Wacko Jacko comes to life with white socks and a perfect moonwalk

2017-02-14 06:05

Michael Jackson is alive, hails from Kimberley and speaks the local vernacular. Well, at least that is what guests at last week’s opening night of the Michael Jackson History Show at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park must have thought.

For the first time in the show’s touring history, Wacko Jacko is magnificently played by a child born east of the confluence of the Vaal and Orange rivers, and in the surrounds of the Big Hole: Dantonio Goodman.

With some of the gentlemen dressed in 1990s-style bandanas and some ladies clad in flared jeans, complete with shiny diamante, the show evoked emotions that were last seen in a bygone era.

As Goodman perfectly executed the moonwalk and leaned 45 degrees to the stage, the audience narrated the entire show, explaining how songs such as Smooth Criminal were their first Nokia 3310 ringtone. The guests used their smartphones – in lieu of lighters that were once allowed to be used indoors – to create a sight of really old people not knowing their phones came standard with torches.

Being a child of the 1990s myself, it was refreshing to be in the company of people who know the songs I do, and even know how to dance to them. And, of course, there are always those Michael Jackson lyrics that natives remix into completely different songs.

The folks behind us confidently sang “Peedeh peedeh, I wara peedeh”, when the actual lyrics are “Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it, no one wants to be defeated”. This was only topped by the couple in the same row as us who insisted the lyrics to Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough are: “Ke bao ka di botsotso. Chelet’ e fedile”, when the real lyrics are “Keep on with the force. Don’t stop, don’t stop till you get enough…”

But the man on stage, who sounded, looked and acted just like Michael Jackson, was most impressive. From the quick wardrobe changes to the white socks that shone through it all, Goodman proved that there are diamonds in the rough all over South Africa.

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