In Dust We Trust

South African Country Life - - In This Issue - WORDS GER­HARD HORN PIC­TURES SUP­PLIED AND WARE JACOB FOTOGRAFIE

Join our bushveld jol at Op­pikoppi mu­sic fes­ti­val

Once upon a time, un­der­neath a camel thorn tree, deep in the bushes near a small town in Lim­popo called Northam, there was a tent. In this tent was a twenty-some­thing name­less girl.

She shall re­main name­less not only be­cause I never both­ered ask­ing her name, but be­cause she might be em­bar­rassed by what I’m about to tell you.

Name­less girl’s tent was se­curely planted un­der said tree, right across from our din­ing room that com­prised four camp­ing chairs parked next to a pan with some eggs and ba­con in it. She an­nounced her ar­rival by tug­ging her tent’s zip­per so fe­ro­ciously that the tent pulled away from its moor­ings.

( & À ' the dusty, un­for­giv­ing grounds of Mor­dor. And not the grace­ful, la­dy­like kind of fall. She hit the earth like a sack of pota­toes, us­ing her strik­ingly beau­ti­ful fa­cial fea­tures as a brak­ing mech­a­nism. She re­mained face down for a few sec­onds, turned on her back and cried out at the heav­ens. “Waar’s my beur­sie? Waar’s my zol?”

As two of my friends ran to­wards this tragic scene, my best friend turned to me and summed the sit­u­a­tion up in a word – “am­a­teur”.

Reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to Op­pikoppi re­fer to the gen­eral camp­ing grounds as Mor­dor, also known as the place where Frodo needs to de­posit the one ring in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And, as Boromir fa­mously stated, ‘One does not sim­ply walk in there’. You need to go pre­pared for the full-on as­sault your body and mind will have to en­dure for four days ev­ery year (this year the fes­ti­val is three days).

It’s not some­thing you can just go and do –

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I packed a one-man tent, a pap­sak and six buns for ev­ery day I’d be there. What else would a man need to sus­tain him­self for four days?

As it turns out, a pap­sak doesn’t fare too well in the bak­ing sun. It ba­si­cally ex­ploded, spilling ev­ery sin­gle drop straight onto the red dust. It even­tu­ally formed a layer of al­co­hol­based red paste at the en­trance of my hum­ble abode. So I spent four days eat­ing dry bread and tread­ing on my dop, in­stead of drink­ing it. At least the mu­sic was epic.

Ah, the mu­sic. It’s the main rea­son I go to Oppi, but so many younglings make the grave er­ror of im­bib­ing too much be­fore the good stuff starts. That’s prob­a­bly my number

Ev­ery year 20 000 mu­sic en­thu­si­asts con­gre­gate around hun­dreds of camel thorn trees in Lim­popo. Most know it as the Op­pikoppi fes­ti­val,

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