Ash struggled to write about Oppikoppi from a newbie’s perspective but the review is finally ready and it’s funny. Temporarily tame your Post-Oppikoppi Depression by reliving your Oppikoppi moments through this article.

Photo: Margaret Olwoch
I’ve been battling to write something about Oppikoppi from a newbie’s perspective for a week now. I think it’s because I’m sick and also incredibly lazy. By now you’ve probably seen tons of posts by obnoxious people writing about how they ‘survived’ Oppikoppi. These people annoy you too, right? As if they overcame some great challenge in their life, like being stranded in the desert without their iPhone and favourite coffee shop. Well before you lose interest and close this page, scan through this review and you’ll have a 100% chance of winning! 

Driving there in my Citi Golf, the best car ever invented, I was unprepared to be pulled over by cops. Twice. My car is roadworthy and I didn’t have any stupid illegal stuff in my car. I just get incredibly nervous and suspicious when I see cops. The fact that I talk a lot and am too friendly didn’t make the situation any better. I must’ve looked like I was hiding a village of slave children in my car.

If I’ve heard anything about Oppikoppi I’ve heard people say, “Bring wet wipes, you won’t shower.”
You dirty buggers.
I managed to shower every day in weather so cold I was afraid my boobs would freeze and fall off. Yes, it was freezing but cold showers are fantastic, they cleanse your body and mind quicker than a confession at a church. I’m happy that I didn’t have to resort to feeling like a smelly hobo. However, showering is not necessarily part of the Oppikoppi culture and the majority of people didn’t bother at all.

As an oppi virgin and a semi-obsessive control freak, I spent weeks studying blogs about their tips and survival aids. My friends and I had Oppikoppi endurance drinking meetings that served as an excuse to drink whilst sitting in tents in the garden. Yes, we’re nerds. Yetu and I were OCD and packed every food type you can imagine. We usually end up doing this for festivals and every time we come back with way too much food which we finish on the trip back home. We never fucking learn.

I didn’t eat a lot, even though we had prepared gourmet food like egg and bacon croissants. I found it was easier to resort to simba chips on cheese rolls. People underestimate chip rolls. It’s the food for lazy and hungover champions.

Being an environment freak, I like camping and getting in touch with nature. So does Yetu. She likes to reconnect with African soil, with her face, at night time. Then again taking swigs out of a tequila bottle is never a good idea. Luckily my body has developed an, “Oh shit, she’s drinking tequila again!” response which puts my legs into autopilot mode. We quickly realised the importance of a small torch. They’re fantastic because at 4am when you’re cold and most likely trashed, you really can’t see road signs and every gawdam tent looks the same.

If I wasn’t so content on getting lost for hours on end I would’ve seen way more performances. I was acting like a contestant of a spin-off of Survivor/Fear Factor and was chilling with friendly strangers in their campsites. Yes, I was that girl. I remember humming the Mission Impossible tune every time I got lost. Those Red Bull camp bars didn’t help either as they served as a filling station every time drinks ran low. 


Photo: Margaret Olwoch

From the music side, the line up was pretty awesome. I’m not even talking about the international bands. I loved stumbling upon small local bands; Oppikoppi is a great platform for local bands to expose their music to different audiences. Music lovers were in their element. With 7 stages there was certainly something for everyone.

The fact that Oppikoppi festival goers are so friendly and forthcoming makes this festival stand out from others I’ve attended. You could be a socially awkward online gamer with a zit face and you’d still leave Oppikoppi having made more friends than you have on Facebook. There’s definitely an Oppikoppi culture that pulls you in head first and engulfs you completely.

Whilst in Northam I adopted charming ladylike habits such as wiping dirty hands on pants, spontaneously shouting, and throwing things in trees. It seems that Oppikoppi brings out the inner animal in people. A few people have told me that returning back to the real world took some time to get used to. Stuff that, the whole week after Oppi was a write-off for me.

I refused to wear those white face masks that make you look from Bane from Batman. Which in hindsight is extremely stupid? Next year I shall embrace those white medical masks with an open mind. I plan on being prepared next year so I don’t cough like an old man with TB when I wake up in the mornings.

Like many, on the way back home, I managed to bring an extra load of what felt like 50kg to my car. With the amount of dirt on my clothes, you’d say I was rolling in the road making dust-angels. Then again, who knows? Don’t put it in the washing machine though. Piss off your snooty neighbours by reinacting your best Mamelodi household impression: A broom for stirring, a large bucket and loud traditional music with occasional shouting for your sister to bring more OMO. It’s more entertaining and your neighbours will poop bricks.

I have huge admiration for the veterans who have been attending Oppikoppi for more than 5 straight years. In my opinion, they need an Oppikoppi award or at least a free case of beers. Oppikoppi ate me head first , chewed me up like Oom Jannes’s tobacco, swallowed me and the regurgitated me up again so that I may return to Pretoria having lost any dignity and looking like a dreadlocked and bewildered midget. My body is still asking “What happened?”

I’m thinking that a camping trip to Limpopo is in order. Ask me about it when you see me out in Pretoria/Johannesburg. It won’t be Oppikoppi but we’ll gather to talk rubbish and share Oppikoppi stories.

Congratulations! You read this without slitting your wrists. Here are some stars and wavy things

~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~ <3 ~~~~~~*~~~~~~

Peace and Love, Ash

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