I should be in church right now hugging sisters, holding bibles and talking about the great sermon but alas O sisters it is the night after attending an Akon concert and I am not shouting halleluas with you. I can see all the sisters shaking their heads in disgust and others muttering prayers of redemption for the great that has fallen. Instead here I am on a beautiful Sunday having woken up late. My lift is gone and I was left to recover from the Akon experience. Had I ever even been to a club before? It occurred to me that I had only ever gone as far as watching it in the movies so often that I thought I had but Akon was the one who introduced me and what an experience it was indeed. It’s a pity though that my Jesus experiences by far surpasses and outweigh anything spectacularly fun even Akon could have thrown. I however understood why so many are swallowed up into the night life.
A friend from out-of-country who is down here for a short period invited me, when she asked me if I will go with her I thought; “Are you serious? You’re asking me to go to an Akon concert? Do you have any idea how much I have been wanting to rest and that is the night I was finally going to rest. Akon, is not even on my list of things I want to do even on a day I do not want to rest.” I did not say that, I am a good friend at times. She has come from such a faraway country and she is doing such a serious job maybe she can do with some serious fun. I could not believe this, tired as I am but I am going to say “yes” even though the next day I had to go through yet another baby shower in my life after church, when does this woman finally get her rest? How I feel about baby showers is a topic for another day. This is about Akon. What do people even wear to these things? I decided that I will go in world cup fever style with my usual creative way of pulling madness together.
It was a bunch of kids who went to the concert. Where we sat mostly we seemed to be around people the same age as us and on a rare occasion people who look like older mothers (perhaps responsible parents who want to know what their teens are up to). What do I know about concerts I have only been to a few free concerts at the Waterfront, jazz festivals in Cape Town and street parties. I am a good Christian girl to top it all. There are boring sinners and there are boring saints and I am neither.
After waiting and waiting Akon eventually appears on stage tall, dark, really dark and with a handsome voice. Initially when I had been thinking about this invitation to go to an Akon concert I was rather tormented. I was thinking O no, Akon. Give me jazz, a certain kind of hip-hop, almost anything South African, Latino, House, rock my world I will be happy but this. This. Let me explain to you what kind of tormented thoughts Akon gave me prior the concert. I have been a diligent commuter in Cape Town taxis mainly Wynberg to Cape Town route. Need I say more. I had seen far too many toothless gatjies fighting for me to get into their taxis and the music blurring. Here I would be in these unfavourable circumstances of being in taxis with blurring speakers and it always seemed to be the same one. A toothless smile singing to me “Lonely, I am so lonely” so loud would be the music you could hardly stop the taxi and somehow you always manage to stop it at the right stop in spite of what you have suffered. By the time you are out of the taxi you are praying for the gift of loneliness and wanting to curse the guy who is responsible for releasing that cd.
My younger brother Nganga helped prepare me gradually not to despise Akon. He does not know how I felt about him though. I hope Akon returns the favour to my brother one day. However having listened to my brother it gave me some kind of hope that I can perhaps attend this concert and see what happens. I have a sense of adventure and have a way of taking myself places I do not really want to go. I did not tell my friend of my apprehension – I had decided to be in the same spirit as hers. I was the first to dance. I danced to “Lonely” and found justice and peace in “I am sorry you can put the blame on me”. I accepted the apology as Akon's music was something I blamed him for from that moment I enjoyed the concert even more before Akon took things to the next level. A level I was uncertain I wanted to go to. He had the craziest DJ, he was crazy I loved him, he was the modern day Mr. T. To qualify to be a Mr. T you need a serious beard to go with your Mohican hair cut. He had these white framed sunglasses and wore a waist coat that matched his skirt or was it a kilt. He would every now and again jump ontop of his DJ table. He was crazy crazy crazy. A black man in a designer skirt was quite a sight. He is a brave man. Brave or a complete show off which he seemed as though he is both and both suit him.
The next thing Akon arrived walking inside of what had the appearance of a bubble. He sang as he walked in this really cool bubble before he rolled the bubble over the crowd as hands of fans pushed him along. Then he sang the forbidden song “Take it Off” urging all to take something off and wave it around. He was at that time half naked showing off how fit his upper body was. It was at this moment that I thought of our beloved Benny McCathy. I was so glad he wasn’t seeing this because if he only looked like that he would have been part of the squad. His heart would be aching if he saw Akon’s figure and muscles all just for singing - well, I should not have felt sorry for Benny as the photographer found Benny’s face in the audience. The fans forgot about Akon for a second. It must have been a humbling moment for Akon. Benny stole some of his show. Benny a man after our former minister of finance’s heart (Trevor), Alan Boesak and following after the famous footsteps of men like Chester Williams and in it together with men like Brian Habbanah was shown standing next to a blond woman. At that point I made a quick prayer for our beloved golden boy Steven Pienaar and said: “O please we need him focused for this world cup please let no blond woman cross his path. Please, maybe later but not now, please. Amen.”
When the screen found Benny he beamed besides the pretty blond as crowds screamed. I can assure, Benny did not look troubled. Why would he be troubled if every newspaper is writing about him and every commentator talking about him and people’s brothers calling him Benny MacDonalds. He must think that kind-of has a ring to it, Benny Mac. He kind of likes it. I was thinking of writing a book called Lessons learnt from Benny’s dismal exit. Benny would then sue me and realise that he will not smile all the way to the bank if he sues me and looks at me and thinks, why destroy a sweet black woman with small aspirations. I would thank Benny with another book called Lessons learnt from Benny’s great moments and from hence forth I would sit with the blond and the brown and we will all live happily ever after.
Akon made a speech about how he is not part of the world cup artists because he will not be a part of something that exploits Africa once again. What does the World Cup song have anything to do with Africa? Viva Akon. As I sit here listening to the river and about to leave for the babyshower, I am thankful for my experience. I secretly tried to release fireballs. I kind of thought it worked more on me than on the crowd. It was fun. It was most certainly not a wasted ticket and I will smile back at the toothless guy in the taxi as he sings to me "Lonely, I'm so lonely".
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