Above the hip-pulsing Latin rhythms mixed with a side of dance music in the Cubana Lounge — a trendy bar in the fashionable de Waterkant neighborhood of Cape Town — James K., a thirty-something interior designer who’s become my guide for the evening, shouts to make himself heard as the barman performs tricks involving fire and alcohol.
“Listen to this music,” he says, emphatically pointing toward the ceiling as if trying to explain a time and place, “this is not Africa.” When we return to his friends, balancing fistfuls of mojitos, he makes the point again. “Look at these people,” motioning at his own entourage and then at the rest of the crowd, which would not look out of place in SoHo or SoBe. “This is not Africa either. This is South Africa.”Â READ MORE