Despite severe weather warnings, they flocked to Santos Beach for the Dias & Port Festival. Braving a destructive south-easter, defying a thunderstorm and sticking it out in the rain, they stood their ground in the name of free entertainment.
As youthful heads were bopping up and down energetically to the beat of popular Afrikaans rapper, Early B's songs last Friday, a tragedy involving children of similar ages was unfolding.
Teens chatting excitedly about their weekend plans on Friday, 1 February had their lives forever changed as a walkway at Hoërskool Driehoek collapsed. Weekend plans never materialised for four of those learners, while many were injured. Worse still, a community and furthermore a fragile nation, were rocked by the unfortunate aftermath.
I grew up close to the Vaal Triangle. Girls from Hoërskool Driehoek became friends during my dancing years commuting to Vanderbijlpark for master classes. The Vaal offered far more options in terms of shopping than the one-horse town I called home, as well as the luxury of going to the cinema.
My hometown had a drive-in situated right next to the township. As the political unrest during the 1980s grew, it became abandoned and spooky – a place where high school bravehearts would dare each other to go after dark.
Among a few fond memories of the drive-in, was seeing Jamie Uys' hit film The Gods Must Be Crazy. A Coca Cola bottle that fell from a plane disrupts life among tribal people in a remote African desert. As the villagers start fighting for possession of the strange object, the tribal leader decides to take the bottle back to the gods in order to restore peace.
Following the Hoërskool Driehoek tragedy, Lindsay Maasdorp, spokesperson of Black First Land First (BLF), has placed a most unfavourable Coca Cola bottle among the tribe. Responding to a post by a facebook user, who claimed to be unmoved by the deaths of the Hoërskool Driehoek pupils as they would eliminate "3 future problems" from the world, Maasdorp's response was that the commentator's post was "correct", saying that "God is responding".
Maasdorp added: "Why should we frown on the ancestors' petitions to punish the land thieves including their offspring."
The cruelty and callousness of the statement winded me. My thoughts turned to other unforgettable losses closer to home involving schoolchildren. Fourteen young lives were lost in the horrifying Rheenendal bus accident in August 2011. Negligence was found to have caused the bus the children were travelling to school in, to slide into Kasat-se-Drif outside Knysna, reported the Knysna-Plett Herald, sister publication of the Mossel Bay Advertiser.
I couldn't help but wonder how Mr Maasdorp would explain this?
Following the weekend's festival, themed Where cultures meet, a particular facebook comment made, is noteworthy. "Dias- & Hawefees, waar kulture ontmoet en 'n samesyn hoop voorspel. (Dias & Port Festival where cultures meet and fellowship forecasts hope)." I rebuke Lindsay Maasdorp. Because if this is how he explains an inexplicable loss, one can only derive that the gods must be crazy.