teach and preserve our Cape Malay culture,” Mr Sadien said.
BLOB If you are interested in joining up or would like to assist the team, contact Yazeed on 066 213 5820 or Shameeg on 072 388 3802.