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got into the Partnership . 2004

People often ask me the question: „How did the most famous Capetonian band become part of the partnership?“ The simple answer is: „The first and only time in my life I was totally drunk!“

It was on a wet happy evening in the house of the artists Dathini und Thulani in Mowbray, when we found the German exchange-student Sven drunk, sleeping, sitting on the toilet. I couldn’t understand, how that happened, because he only had Cider the whole evening.

At that time I only knew Cider from France (Cidre) – and that only has 2 % of alcohol. So to me it was an easy to win bet against Nora another German exchange student, when I claimed that I could drink 10 of this Savanna Cider bottles without getting drunk!

The following Saturday the challenge took place in the garden of the house in Mowbray! But I only managed 8 bottles of the Cider with 5,5 % alcohol, then I was totally drunk and fell asleep some minutes later. While sleeping I missed an open-air-concert at the Obs-Festival on that particular evening with the local band Freshlyground.

The next morning Nora showed me a video from the concert. I was impressed and said to her – apparently still not sober: “If I could not go to see the band, the band has to come to see me!“ Thulani dialled a number on his cellphone and held it to my ear. Zolani, the singer of the band, was on the line and I asked her: “Did you ever think about playing concerts in Germany?” She answered that she has never been overseas, but if I would organize something, the band would definitely come and play. I promised her on the spot that I would invite them and organize some gigs!

I normally keep my promises, so after my return to Aachen I had to make a plan and work something out. Luckily the celebration of the 5th anniversary of the partnership had to be planned and my lost bet put me in the position of the organizer of this event. In 2005 Freshlyground finally played concerts at Welthaus, at Inda-High School (collaboration with the school-band) Open Air at the Elisenbrunnen und in the Old Ballroom of the Kurhaus (collaboration with the local band Artn’Schutz Orchester). The two bands actually composed new songs together, which they put on a CD (limited edition).

Freshlyground remained loyal to the partnership afterwards and played a few beneficiary concerts in Khayelitsha, in Jülich and in Cologne to support partnership projects – and 2009 Zolani took an active part in the art project Colourful Busshelters in Manenberg. I became one of their biggest fans and accompanied them 2006 und 2007 as tour manager through Germany and saw dozens of their concerts in the whole wide world.

Norbert Kuntz

M.Sc. Biology, Author

  • since 2002 active member of the Aachen-Cape Town Partnership
  • project manager of several „green“ exchange projects
  • organizer of several school partnerships
  • leading through joint art projects together with
    Uta Göbel-Groß
  • lives since 2013 mostly in Cape Town

„Wanderer between Worlds“