Western Cape Government congratulates award-winning Riel dance group

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities:

The Western Cape Government congratulates the Nuwe GrasKoue Trappers for their award-winning performance at the World Championships of Performing Arts. The team won 11 medals and a string of additional accolades.

Premier Helen Zille and Economic Opportunities Minister, Alan Winde, commended the Nuwe GrasKoue Trappers who yesterday returned to South Africa from the United States of America, where their Riel dance performance drew international acclaim.

The Riel Dance is rooted in the indigenous cultures of the Khoi and San and is one of South Africa’s oldest ethnic folk dances.

The group, which was established in 2012, comprises of 17 young people from Wupperthal and other communities in the Cederberg.

Among their sponsors are Bushmans Kloof and its owners, the Tollman family. They are managed by Floris Smith, Bushmans Kloof executive chef and deputy general manager.

Other sponsors include Rooibos Limited and Reagola IT. The Western Cape Government also funds the group through Wesgro.

Premier Zille said: “The achievement by the Nuwe GrasKoue Trappers is really taking South Africa onto the world stage in a spectacular way. I extend my congratulations to the group and everyone involved in ensuring their success. I hope to see more of this in the near future”.

Minister Winde said the group were cultural and tourism ambassadors for the province.

“The Nuwe GrasKoue Trappers are taking the Riel dance, which is uniquely South African, to the rest of the world. They are excellent cultural and tourism ambassadors who have showcased the Western Cape’s rich heritage on the international stage,” said Minister Winde.

Their awards at the World Championships of Performing Arts include:

  • Gold medal in the Ethnic Folk Dance Category with the Riel dance;
  • The group earned a Finalist Award for being one of three overall dance groups in the running for Grand Champion Dance Group of the World Award;
  • Gold medal in the Open Dance Category as well as the Division Winner Trophy for the Open Category;
  • Gold medal in the Tap Dance category.
  • Group members Jobry Swart and Zarion Samson won the Division Trophy Award in the Tap Category. Jobry, Zarion and Boltvin Tamboer also won a one month dance scholarship with Millennium Dance Company.
  • Silver medal in the Open Dance Category with Gumboot Dancing;
  • The group’s band won four medals including a silver medal in the Instrumental Open Category, a silver medal in the instrumental Jazz Category, a silver medal in the instrumental Original Category and a bronze in the instrumental Open Trio category

Guitarist Efraum Kotze won two silver medals and one bronze.

Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers 3 (photographer Zona Mourton) Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers 2 (photographer Werner le Roux)