I’m by no means a relationship-type brother, but I had to go gonzo for all my people out there who are. Last weekend I was invited by Caesar to spend the night at his palace in Kempton Park. It took quite some time to secure a date for this excursion, like mad long fam, but once I had, it was on. The plan was to go to Emperors Palace, have dinner, watch David Kau’s legendary comedy showcase and then spend the night at the Peermont Metcourt Hotel.
We roll up to the palace and dinner is the first item on the itinerary. We hit up a sushi spot called Zen. It was quite zen in there, I was so happy I had a date with me as it was just couples night at every one of the tables in the joint. I happen to be a fan of sushi and so I order a platter with all sorts of exotic-sounding things on it. My date, on the other hand, opts for fried chicken.
The platter was good. California rolls that, instead of being wrapped in seaweed, were deep fried around the edges. Does that still count as sushi? What was a little unexpected were the pieces of salmon and some other fish on my platter. Just slabs of fish flesh, no seaweed or rice or any of that other stuff. I learnt on this night that ordering exotic things without knowing what they look like can be quite alarming. Bra, I was never ready.
The place was packed with a crowd that seemed laid back and ready to have a laugh. This was an entirely new scene to me. I didn’t realise the following was this strong – they have three Blacks Only comedy shows a year! We were ushered to our nosebleed seats, but I was still finessing the swag. We drank and laughed for a good few hours. Kau had the audiences in stitches, with his minimalist outfit changes that involved the same or very similar suits being remixed every time with a new trilby or reversible scarf. “It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it,” he told us. He then proceeded to bring out quite a stellar line-up of comedians. Standouts were Skhumba, with a foul mouth and a killer set. The only woman on the roster, Khanyisa Bunu, dropped a few jewels of wisdom during her set, including “people once laughed at me and so I turned that into a career”. Yaseen Barnes thrilled the audience with his witty wordplay, while Siya Seya from the Eastern Cape had the place going absolutely ballistic and left to the sounds of a standing ovation.
The Peermont is one of the newer hotels at Emperors. It was cool, I can’t lie, and got me thinking how hotel rooms are pretty much the same everywhere you go. This one is nice, nothing major going on – perfect for a stopover for those waiting for connecting flights. The view from my window was the back of an airport – quite noisy and not really much to look at. It was rather run of the mill, but I could never fully hate as this hotel is in the glorious east side of Joburg. It’s all about location.
The next Blacks Only is September 2 at Emperors Palace. Tickets R295 to R410 at computicket.com
The Metcourt is R1640 for a standard room, book at emperorspalace.com