Celebrate the Taalmonument’s 45th anniversary in 2020

Picnickers at the Taalmonument.

The Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s festival year starts Friday February 28 and Saturday February 29 with a weekend of music, stories, children’s entertainment and a market on the Paarl Mountain.

There is also a fun walk, yoga, jazz and poetry class to ensure everyone enjoys celebrating one of Africa’s youngest languages. The multilingual, multicultural programme will showcase Afrikaans in all its forms.

On Friday evening February 28, Akkedis Band’s Afrikaans rock, infused with African, reggae and blues sounds, gets everyone in the party mood. Hot on their heels, Die Heuwels Fantasties’ futuristic electronics are intertwined with subtle guitar elements and intelligent lyrics. Beverage and food stalls available; remember warm clothes and blankets.

Saturday February 29, Leap Day, begins with a “45 Minutes for Afrikaans” fun walk during which participants can explore the beautiful fynbos-covered mountain slopes and unknown trails step by step. Those who complete it within 45 minutes receive gold medals, but numerous cash prizes are on offer for all participants. A food, arts and crafts market will cater to many needs, while “Green and Serene in the Green Gallery” addresses deeper needs.

The wordsmith Diana Ferrus offers a master of poetry class for one and all, but for those who want to stretch their bodies more poetically, a yoga class is the Zen-est option.

In addition to the children’s playgrounds and outdoor games, energetic child-minders will keep the young ones out of harm’s way with a puppet show, face painting and more. This while the rest can listen to the classic sounds of Paarl Valley Eisteddfod’s talented musicians at the foot of the impressive, symbolically laden sculpture that recognises Afrikaans’s European, Southeast Asian and African roots.

The afternoon programme at 1pm includes a short welcome by Jawaahier Pietersen, actor and singer, as well as Michael Jonas, director. Then Jaloersbokkies, as Kaaps as breyani and koesisters, like ghoema and winter rain, hops onto the stage. Next up is Vito Heyn, or V.I.T.O, with his first for Afrikaans. This young rapper from Namaqualand is known for original indigenous or his Nam-Afrikaans lyrics and Bohemian style.

Elias P Nel, the “bek sonner brieke” is the master storyteller who has everyone hanging on his every word with stories filled with bittersweet and exuberant humour. The Unknown Dance Crew follows him; armed with gloves and masks, this group of crazy theatrical dancers surprise their audiences time and time again with their unexpected, fast-paced performances tailored to original musical combinations.

And then Jak the Priest takes to the stage. Another highlight of the day’s programme is the Jazz Concert in the Garden Theatre. Lungelo Motaung, or Lungi, is an artist at music venues known for her vocal range, stage personality and interpretation of a wide variety of items. Next up is Ramon Alexander, with his interpretation of Cape jazz with original compositions.

Tickets cost R150/R70 for Friday and R80/R40 for Saturday and are available at the Taalmonument in Paarlberg, at the Taalmuseum in Paarl at 021 872 3441/863 0543 and from Computicket. Visit www.taalmuseum.co.za/festival-programme-1975-2020/