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All That (African) Jazz

Sonnies wow audience

Constance van Niekerk, Vereeniging in SA

‘Twinkle twinkle little Sonnies, oh the wonder that you are!’ I have no doubt that these were the words on everyone’s lips as they watched and gaped in absolute fixation, taking in the Laerskool Sonlandpark’s (Sonnies) show dubbed ‘Leeto’.

The aliens on earth.

The show was on, on three successive nights: the 28th, 29th and 30th of October 2015. And every night was totally sold out! Friday night was supposed to be the last night but many people than the school had anticipated came in hoping to buy tickets and see what turned out to be a not-to-miss show. And so by popular demand an extra day was created and all will be well that ends well come Tuesday 3 November.  If you missed seeing the show on the three days it showed, you have another chance to be our guest at the spectacular show. Be sure not to let it slip by as this is indeed a show and a half! The Sonnies shone brightly on the three golden nights.

The show starts at 6:30pm sharp. The opening act is by the grade Rs. These little Sonnies are proof that dynamite does come in small packages. After the grade Rs comes the LSEN classes. The juniors will flaunt their stuff as they dance to Dr Victor’s – ‘If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life’. The two LSEN classes are followed by the grade 1s with first, Mrs Taino’s class dancing to ‘Two Ladies’.  Mrs van der Merwe’s class will then take over and dance to ‘Money, Money’, before Mrs Swanepoel’s class dances to ‘Let’s have fun’. Last but not least on the grade 1s is Mrs. Lourens’ class dancing to ‘Kan ‘n man dan nie’.

Playing cards

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Two ladies and one cool dude

Class by class the children will perform right up-to grade 7. It is awfully difficult to choose a best performance as all the groups have so endearingly outdone themselves.

A special performance after the twenty-minute break will come from the delectable group known as ‘The Portable Gumboots Boys (PGP)’. This group has boys from grade 5 to grade 7. These boys did their own choreography and rehearsed the gumboot dance all by themselves. It was awe-inspiring just how much dedication they put into their preparations, faithfully assembling at the netball field every day to practice. Watching them is quite a delight. They sing and dance with such zest and panache you would think the gumboot dance had just been invented. With the right mentorship the sky is this limit for these gumboot Sonnies.


The Portable Gumboots Boys before and during performance.

As they say, save what you think is the best for last!  The story of delightful aliens is a must -see. Astro and Naut walk the earth and have themselves a jolly good time. On their journeys around our beautiful planet, they go to America, Jamaica, Egypt, the islands, the jungle and well, just about everywhere! Not forgetting South Africa where they see Mrs Marx’s class dancing to Hamba Nawe one of the home brewed tracks.

After last Friday’s show, Happiness, the young girl who plays Astro said she had thoroughly enjoyed the experience as it gave her a taste of what theatre is. “I am grateful to the teachers for the chance for us to showcase our talent. I really enjoyed myself and I will not mind performing again and again.”

“That show was just excellent!” said Mrs Afrika who came every night to watch the show, bringing all her family on Friday night to watch as well. “I can watch this show every night for a week or two, I really would not mind. It is superb!”

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Mr van der Merwe, the Principal says he is grateful to the community who came in their numbers every night to support the school and looks forward to seeing everyone again on Tuesday evening.

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The Principal of Laerskool Sonlandpark, Mr van der Merwe

“I am very proud of the learners for such an extraordinary performance,” says the Principal “and I also want to express a huge appreciation to the staff and Mr. Graaff for a job well done.”

A final word of advice:  words alone will not do the show any justice. The best thing you can do is to once again go to Sonlandpark on the 3rd of November and see for yourself. Like the ‘ticket lady’, the school’s receptionist, Anna van Zyl says, “Do not wait until the day of the show to buy tickets as they might already be sold out. Buy in advance to avoid disappointment.”

As they say in show business, ‘Be there or be square’.

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About Editor

Constance van Niekerk is a South African-based Zimbabwean-born creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. She is also Editor at ZimOnlineNews. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection by Constance van Niekerk

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