On the 14th and 21st of March I observed the struggles of people that were determined to maintain their cultural identity, keep the youth from harmful activity and have clean fun at the same time.

The Cape Malay Choir Board (CMCB) must be praised for its efforts since 1939. Under its leader, Shafik April the CMCB has grown into a huge activity that draws thousands of members and viewers.

The cultural importance and value that the CMCB brings to a mainly less fortunate Cape Flats community is evident in its huge support. The CMCB also plays a vital role with the alleviation of the daily experience of being surrounded by the endless violence that saturates the Cape Flats.

The poise that beams on the faces of the competitors when they sing at the Good Hope Centre is emotive. The expense and care with which the uniforms are made and worn is evident of people who have a deep dignity and humility albeit the challenges that they are confronted with on the Cape Flats.

To those unfamiliar with this aspect of Cape culture, it is vital that all of us support the CMCB effort to continue using the Good Hope Centre, its traditional home for decades. There are moves afoot which threaten the use of the Good Hope Centre by the CMCB and other community groups. If the Good Hope Centre is lost to community activity, the impact is far reaching.

In the words of the wise, if the CMCB loses this battle, then we all lose another major part of our local history and culture.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress

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