We joined the Facebook group South Africans in London a little while ago, as the community had grown to over five and a half thousand members, and it seemed like it was quite active, not just another of these groups where you get constantly bombarded with adverts for weight-loss products, or cheap fake sunglasses, and it might actually be a bit of fun… guess what, it still is!
So immediately we started seeing posts about a “South Africa Freedom Day 2016” celebration, and to be honest as an expat of over 15 years, I had never heard of such a thing, so we contacted the organizers to try and get Abracadabra Clothing a stall to sell our Saffa themed Tshirts.
We had been working on some South African themes for quite a while, but kept them all on the Bosbefok website, you know, just to keep the collection together, and make it quite obvious what you are looking at when you get onto the website, we run quite an active Facebook page, which you are welcome to follow.
In preparation, we took a lot of time reminiscing over old brands, eating droewors, biltong, Big Corn Bites, drinking Klipdrift and Black Label, making boerrie rolls, and visiting South African shops, to get in the mood, like that was any different to the norm, but I guess you have to say these things…
(Note: This over-a-foot-long Boerrie Roll was actually made the day after, just because we can!)
Some of the SA themed designs we were thinking about were the brands that made us feel like children, or teenagers again, memories, or memorabilia, and trying not to step on anyone’s toes and respecting their rights (and please note, if we have infringed on your rights in any images, we would love to hear from you, not only to hear that you are well and to say howzit, but also to know that you have read this blog post!) and also we were thinking about some slogans, infact we are constantly updating websites as we come up with new stuff, but if you want to know first, make sure you follow us on the Bosbefok Facebook page!
When you think about it, every culture has an identity that defines it’s character, and as South Africa is a mixed bag of cultures (pretty much like everywhere else in the world, with one exception, they all come from the same place, and not from other countries!) we were trying to stay balanced, and not print anything offensive (we have a brand for that, and you can go straight to LIGAF to check it out) but also not pander to the overwhelming tide of political correctness… that stuff is not necessary people.
So back to South Africa Freedom Day 2016… we got to the event at a little after 11 in the morning to set up, partly because the event was in Portabello under the A40, and as anyone in London knows if you plug in that post code into your satnav, you’re gonna find yourself in the City very quickly, and partly because the event was only supposed to start at 14:00, and we figured we knew what we were doing, I mean… it’s only tshirts in boxes right.
Our setup was quick (phew), we had planned well in advance how the stall was gonna look like, so putting it together on the day wasn’t a problem.
We didn’t really know what to expect, but as soon as the gates opened, everything sprang into action, and like the South Africans we are, mense hit the shops! The fleamarket vibe was in full swing, it felt like a combination of the old Bruma, and the Plaza in Joburg, and Green Point in Cape Town. But, as panic stuck, and our first customer came along to say “do you take cards” I said yes, of course we do… my flippen WorldPayZinc froze up on me, and I couldn’t get it reconnected to my phone, so like a true boy, I decided to open it up, you know, like a phone, and just remove the battery… big mistake! Friends, let me tell you, that if you open a WorldPayZinc, it no longer works, a message comes up saying “System Tampered” and that is it, finished and klaar. So that was the end of taking cards, and we were only 10 minutes in, from this moment on, it was cash only. (Just a note to other business owners, I called WorldPay up, and told them truthfully what I had done, and they sent me out another PDU for free, great service.)
Things were in full swing, the beers were flowing, the smell of boerrie rolls filled the air, and one thing to notice, in true South African style, everyone was smiling! I met this guy who was actually having his birthday, and he bought a Tshirt from us, I took this selfie of us two:
Now – dear friends – that we have got this far in the story, and are actually still reading… it’s confession time, I made a bit of a big mistake, I mean I am a South African, I went to an English school in Joburg, and can speak Afrikaans, but my spelling is a bit like my maths – Could use some improvement. We were standing around, listening to the music, dancing and having a jol, actually quite a “lekker” time, when a young lady came up to look at the tshirts, and she said “I really would like to buy one of your Tshirts, but I don’t know if I can get over your spelling of SAFFA… I am not sure if it’s supposed to be like how you spelled it “SAFA” or with two “F’s”… Holy macaroni! I knew I’d get caught out eventually. So there you have it, schooled by a young lady who didn’t buy anything, but definitely helped progress the design (thanks by the way!)
(Note: We will be selling these SAFA (not SAFFA) Tshirts at a reduced rate!)
(2nd Note: Maybe they actually stand for South African Football Association)
And there you have it, we stayed till about 10 in the evening, as the revelers were planning to go to an after party, we were looking forward to bed, and maybe a little glass of wine, and some biltong.
This video of the South Africa Freedom Day 2016 Celebration in London that aired on SABC television showed up on YouTube a could of days after, note that you can see some “Bosbefok” Abracadabra Clothing Tshirts at: 00:23