Cape Town - While we who live in Cape Town believe it to be one of the world’s finest tourism destinations, the truth is that we’re a relatively small blip on the end of the African continent. Naturally, those who make the trip here become instant converts to the city, where unparalleled experiences and attractions can be enjoyed, but we’re still in awe of international superstars when they come to visit.
In March, we’re welcoming Ed Sheeran to the city, where he will perform two shows, filling our massive Cape Town Stadium. That’s big news for us – that his music holds enough interest for locals, especially on top of our own remarkable local music offerings – it’s fantastic that we’re diverse enough in culture to welcome different kinds of artists. We don’t see enough of them, so let’s hope Ed is ready for the attention his whirlwind visit will attract. Can you guess which hotel he and his entourage will stay in? Which restaurants will host him? After all, we have some of the world’s best restaurants – he’d be silly not to experience those while here. But is he a five-star, luxury guy, or more of a “let’s chill in a discreet spot” kind of visitor? We see them all.
Some famous visitors want to enjoy a little anonymity while travelling after the day-to-day wrangling with paparazzi in their home towns, while others are quite happy to grab a selfie (or fifty) with fans while enjoying their trip.
By the way, Robert Smith of The Cure is also in town, as is Travis Fimmel of Vikings fame - you never know where they could turn up either. Better yet, next week the whole extravaganza of the Cape Town Jazz Festival takes place, with over 40 local and international acts, contributing in the region of R700 million to the economy.
Fortunately, we’re very welcoming, almost charmingly naïve when it comes to celebrities. An A-lister is just as likely to get told, “Howzit, man, come have a braai, boet”, as he is offered the full luxury experience, too. We don’t stand on ceremony here. We may only have seen you on our screens, but you’re part of the family.
Of course, hotels naturally lean towards discretion when it comes to their A-list guests. It’s makes business sense, after all, to ensure that your guests are safe and comfortable and that future guests will have the confidence to book knowing that that’s how you do business.
Still, it’s fun to play a sort of game we could call “Spot the Ed”. A game involving guessing where he’ll turn up, the Where’s Wally of Cape Town. Will his manager have organised a whistle-stop peninsula tour? A trip on the Red Bus? A thrilling climb up the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway? And will his fans figure out his itinerary?
We’re willing to bet that photos will emerge of Mr Sheeran enjoying Cape Town – after all, who wouldn’t? If you’re lucky enough to cross paths with him, tell him ‘welcome', ‘howzit’, ‘molo’, ‘sawubona’ or ‘aweh’, from all of us here in the city.