Manila von Teez. Picture: Jamal Grootboom
Manila von Teez. Picture: Jamal Grootboom

Drag Brunch closes out 2021 with a bang

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Dec 20, 2021

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Drag Brunches have taken the country by storm and the final Cape Town edition for 2021 brought all the Christmas cheer.

Held at the Radisson Red at the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town Drag Brunches are hosted by Siv Ngesi Productions in conjunction with MVT Productions.

Drag Brunch not only showcases some of Cape Town's premier drag cabaret performers but it allows those who aren’t night owls to experience the beauty of drag performance.

The special edition of Drag Brunch took place on Sunday with a Christmas theme.

The host for this extra festive occasion was Miss Gay Western Cape 2018, Wendy La Rosa, who kept the crowd entertained with witty banter, great jokes and had an ease that had the three-set show moving at a brisk pace.

The performers for the day includedSA’s Got Talent” finalist Manila von Teez, Vida Fantabisher and popular drag trio 3D – Kat Gilardi, Jayde Kay Johnston and Angel Lalamore.

The queens performed a myriad of drag classics including “Listen” by Beyoncé, various old school medleys, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You ”by Mariah Carey.

Speaking about why he started Drag Brunch, local actor and comedian Siv Ngesi said: “You know, it’s been incredible, in most shows we have about 95% newcomers to drag.

“Most have never been to a drag show in their lives. So for me, if we continue bringing newcomers into the community it’s great.”

However, the “Knuckle City” star also shared that getting brands on board for the events can be a challenge: “We just want to get brands on board to support this incredible art form. But when we're struggling with that, brands haven't been jumping on.

“Cosmetix SA has been one of the first brands to really push and support, and they put hundreds and hundreds of thousands of rand into drag.

“So thank you so much to Cosmetix, owned by Cindy Nell, because it’s been great work. They have make-up exhibitions here. They have people do their make-up, they give away little prizes and have given so much to drag.”

Manila also spoke of what these Drag Brunches have done for the local drag scene: “It's been amazing, because we have been literally opening up to a new audience, and it's an audience that's super appreciative of drag.

“I mean, I'm not saying that our (normal) audience isn't, but it's just a lot more love than we usually receive and it's refreshing.”

She also shared about what she hopes 2022 will bring for the local drag community.

“We're going to be focused on South Africa. So that is the next goal for 2022 ...That's why we want to infiltrate having a lot of queens host, so that they can further their skill so that we can send you off to Durban, Radisson Blu or Radisson Red.

“And then you go to Joburg Radisson, so that we know that there's representation from our camp. Cape Town is the capital of drag, so I believe that that will also catapult a different sort of audience, as well as a certain type of queens that are going to come out and support,” Manila said.

The next Drag Brunch is set to take place on January 16, 2022.

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