Every year I’m asked a few questions by way too many of my lady friends, you know them as the “poppies who judge.” The persistent “how do you even go there?” “How can you go four days without showering?” Or “how can you behave like some sort of animal!?”

Well, this is what I have to say: I’m a Norfieee, and we Norfiessss have learnt that life can be tough out there. Let me break it down for you. Here’s what it means to be a NORFIE: We’re strong enough to withstand the most adverse conditions, and rough or careless handling. So, I thought I’d shed some light on the subject at hand, OPPIKOPPI (the devil of all devil festivals), from a REAL girl’s point of view of course.

So, first things first, I had to do my research (which failed epically ‘cause, well, I’m only friends with people who don’t support the whole idea of dirt in the face and sand between the toes). But just as I was about to give up and make the biggest mistake of all by giving in to the “poppies-who-judge clan,” a lady (whom I must admit is legit in her own way) contacted me.

I asked her the following questions, and was rather displeased with the answers, mostly because this girl had never been to Oppikoppi. But regardless (my parents taught me: “Michelle, you have to respect everyone’s point of view and opinions”). Geeezz! This growing up thing is so fucking hard!

What is it about Oppikoppi that you don’t like?

The people and the dirtiness of it all.

Seriously? What is this The Barney club? Only happy singing and clappy kids allowed, and let’s see who has the biggest smile? Bah! In my honest opinion, we need to get in touch with nature, take off our shoes and run in the dirt. But let’s take a look at a few possible solutions.

Fun fact of the day: Did you know Oppikoppi has showers? I know there is no hot water, but you can boil water in a pot on the fire… Like your groot oupas and oumas who lived on the ‘plaas’ had to do. Then wash your body with a cloth in your big-ass tent – if the tent is too small, get your butt to the showers and jump through the cold water. Believe me, nothing beats a ‘babbelas’ like an ice cold Oppikoppi shower.

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Nothing a wet wipe can’t fix!

If there is one thing you could change about Oppikoppi that would make you want to go, what would it be?

It does not matter what they change, Oppikoppi just looks like one big ‘Suip Sessie’ where everyone takes photos of their passed out friends in chairs or in their tents with empty bottles making up the scenery. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound straitlaced, but I don’t think Oppikoppi is a place where I will be able to enjoy myself… I will be more in my comfort zone at Innibos or Aardklop.

Well well well, did you know people pass out on a weekly basis in clubs such as Ty’s and Mojos etc.? When Gossip was still a part of this world, a passed out person was the entertainment for the night. “Ag nee fokkit Frikkie, ek het gese jy moet jouself pace, Bra!”

Ron-Burgundy-What-Did-You-Say-Anchorman

The next statement I’m going to make might come as a big shock, but we call these so-called ‘Suip Sessies’ real memories. The photos are, in hindsight, just like your selfies: “to remind us of how damn sexy we once used to be, and of course on the odd occasion, to piss off the passed out friend in the photo.” Who wants to live a life in complete comfort? “Vanaand dans ek my tiete af” must become our motto. Have fun, live the life that has been given to you, don’t waste it.

What do you think of girls who attend this magnificent dusty epic festival?

I don’t think badly of any girl, ‘cause I don’t necessarily know how they act at Oppikoppi. However, all of the stories I have heard makes me think of Oppikoppi as this 24/7 drinking hub. I do drink, but I don’t make a point of it to see how much and how fast I can drink in one day without shaming myself. It just becomes “common” after a while. I cannot go a weekend without showering or brushing my teeth. I have heard that after day 2 at Oppikoppi everything is dirty, and no one tries to even shower anymore. I’m just not one for camping I suppose.

Ah ha, it seems like we’ve come to the root of the problem: those damn stories. I mean come on, people are way too intoxicated after the second day, which is the main reason why they stop caring about cleaning up. Jy’s ‘n fokken individu, as jy jou gat en bek wil skrop dan maak jy so! All of the facilities are there at your disposal, so use it. If you are grossed out by the showers, put on a pair of ‘plakkies,’ if you can’t stand the dust in the basin, grab a five liter can of water and borsel ‘n bek so… We do this every year at camp, we always brush our teeth before we start the day, regardless of what you might think. Some of us really value our hygiene, so we do clean ourselves and wash the P’s.

How would you describe Oppikoppi to a stranger who is thinking about attending the festival?

I would simply ask them whether they like beer and rock music; if the answer’s yes, I would advise them to take a lot of wet wipes for their dusty hands and feet.

There’s more than just beer to be had at the festival: a person can buy Brutal Fruit and Whiskey as well as the beloved Brandy – and you can even bring your own booze. How magical is that?

And it’s not just Rock on offer: House, Trance, and even Afrikaans music is an option. You can even blast your own ‘Treffers’ at your campsite if you really want to be the doos who plays Kurt Darren at ungodly hours. The magical thing about Oppikoppi is that no one cares, and no one forces you to “suip jou gat af” or “dans jou tiete af.” Oppikoppi lets you do whatever it is what you want to do. And who doesn’t want that in life.

Too much party, too little rest

Be whatever you want to be at Oppikoppi, this guy is a graffiti wall.

With this I conclude: not all girls who go to Oppikoppi can be regarded as emo, morbidly depressed, satanists, druggies, goths, freaks, or rockers… I take that back, all of us are rockers. However, Oppikoppi makes us feel comfortable in own skin. We connect with ourselves and judge no one. We make friends, we lose our voices, and we bruise our bodies by walking through trees because well, wie wil nou om die fokken boom loop? We stand in crowds of many thousands of similar-minded people because a few people much more talented than we are (because let’s face it, shower stem is KAK) are performing for us. We eat, we drink, we joke, and we laugh. And more important than all that, we have FUN!

So if all of this makes me un-lady-like then I don’t care. Take your title! A few years ago I lost my heart to this dust-filled place in Northam known as Oppikoppi, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of me for religiously attending it annually. I’m my own person *sheds a few tears* So, here I go a little prematurely, but with a hell of a lot of spirit:

OOOOOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
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