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Tuesday 3 February 2009

From Katlehong to Kakamas

Our musical tour of South Africa continues. Today we move from Katlehong to Kakamas, a small town near the Orange River and the Namibian border, but otherwise in the middle of nowhere.

David Kramer has had two parallel musical careers. The one for which he is best known outside South Africa, if known at all, is as the co-writer with Taliep Petersen of musicals about the lives of Cape Town's Cape Coloured community (a term covering people mainly of Malay ancestry). They include "District Six" and "Kat and the Kings", which had an award-winning run in the West End in the mid 1990s.

But since the early 1980s he has also been a chronicler of small town (white) South Africa. He is as well known for his chirpy songs as for his serious ones. "Christmas in Kakamas" is definitely not one of the chirpy ones.

He sings in Afrikaans as well as in English, and this song features a few Afrikaans words. You don't need to understand them to get the drift of the story, but in case it helps:

Dominee = priest
Braaivleis = barbeque
Ou = bloke
bakkie = pick-up truck
Meneer = Sir
veldt = bush

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