Reach for the mic... it’s karaoke


By far one of the coolest things to do in Gra­ham­stown is karaoke. The moon rises on a Wed­nes­day night at Rhodes Univer­sity and as dark­ness falls over the town, the stu­dents come alive and hit the streets for a night of fun. There’s some­thing truly fan­tas­tic about hold­ing a mi­cro­phone in front a bunch of strangers and singing your heart out.

Whether you’re singing a trib­ute to the Bea­tles, the Lion King’s ‘Just can’t wait to be king,’ or a more mod­ern ‘Shout-out to my ex’ by Lit­tle Mix while star­ing your exboyfriend down, it’s both a very pow­er­ful and ex­hil­a­rat­ing feel­ing.

One of the best places to do karaoke in town is Slip­stream Sports bar (SSS). Gen­eral man­ager Mike Theron tries to fo­cus on things that peo­ple do live, and karaoke falls un­der this cat­e­gory.

It’s no se­cret that SSS fre­quently has live mu­sic events and open-mic nights on a weekly ba­sis.

Theron knows how peo­ple love karaoke and he’s cre­ated a plat­form to let peo­ple ex­press them­selves. Al­though it’s gen­er­ally stu­dents that join in on the evening’s event, he says that, a com­pletely dif­fer­ent crowd of lo­cals comes to karaoke dur­ing Rhodes hol­i­days.

Theron be­lieves karaoke is a group event. “I think they come be­cause they want to show the tal­ent they have... or don’t have in some cases. None of them comes alone. They’re al­ways in groups of friends.”

Per­haps there is courage in num­bers. When a pow­er­ful voice takes the dark SSS stage, true tal­ent is show­cased. It’s rem­i­nis­cent of a live con­cert.

If you’re in­ter­ested in a night out of karaoke, all you have to do is pitch up at SSS be­fore 9pm, when the event starts, and sign up.

Be sure to get there early, be­cause the list fills up quickly. Grab a drink, play some pool and when the Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies (MC) starts talk­ing, move into the stage room and pre­pare your lungs.

Last night’ ses­sion (Wed­nes­day 11 of October) was held by Pierre Du­randt, who is re­plac­ing the pre­vi­ous MC. “Karaoke is a thing for me be­cause I need the money,” he says hu­mor­ously - but ad­mits how much he en­joys him­self. He’s also a very good singer in his own right, and says he does it more for the karaoke than for him­self, re­gard­less of the cheers that arise when he per­forms.

Whether you’re there to sing or to laugh at your friends, karaoke is al­ways a good time. In our small town, it’s some­times hard to find some­thing to do, so an op­por­tu­nity to have a lit­tle fun with a mi­cro­phone and a crowd has to be taken when it presents it­self.

Photo: Kelia Losa Reinoso

Tsego, Pierre & co dur­ing karaoke evening at Slip­stream Sports bar.

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