But the tension built to breaking point as communities descended on the City Hall for the semi finals of the arts competition. One director threw in the towel the night before. One group refused to rehearse for fear of giving away secrets – with disappointing results (their backing track skipped during the performance and their final dance was ruined). Another group took it so hard when they did not go through to the finals that it seemed like all the good of the project was lost in angr and bitterness…
Then finally all competition was over. More than 1 000 children and adults packed into the Stellenbosch City Hall. This was the most representative audience I had ever seen in the city hall – not just one community, one political party or one interest group, but every sector, every class, race and creed of the Stellenbosch and surrounding area was represented. And in the front row sat the mayor and his wife with a number of other VIP’s. Evidently Keep Them Safe had brought unity of focus and togetherness across barriers.
On the evening of Friday 9 July, The following prizes were awarded:
- Certificate for the go-cart that completed the most laps: James Town (5 laps)
- KTS trophy for the overall winner of the gocart rally: Kylemore
- KTS trophy for the winner of the most hours of community service during compassion days: Kylemore
- KTS trophy for the best graffiti canvas: Idas Valley
- Second place for the Performings Arts show sponsored tickets for 5 shows at the Out the Box Festival: Koelenhof
- KTS trophy for first place in the PA show and sponsored tickets for the Activate programme and show case at the Out the Box Festival: Kayamandi
- KTS trophy for the most promising local talent: Groendal
Thank you also to the Stb municipality for their support as well as the other 29 partners who made this project happen!
But the most rewarding moment of the entire evening was the election of a two year old mayor!
Near the end of the event Joseph, the MC called pon the mayor on stage to dance the ‘waka-waka’ a dance and song that became popular as part of the world cup hype. The mayor got up and walked past a group of kids that had gathered on the floor in front of the stage. In passing he picked up a little 2 year old who had been dancing everytime he got a chance. He put the boy on stage and hung his own mayors medallion over the boy’s chest.
Joseph caught the moment and introduced the boy as the new mayor. The other MC Lihani proceeded to call one of the dance groups onto the stage to dance with the boy. The entire audience lead by the children and the two year old mayor all danced to the Waka-waka.
I salute the mayor for handing this moment to the children. This symbolic act cemented the central message of the entire KTS project: Keep the Kids safe because any one of them, no matter how seemingly insignificant could be the next mayor.
The big question left to answer: how do we sustain the good work that has now begun?
How can the KTS spirit be maintained as everyone returns home to their ordinary lives after the world cup holiday is over?