On Saturday I attended the 3rd annual Franschhoek Oesfees and oh my goodness what a great day it was. I was lucky enough to be offered two complimentary tickets, including meal and drink vouchers. My husband is away on business so my brother was the recipient of the 2nd ticket and we headed off to Solms Delta wine farm in the Franschhoek Valley, arriving at midday.
One of the main purposes of this festival is to celebrate and acknowledge the hard work of the Valleys farm workers – I mean let’s face it, those grapes don’t pick themselves from the vine! It was wonderful to see the owner of Solms Delta (the baas van die plaas as he said in his introductory speech!) thanking his farm workers for bringing in such a bountiful harvest …
The festival is also a showcase for local musicians and what a lineup there was. The musicians started at 11am and the last was due to perform at 20.25pm. Up on stage were Jakobus and Hester Cloete who played original, traditional story-telling songs. There was also a variety of entertainment from the various Delta groups: the Delta Langbroek Band, the Delta Soetstemms and the Delta Bluestars. A local legend had her turn: 83 year old Tannie Grietjie who hails from the Namakwaland is apparently very well known and even had to come back for an encore. I loved her bright pink Easter bonnet – I hope I have that much spirit when I get to the age of 83.
Of course an Oesfees is not an Oesfees without food and this was kaapsekos at its best! We chose the Waterblommetjie bredie over the chicken brijani and afval! What an excellent choice it was and I couldn’t resist the pannekoek (all three of them!). All of this was washed down by a very quaffable Solms Delta LekkerWijn Rose – lekker wijn indeed! So lekker we had to order another bottle.
We had a wonderful day and even made ourselves some new friends which is what getting out is all about. It was great to sit out under the hundred year old trees and drink good wine while watching the crowds mingle. If people think South Africans aren’t reconciling then perhaps they should have spent an afternoon at the Franschhoek Oesfees where I saw the Baas van die Plaas dancing with one of his farm workers (after she cut in and rescued him from his conversation with Oscar from Malawi and I know his name was Oscar and he hailed from Blantyre because my brother had befriended him at the bar and bought him a glass of Lekkerwijn!) I saw two middle aged white women having a laugh and a chat over a glass of wine with two elderly black gentlemen. I saw the young Afrikaans presenter with his arm around 83 year old Tannie Grietjie from die Namakwaland as she bopped for the crowd.
It was a great day and we thought what a pity it was that our friends couldn’t be bothered to drive the 45 minutes it takes from Cape Town out to that magnificent part of the world. As my brother said on the way home ‘South Africa, what would I do without you?’ I couldn’t agree more!