Juvie Boys crowned Carnival Kings

Ikraam de Witt shows off the Carnival Trophy, which Juvie Boy Entertainers won for the first time in their career.

Despite being disqualified for the first six items of the 2017 Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, the Juvie Boy Entertainers (JBE) managed to get their hands on the coveted prize and label of “Carnival Kings 2017”, their debut title.

Their quest got off to a rocky start due to a dispute between the two boards, Kaapse Klopse Karnival Assossiase (KKKA) and Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA). JBE are affiliated to the CTMCA.

CTMCA teams pulled out of the Tweede Nuwe Jaar March but JBE joined it through the streets of Cape Town.

The troupe from Mitchell’s Plain started their 2017 competition by winning over the public, choosing to entertain the crowd rather than fighting for the title, but little did they know they were winning the hearts of the judges too.

Founding director, Yusuf Gester, said: “Despite being disqualified for the first six items on the first day, we still managed to win the competition, which means we really improved in our competition.” Boasting the likes of local stars such as Mitchell’s Plain comedian, Wayne McKay, Ajax footballer, Sameegh Doutie and comedian Siv Ngesi, the troupe walked away with trophies in 12 of the sections, out of a possible 18 trophies that were up for grabs. Most notably, their English moppie, performed by Mitchell’s Plain actor and singer, Waseef Piekaan, took first prize and created a media frenzy, when the song focused on Laeeqah Ryklief who has been accused of being a cyber bully. Mr Piekaan had written the song, singing it to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s Say a Little Prayer, with the aim of raising awareness around cyber-bullying. Soon after winning the first prize, Mr Piekaan announced he was retiring from the minstrels.

JBE won third prize for Junior Best Band; second prize for Senior Best band; second prize for Juvenile Sentimental; fourth prize for Adult Sentimental; first prize for Juvenile Combined Chorus; first prize for Coon Song; second prize for Group Song; first prizes for both English and Afrikaans Moppie; second prize for Grand March Pass; fourth prize for Exhibition and ended first in the Highest Point category.

Completing the top five at this year’s carnival are Cape Argus D6 Entertainers in second, Shoprite Pennsylvanians in third, All Stars Entertainers in fourth and rounding up the top five is Die Burger Happy Boys. “This win is very emotional for everybody involved with the team. We want to thank our members for their efforts, energy and the time put into winning the competition,” Mr Gester said.

PRO for JBE, Ikraam “Juvie” de Witt, said the team are already planning to defend their Carnival Kings crown, saying: “Next season, we are planning to be even more vibrant, more successful, people can expect yet another successful carnival as we will now pull out all stops to defend our title as Carnival Kings 2017.”

He added that the troupe was not seen as a minstrel troupe, but a “family, as you can feel the unity, the love among these members”.

In 2018, Mr De Witt would like to see all minstrel captains and directors standing together as one in order to uphold the heritage and culture of the minstrels.

“Our victory means more people now want join JBE and this means our team will be much bigger and much better, and we are looking forward to working hard for the new season. All prizes are equally appreciated, because every point counts and gets added to your grand total,” he said.