In the light of fasting the Ramadan fast with my Muslim colleagues and working new hours at work (night shift is crazy and making me lazy), I made time to attend a market in the East Rand (I know, I should have started doing something in my hometown a long time ago). I attended the Black Notes Market in Duduza last Saturday.
So Tshepo, a friend, invited me to come and check out the market that is hosted every month for their small but bustling community in the Duduza township in Springs. Mind you, I never grew up in townships, so a few thoughts comprising of all my fears started coming to life; that includes being mugged, hijacked and sold into slavery in another country (I know I’m being dramatic but I have my reasons).
I arrived at about half past four and was greeted by smiling faces at the gate. I bought my ticket (they are twenty bucks so broke students don’t have an excuse), drove in and parked my car. The first thing I noticed was the cold (I am telling you- how people have fun in that weather still baffles me). It was freezing (Still not blaming it on my flimsy top and barely warm poncho)! I started to walk towards the main arena when I saw a beautiful sight – children were skating and playing chess (it was a large set). It looked so calming and beautiful against the sunset that I would give anything to know what it was they were doing with the pawns and the bishops (not a chess player).
The music was amazing and before I knew it, a voice started singing and I was spellbound. A young man (who I later found to be Kgomotso aka Okolom- and it’s his birthday today) has an amazing voice and it carried me through as I drifted into some rhythmic dream while I sat at the edge of an amphitheatre step looking rather awkward. It wasn’t long till a young lady (don’t recall her name) was singing in a voice that would rival my taste in tribal music. I then shook myself out of the trance I was in and made my way to the actual market (I was by the part of the park that had the entertainment). There weren’t a lot of stalls but the few that were there sold mostly food – no I didn’t eat any of it, I wasn’t hungry- and another stall further south had what looked like beanies or headscarves.
The Black Notes Market explained is meant to be a jam session, a market and a record label in one and I love how they were able to culminate that into one event without overwhelming themselves.
Children and young adults respectively were all over the place and everyone was enjoying themselves. I had the time of my life watching a pair of girls dance and break it down like my mama didn’t give me. There was also an open mic session where a group of girls went up and sang a song by Ringo Madlingozi (hope I spelt that right). It was a colourful affair and I could feel the unity that brought everyone together. These people weren’t just friends, they are family. It was so heartwarming to see such events receive support because well, you know, the youth isn’t getting the attention it needs period.
No event is perfect of course, there was just so much alcohol (haha) and there wasn’t an age restriction in any of the areas so children were exposed to alcohol drinking adults. There was no monitoring to make sure none of the young ones drank as well but everyone acted out in a mature manner. I am happy to report that there were no drunken fights and the place stayed relatively clean till the end which is commendable. They have only recently decided to venture into events so we’ll keep an eye on them.
Would I go again? Definitely. But their next market is going to be held on the weekend of my friend’s baby shower (the 1st of July if I’m not mistaken) so it’s a shame I won’t be able to attend it, but if you are ever in the vicinity or you are a young entrepreneur who’s looking to get a bit of space, contact the organisers and they will hook you up with the details.
For more information contact: Kgomotso Moloko (cell) (076) 618 8858 (email) email@example.com
Visit the website: http://www.black-notes.co.za or visit their Facebook page: Black Notes