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Gleeful Girls and Cape Town

BY Simbulele Gosani and Yonela Mali

At the end of last year. Some of our girls entered a sing and dance competition. They were later crowned the Grand Prize Winners of the Woolworths Sing, Dance competition.

Our journey started off on Saturday with a girl’s night in at the hostel. Later we had supper at Steers with Mrs Woods and Mrs Zietsmann. Before heading off to bed, we had a quick practice, with Mrs Woods and Mrs Ziestmann as our audience. We woke up at 3am the following morning. Mr Revnolds kindly drove us to catch our 7am flight. On our arrival at the PE airport, we were spotted by other travellers who knew our school. We took photos with two pilots, not knowing that they will be steering our plane. We met a Woolworths representative who gave us our travel gift bags filled with goodies. The representative was excited for us as she kept on giving us hugs. We sang for her and processed to board our flight. For some of the girls it was their first time travelling on an airplane. You could see the excitement on their faces.

After an hour and a half, we finally landed in Cape Town. That’s when the saying “time is money” was put into reality. We received a warm welcome from Vicky, a production assistant from Big Sky Productions who was like a mother to us in Cape Town. She is originally from England and raised in Spain. She was kind enough to teach us a few Spanish words. That got us thinking we could speak Spanish. Our first stop was at the 5 star Pepper Club Hotel, where the concierge took our luggage and we were off to a nice and fancy breakfast. We had a power walk to the Milestone Studio which was a street away from the hotel. The hard word began. We were welcomed by Ursula Chikane, a presenter on Top Billing. We thought we were going to record the song and leave, but we were wrong. We had to sing the song more than 10 times, with the producer telling us it’s the last time every time. We weren’t complaining at all because practice makes perfect.

We had just started with the recording of the song when we saw Johnny Clegg arriving on the other side of the production room. We were very excited to see him. As the ladies that we are, we decided not to scream or shout. After several takes and hours of recording we headed off to Prestwich Primary School. We spent 4-5 hours filming and singing. Lelethu and I were interviewed by Ursula where we taught her the hash tag gesture as well as the “Catch-it” catch phrase. We made friends with children who were younger than us whom we met while busy with the filming. We totally experienced the difficulty and the time and effort you have to put into filming or recording a song. After this experience, we totally respect the media world because now we understand the process. After a long, hot and tiring day; we headed back to the hotel to rest for an hour and freshen up. We were totally impressed with how luxurious those rooms were, and the view was just spectacular. We eventually got time to go shopping at the V & A Waterfront; where we also had supper at the most elegant Italian Restaurant, Balducci.

The next day we had an early start. We headed off to the Grand Parade. At first we thought we were going to be part of the parade, but actually we were going to film the last scene of the song video. The last scene was taking place at the “Square”, the place where the late Nelson Mandela said his first speech after many years of imprisonment.

We had to say goodbye to the directors, producers, photographs, cameramen, and the Woolworths staff members. They commended us on our charismatic presents and musical hearts. Before we headed back home, we changed into our famous pink choir T-shirts. We composed a goodbye song for Vicky and off we went to Camps Bay. We saw magnificent estate houses. We also bought ice-cream and enjoyed a walk on the beach. It was time to head back to Uitenhage. We sang Vicky our goodbye song and thanked her for her time and the wonderful hospitality.

We sang all the way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth!

We would like to say thank you very much to everyone who has made this lifetime experience possible. A special thanks to Mrs Woods, Mr Calitz, Mrs Gerber, Mrs Zietsmann, Mr Reynolds, Woolworths, Big Sky Productions, Milestone’s Studio’s, Adrien Stern (from 21 Icons) and last, but not least, the Gleeful Girls (Ambesa Daniels, Pumela Kondile, Busisiwe Rooibaard, Lelethu Ntshangase, Thimna Hobongwana, Yonela Mali, Lilitha Mapela, Carleen Braun and Simbulele Gosani).

 February 22, 2015
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