Yes a hundred times Yes

11 Feb

Andre Kertesz

Yeah man, I was like what? Nah! Come on son! And please… don’t be alarmed, some things do bring out the gansta in the Monsieur. This reaction was because of a film that happened to have a part where some woman was reading the dying throes of Ulysses, the book by James Joyce. The author was allegedly experimenting with long sentences; minimal punctuation; or just plain fucking with us. I wouldn’t know I never read the entire book. I just hunted for that particular paragraph. Apparently there is a particular part in the narrative where a girl is professing love for a dude. It has a gang of Yeses marching along the page one after the other, strewn like confetti, punctuation, exclamations, verbs, adjectives and other kinds of amazing like that.

The way I heard it read in the film was all in a rush, like the emotion couldn’t wait to get the hell out there into the young man’s ears and thus his heart.  Really! I mean really, wouldn’t a passionate kiss have done a better job…? #imjustsayin yo. No, so anyway it is what it is, and the Monsieur being who he is the question was, what is it exactly this author was trying to pull here? I set out to confirm to myself that there was something shady going on here, a discrete yet indecent fondling at least. Remember, the book wasn’t written in a time when PDA was kosher. There was all this ceremony that was a prelude to getting your freak on, or showing a decent young lady that she was causing a major jones in your bones. So having convinced myself that there was some sly sex going on I hunted the damn book down, found it… the library is good in that way. I soon discovered that reading the book was not feasible for me. Through some random skimming I quickly lucked out and found the magic lines near the end of the book.

Boss! That damn line blew me away. I don’t know why the couple is there, it just not the Monsieur’s way to give a rat’s ass. It was like wow, forget a discrete indecent fondling, that would have been too easy. Just the girl talking made it so much more sexier. I mean if there is a man out there that doesn’t like hearing Yes, yes, yes and even more yes, he has got something wrong with him. Reading the paragraph, I saw myself there, just lying there, getting the dream answer to my unasked love question and just soaking it all in. Quite possibly the  flow of three little letter emotion with no punctuation made it non-threatening to lay back and receive. It did set off fireworks  of all kinds in my noggin, thinking about all those little secret signs that I encountered before in my life that sent me to cloud 9 ( and several times to cloud 69… naturally, this is the Monsieur) how grand yet stupid professions of love can be… actually, are. I mean it’s just the safety valve for an overflow of emotion most of the time. It’s not unusual to hear “I love you” in the throes of passion, and in my book that is usually the best time to avoid saying such incriminating things… even when you have been at the watermelon  and the drank takes over your tongue.

Back to the Yes, yes, yes’ I mentally lay there and imagined a woman saying that to me.  It was a special feeling, taken out of context, and in a very public place, the library, remember? Wonderful! Typical, these damn writers, they play with your emotions so easily… but we let them don’t we…? A real stop-it-I-like-it situation. It was nice – but the Monsieur don’t play… so there might be a different story to tell one day about all that Yes.

 

Image: “Carnival, Paris (woman reading behind stage),” (1926), by Andr Kertsz

The Fox without a tail

26 Jan

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Catchy title no…? Briefly it was going to be Random Acts of Idiocy…  Anyway this is quite the wrong chord to strike as the Monsieur gets back into chiming with the WaWaWa, however strong emotional reactions are the Monsieur’s stock in trade. It goes without saying that a flesh and bone being is behind these musings. They are posted with the hope that they bring as much pleasure to reader as they do to the writer. It’s never with a malicious twinkle in the eye that anything happens with the Monsieur’s touch. However most of us know that serious imperfection of after all being man… it runs deep and sometimes gets the better of us despite our purest intentions.

 

Whole movie story lines are based on this condition, from Fantastic Mr Fox in Wes Anderson’s beautiful rendition of a Roald Dahl book, to Brown Sugar an ‘urban love story’ (love this description), schmaltz like Casanova (Rip Heath Ledger) these films tend to point out how human it is to err, even if that isn’t their focus. For an hour and change we can walk in someone else’s shoes all the while possibly missing the reflection of our selves… perhaps because it is a stop motion fox that goes too far trying to do good for family. The beauty and the sadness in the reality is that we have all been there whether we realised it or not.

 

On multiple occasions the Monsieur meandered into monumentally impossible corners. Who knows you might have been introduced to a girl your best friend fancied and in trying to create a good impression (for his sake) she ends up gravitating to you and not your best friend. What began as a well-intention random act of something ended up being a random act of idiocy, sometimes with very real repercussions indeed. However this isn’t why you come here, to read about the ever unfolding human drama of being human.  If there is a lesson to be learnt in this rather cryptic kick-off of another spate of weird and wonderful blogging…  let’s try this – it’s never really about us, as we find out in the long run. However, never forgo an opportunity to make the necessary amends for your part in being human.

 

Maybe what the Monsieur needs to do is more of this and less random acts of idiocy. After all we are adults and we should know… and do better.

 

Here is a motivation to help you aim for your own personal happiness… www.100happydays.com (Thank you @iamchelle)

And another motivation to help you be more comfortable with being human, slightly www.waitbutwhy.com (Thank you @missmillieB)

One more motivation to help you share how you could possibly avoid random acts of idiocy – www.somewhere.com  (Thank you @kojobaffoe)

 

Image – Kevin Wagner Design

Asked and Answerd Malibongwe Tyilo

18 May

The Monsieur knows all the right sorts, file that under fact not brag. I did promise that I would bring you some super to go with the duper that this space is. Don’t cringe, embrace, Super Duper – it’s not like its coming back. That turn of phrase encapsulates what most of us try to say about fashion, and can’t put into words. But we love how fashion makes us look – Super; and we love how it makes other people look at us – Duper. Cause and some sort of effect. Malibongwe Tyilo is only one out of many people that makes their nights about bringing us great moments that we would ordinarily miss, even if we were there. However as Skattie What Are You Wearing, name of his Blog not his Super Hero moniker, Mali sets the pace. It’s all gold everything in terms of being genuinely from South Africa, except when he goes to Hyères photography and fashion festival in the South of France. I am not selling, and you ain’t buying, I give you Skattie.

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Skattie, what are you doing these days?

Last time you were here I think I was still in the retail game as a fashion buyer. Well, since then, last year (2012) Feb to be exact, I left retail to pursue freelance writing. Eventually I was offered a very cool position as Editor at Large for Visi magazine, which in my opinion is the best design, décor and architecture magazine in SA. They were also very understanding of my situation with Skattie, the evening events and the freelance work, so I pop into work around noon, leaving the morning open to explore freelance projects.

Back in the day you landed in Cape Town at fashion buyer school – what prompted that decision?

An empty stomach. When I first arrived in CT in 1999 after graduating from fashion college in Johannesburg I was all about design and I considered fashion buying to be some form of selling out to the corporations. Then after four years of dealing with the harsh realities of trying to make it into the SA fashion industry and doing a whole lot of waiting tables on Cape Town’s restaurant scene, I was like fuck that, I need a salary and some damn medical aid so I joined the Truworths buyer training program. I must say I actually ended up enjoying buying so much and it taught me a lot about how the marketplace really works, you know, instead of some of the fantasies that I’d learnt in fashion school.

What were your most amazing buys when travelling the world bringing hot things for Mzanzians?

To be honest I really don’t have particular favourites. The strange thing about fashion buying, that specific part of fashion buying, that one week when you travel, is that it really isn’t as fabulous as it sounds, this idea of shopping as work, it is so exhausting, walking up and down foreign streets, bags weighing you down, shopping sometimes for twelve hours straight, and things just start to look the same. In the interest of full disclosure I should also mention that I absolutely hate shopping, especially for clothes, strange but true.

And then you left that side of the fashion world, was it a good move?

Definitely, I am now focusing on work I am passionate about, chasing projects that are personally meaningful to me, and I am able to direct my creativity where I want it to go. There are things I miss I won’t lie. The thing about this semi-freelance life is that you have to do all your own personal admin. The medical aid, the policies, the provident funds, etc. Whereas when you are a full time employee as a buyer for a retailer, you walk into a situation that is sorted for you, you just sign on the dotted line and voila; medical aid, shares, retirement plans and all of that falls into place.

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From fresh eyed buying apprentice to buyer to stylish blogger come tastemaker to photographer/videographer, Skattie what can’t you do?

Hehehe… there’s still a lot to learn. Having dabbled in a few things and looking to dabble in a few more, I’m recognising the value of spending enough time in each of my interests in order to get better at them. My writing and photography have improved because I work on those the most. However, there is still so much more room for improvement. The video work if I am to be honest is actually quite shit, interesting content yes, but technically way inferior to the video work that kids are producing right now. I always think of Nollywood as my main inspiration, some of those movies are made in 2 weeks and the lighting is cringetastic, but you know what, they are pushing on and learning as they go, and they’ve managed to create an economy around themselves and their work because the audience loves the content and aren’t terribly stressed about the lighting, or the acting for that matter. Of course in an ideal world everything should be of a certain standard, but we can’t spend too much time thinking about our obstacles, sometimes we must just start and we’ll learn along the way.

Skattie What Are You Wearing, no really right now, what are you wearing?

A David West deconstructed blazer, a drapey vest from the ladies wear section, a drapey black cotton scarf. Black jeans from some random Chinese import shop, and grey Zara men’s shoes.

Let’s do personal stuff, the Artist currently known as Athi, when did the fairy tale start?

Hehehehe @ fairytale. We met in 2007 when we both moved into a commune in a dodgy neighbourhood on the outskirts of innercity Johannesburg .

Two creatives and some cats, one home – this is your daily reality show, how do you keep it real at home with Athi?

What really helps with Athi and I is that we have a very similar set of insecurities and dreams. So home kind of has to be a safe space, a sanctuary if you will, a place where we can heal, a retreat and refuge from all the judgement and expectations out there. We have this phrase we live by, “I come home to kindness”. Not to say it’s all airy fairy and wonderful, we have our challenges, but because we are both fucked up in similar ways we also get how we need each other and we appreciate the lessons we are teaching each other.

Back to the killer pictures and what you say through them… what do you generally say through your photography?

I love the idea of documenting the space I exist in the way I see it, of course there is the obvious fashion slant, a lot of my pics are about documenting the fashion set. I also have very pop sensibilities and that affects how my work looks. I’m sure you’ve seen Kelis’s old-ish video, Bossy. I love the way that video is shot. So much fashion, superficial society vibes, excess. That video and the work of Jessica Craig Martin (if you haven’t you really must google her) are both huge inspirations for me. I suppose I don’t think I have one great message that I’m trying to put forth with my photography, other than inviting people to look at this world and have an opinion about it. I know it’s a world I love.

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The rich, the famous, the talented, the stylish, the gifted, idiots and other mofos have all crossed in front of your lens, which peeps were your highlights?

I must say generally my highlights are always my friends, the ones I photograph again and again, like Bee Diamondhead and Fumi May. I love their style, maybe it’s because we’re friends and somehow on the same wavelength, but I really love their style. Another highlight are the people who attend the Hyères photography and fashion festival in the south of France. I’ve been attending now for two years and each year I am blown away by the style. Understandably it’s a gathering of people who are very passionate about fashion so great style is to be expected, but still it amazes me

The Mayanas appear to have lied to us, or we misunderstood them, but since we will live longer, what have you got up your sleeve for 2013?

Currently I am working on a print project for Skattie, I first dabbled in that back in 2010, I’m revisiting it on a much larger scale. I am also working on an online market that links back to Skattie. I’m very excited about that project.

You find yourself sitting next to Botswana’s President at a dinner… how do you break the ice?

So..uhmmm…about the cheetah…

Photos: Max Mogale, Diary of Ward

Gareth Cliff – A Dry White

20 Apr

Gareth talking at gabs food and wine show 2012

The first time Gareth Cliff makes an entrance into the Monsieur’s sphere of existence was when he was getting a live beating on Twitter for daring to call a spade a spade. Thing is he was already notorious, infamous and yes, quite famous too for that trait. On this particular occasion the spade in question was South Africa’s then recently deceased Minster of Health, Mantho Tshabalala-Msimang. Honestly I laughed, god rest her soul, but sparking a ‘twar’ that drew a nice fat line in the Twitter sand box neatly separating black from white South Africans was already old. It was more fun to look at the issues being fired back and forth at 140 characters a second.

The main thing I gleaned from the resultant radio interviews, blog posts and newspaper articles was that this Gareth Cliff dude was one tough lekgoa yo. Sure we Africans don’t like to speak ill of the dead, however the Cliff had a point… he could have introduced it better. Anyway that was when Cliff first reared his blond head into my sights.

Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, what comes to mind today when you hear that name?

She was a minister in dereliction of her duties for the duration of her time in cabinet. Millions died needlessly because of her resistance to anti-retroviral drugs and the academic debate about the link between HIV and AIDS which was nothing short of pseudo-science.

Do you still get a side eye from some people for your opinions about Tshabalala-Msimang?

Many would agree with me.

What did people miss when you were trying to make your point about the minister?

There’s this idea that the dead must be respected regardless of their deeds.

Do you think before you tweet?

Yes, mostly. Like all humans, we are prone to say things without thinking from time to time. Twitter is no different.

Gareth on decks at gabs food and wine show 2012

Well, there it is, a perfectly rational dude, and though the Monsieur doesn’t listen to 5FM much, I liked him already… I mean, I do follow him on Twitter. Anyway, there is more to Gareth Cliff than my first time paying attention to him. Many people in Botswana may know him mainly from the very popular Dstv reality show, Idols. Several more people that like nice things will now recognise him from gracing the inaugural Gaborone Food and Wine Show at Airport Junction (Gabs) in November 2012.

Briefly, the 35 year old Cliff’s FB page says, ”Gareth Cliff is a tall, blue-eyed man from Pretoria, the capital city South Africa. His ancestors oppressed many people over their 300-400 year tenure in Africa. Gareth intends to remedy this with a terrific radio show.” I can’t argue with that, if it were up to the Monsieur to forgive him for something his ancestors did, that Mantotweet episode was payment enough. 35 years old and pulling serious numbers on his 6AM to 9AM radio show on 5FM is Cliff’s current calling. We meandered a bit through his career.

When did the radio bug first bite?

Oh I think I’ve always loved radio. I used to listen to morning shows on the way to school and I loved the idea of storytelling, of painting pictures with words. It’s magic.

At what point did you feel that you had found your thing?

I don’t know… I like entertaining people, having conversations.

What is about radio that brings you back every day?

It’s unpredictable, exciting, real.

If you were ever to leave the world of broadcasting, what would you do?

Make sandwiches.

Who was your radio hero, the person the inspired you to go into broadcasting?

I don’t really have a role-model, but I do look up to John Berks. I always loved the way he sounded, the way he was so comfortable behind the mic.

John Berks…? I don’t know… the Monsieur rather hoped he would say DJ Fresh, I mean… tattoos, a twisted sense of humour and more compilations released then there are haters at an R Kelly concert… winning!

How aware are people that DJ Fresh is from Botswana, and do they really care?

I think a lot of people do, but Botswana isn’t that far away or that different. I think we feel like we’re in the same family. The fact that SeTswana is such a widespread and important language here in SA makes the ties even closer.

But you see now, a hint at how clued up Cliff is about his country. Being on radio is not actually as easy as the best broadcasters make it sound. One of the questions I asked Cliff was simply…

Is the “New South Africa” ready to just be South Africa yet? 

Ha ha ha. I’m glad you asked that. We could learn a lot from Botswana about moving forward.

Don’t let that modest and democratic answer fool you, Gareth is very vocal about what he expects from his government. Radio isn’t his only weapon of choice, he writes too… open letters, blogs, books, and my personal favourite – the tweets.

Gareth at gabs food and wine show 2012

I deliberately didn’t ask about the book, I think it’s painful to get a person to big up their written work, rather go buy it and make up your own mind. The book is called ‘Gareth Cliff on Everything’ its 240 pages of opinion, basically pure unadulterated Cliff in page form. There is hardly anything he doesn’t have an opinion on, believe me the Monsieur tried to ask all manner of things…

In your opinion why is Idols relevant to the entertainment industry?

I don’t know. It’s just a good TV show. Let’s not get carried away.

If you were ever going to be the subject of a Roast, who would you least like to have roast you?

I haven’t thought about it. I don’t think I’d do a roast.

What is the secret to a long successful career in radio broadcasting?

I don’t know. I haven’t been there long enough to start speaking of durability or success. Ask me in another ten years.

What do you think was Riaan Cruywagen’s secret to looking exactly the same for the whole time he has been on tv?

I heard he is a vampire.

For the many of us that do not know of the undead looking legend of SABC TV called Riaan Cruywagen. He is that funny corpse that was wise cracking with Sipho Hotstix Mabuse at the SAMAs in 2012. Speaking of which Randal Abrahams did the wise thing and returned the awards to Sun City just down the road from Gabs City… but anyway, one last question.

If you were a wine, which one would you be?

A dry white.

Gareth Cliff: on air personality, all round good guy, quick draw tongue-slinger. Yes, well one sip out of the Manto shaped glass and the Monsieur was hooked.

*An abridged and quite different version of this article was first published in Lapologa Magazine

Photos – Lapologa Magazine (Taken at Gaborone Food & Wine Show)

Asked & Answered: Ellygiver

18 Mar

Dropping in to see the Editor of  Bang! Magazine, Tanzania’s (and East Africa’s!) soon to be 9 years old lifestyle magazine, I almost tripped and fell when I saw Elligiver. Of course no one saw this… the Monsieur does not “trip” or “fall”. Ell-Gizzy (thats my gansta name for her) was on her iPad, industriously poking and finger swiping away on the device. Actually she was updating her blog (www.ellygyverlatrend.blogspot.com) and checking the pulse of the glocal fashion world. I just had to request an interview for later, after taking care of business. We actually talked about a lot more, but you know… lets save that for another time, when I remind you where you first met Elligiver… if you happen to be outside of East Africa that is. I am damn sure she is doing very well in Swahili Africa. The Monsieur does know a good thing when it takes his breath away you know.  So here it is… a short, sharp and rather beautiful Asked and Answered with Elligiver. Savour it actually, and yes that was glocal, Global + Local = Glocal. Go play.

 Elligiva

What does your name mean?

Elligiver means “God Gives”. I thank God for everything he has given me… a lot of stuff and I am happy for that.

What is your daily job?

I am a fashion editor for Bang! Magazine, I am also a blogger and a model. I also provide models for different clients. I always put everything down in a schedule. My Bang! schedule, my blog schedule, my project schedule. If I have a client who wants me to provide models I do that. My day is packed, sort of with my office work, my blog and the other one.

What is the fashion scene like in Dar es Salaam?

Nowadays its growing slowly but surely and people are getting to know what fashion is all about. And in our industry people are like Oh Yes, Now! When it comes to our designers these days they tend to be more creative when compared to back in the day.

How is Swahili Fashion week as a fashion event in Tanzania?

When we talk about Swahili Fashion Week in Tanzania we consider it a very big event. Everybody has to be there. If you are a model you have to do the catwalk there. Everybody is always there. They always give coverage of other designer from outside so it is very good for us. In Tanzania we tend to have different views about other designers when we think about fashion.

Who is putting Tanzania on the fashion map in the world?

I think we have a few of them, we have Mustafa Hasanli, we have Ally Rehmtullah and we have other designers who are coming up. We have Eve Collections (Evelyn Rugemalira) she is one of the female designers who are coming up in very trendy high fashion.

If you were to design a look for the president of Botswana to wear to dinner in Dar es Salaam what would you suggest?

I think I would go for a simple and classy look whereby he would wear a striped shirt. Because a striped shirt stands for classy and casual for men. If I describe the look I would say simple and classy.

Upanga number 1

16 Mar

 

Port cities just have their own rhythm, a flow and ebb created by different cultures rising and falling with the ocean tides that bring them there. Dar es Salaam is a healthy melting pot of African, Middle Eastern, Asian and European people and Swahili is part of the glue that binds them all together.

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Tanzanian teacher and author, Epaphra P.M. Ngowi, calls language a free currency, an asset you can use to express yourself in the society you are in. And pretty much like anywhere, if you have some linguistic currency it’s a good start to good relations you’re your hosts. For Tanzania the small change is Mambo, Asante and Karibu; or Wussup, Thank you and Welcome in that order. Ngowi is uniquely appropriate as he has authored a book (Traveller Highlights) that pairs Swahili and Setswana vocabulary, and uses English as the scenic route for aiding understanding of the two languages. The book is organic and is split into sections that give you situations and the words and phrases you might use in said situations. In Dar es Salaam Swahili is your best asset in nearly any given situation.

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Bingo and curry at Upanga Club, where you will find a very laid back Indian society relaxing with their children as the bingo draw master rattles off numbers and comical asides in English and Swahili. “They call it amane smane – opposite each other – 69; single numbers – Upanga number one; tano pake ake number five.” and so on. Upanga is a great place to get a sense of how the different cultures have grown together in Dar, and to catch up on local Indian gossip… Such as the man who lost his job because of a Ferrari guy. What happened was that the son of the Fired Guy took the daughter of Ferrari Guy out to Runway, a popular night Club owned by an Italian family. Ferrari Guy got a call and drove right over to Runway, slapped the boy he found kissing with his daughter and got the boy’s father fired… Exciting, no?

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We sat in a courtyard between the Late Mrs Amratben Manilal Mandalia Squash Court, and the Late Maganlal Lavingia Memorial Hall.  At the plastic tables and chairs are people in the mood for inexpensive curries with friends and their children.  You might even get a chance to win a token some of money at the most benign bit of gambling that Bingo is. At my table was a Dutchy, a South African and a Tanzanian, they had all been to school together in Dar.  An old school friend of their briefly stops by the table. He catches up with his three friends with an America-English streaming out of his nose. The accent is explained away by his revelation that he is studying at Stanford, and was in town to get some work experience in the Kenyan Elections.

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According to our Tanzanian host, her grandparents first came to Dar as slaves. In 2013 she now lives in the Peninsula part of Dar and still goes to the Upanga Club bingo nights were where her own parents used to socialise 30 years ago. Never mind the internal relationships that societies might have, Upanga just says anyone who goes there is welcome, after all bingo is about the luck of the draw not your social standing. Unfortunately luck wasn’t on the Monsieur’s side as two little boys, a middle aged man and an elder Indian man and a tipsy South African all claimed Bingo. “The claim is confirmed, and a winner is confirmed. Please concentrate and be quite,” says the business like Draw master as they started another round of Bingo.

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A quick stop for dessert at Nima’s closed off the night. Nima’s is an ice cream parlour where families come for an ice cream even after 10 at night, its yet another Indian institution that our night tour took us too. At Nima’s you get some homemade ice-cream as well as an opportunity to buy pirated DVD’s from a side walk retailer. However the really impressive salesman dealt in death. He came round with truncheons, big knives, curved machetes and a catapult. The offer was mildly tempting as many of Dar es Salaam’s streets are not well lit after dark, and there is apparently some incidences of enterprising thieves who drive by and snatch your bag if you aren’t weary. A good curved machete might be just the deterrent that the doctor ordered. This you must try by the way, Meetha paan… and ask for the tobacco free version. It will knock your taste buds right into the middle of nirvana.

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Around Africa in 11 hours

16 Mar

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Getting around Africa is not a simple task, still. If it’s not expensive, the cheaper routes can be circuitous… that means they follow lines of influence rather than get to the point. If that doesn’t deter you the distances might. However the Monsieur is not one to let these realities of life get in the way. So we get on that plane and head to another part of the Motherland because we must, and things will only get better the more we travel.

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First step is a Kenya Airways flight out of Gaborone, Botswana. This city is an important stopping point because of its central position in SADC. It also helps that the economy has assumed an inviting position just awaiting foreign injections… of the financial investment kind. Stepping aboard the plane it is just so appropriate to be met by a guy called Maloba who is the Chief Purser, or #bosso of the flight attendants. Maloba’s name means ‘day before yesterday’ in Setswana and it is immediately funny as one tries to imagine why a Tswana parent would call their child Day Before Yesterday… but this man is Kenyan and his name may very well have another meaning.  As I take my seat to Yvonne Chakachaka singing ‘Mamaland’ loudly over the PA system I just knew it is going to be a good flight. When Maloba speaks over the PA, he sounds like he probably wears sartorially adventurous short suits on the weekend because his voice is so theatrical. Then his surname just had to be, Orlando, it just comes with @DrMalinga connotations. That’s when it dawned on me… I am on an African airline which was a good reason to smile and let the pilot do his job while you sip a cool Tusker lager.

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Next stop under 2 hours away is Harare, and frankly Zimbabwe looks in great shape, from the air that is. In the good old days Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of southern Africa. Actually, fresh produce from this fitfully sleeping giant used to find its way onto the Queen of England’s dinner table. This image is still relevant from 20 000 feet in the air… then the Pilot apologises for a section of the runway where he says it might be a little rough. To belabour a metaphor, the pilot’s apology brings you back down to earth. As does the sight of no less than 4 Air Zimbabwe Boeing jets just parked with nowhere to fly to. Like its economy, Zim needs to repair, upgrade and refuel its Jets and get going again.

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We land without incident and let off a few people and collect a few more, not before the cleaning crew get a chance to spruce up the plane… while some passengers remained on board. We aren’t allowed to disembark for the 45 minute layover. Then an 8 person cleaning crew tumbles on to the plane and tidies its way around sitting passengers. This is a service passengers do appreciate; unfortunately, it’s also a service passengers would appreciate even more if they didn’t have to see the reality of it.

Reminds me of the last time I ever considered staying at the President Hotel in Gaborone. I found the room I had booked earlier in the day in total disarray when I checked in at 2am. Confronted with the awful truth that someone else had used the bed in that room, I just couldn’t face a night between those sheets. Upon politely requesting another room I was informed by a sneering minion at the front desk that it wasn’t going to happen, never mind that other (more expensive) rooms were available. I was told, in fact, that I should wait for someone to clean up the room, or spend the night in a room designed for handicap guests. Instead of losing my temper and affecting clipped tones of an expensive education, I left the President Hotel at 2:30 in the morning to go sleep elsewhere. I have never booked there since then, and I don’t recommend it.

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Kenya Airways is a fantastic service despite its combi tendencies of stopping all over creation. It was a bit strange to have to engage with certain realities that I was not accustomed to seeing. It is reassuring however that you see the care that the Airline gives through all levels of its service.

Heading off to Nairobi was next on the itinerary… not before calling Orange back in Botswana to request the reinstatement of its Blackberry Internet Services to my phone. It was strange calling from a country that is reputedly gone to the dogs to request a simple service from a country that is allegedly a leading African country… in my experience Orange is pretty much the most disastrous network ever to perpetuate presumed African inefficiencies. This cell phone company is superb at lying about my Continent.

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Back to the uneventfully smooth flight on Kenya Airways, where there was no chicken or beef question come lunch time. On this occasion it was Lamb or Beef… lamb won. After the nom-noms Kenyan dailies miraculously appeared from somewhere, all of them discussing #Descison2013, the Kenyan Elections, which were still being tallied. ‘Heavyweights fight for survival’ ‘Suicide feared in poll centre guards death’ ‘US praises Kenyans’ conduct’ ‘Teenager wins county ward seat’ The Daily Nation had a gem in the midst of all the questions and answers about the Kenyan Vote. A letter written by none other than Bra Hugh Masekela, he was pointing out that the Poor are always forgotten in all the consultations about their development and social upliftment.

We need to go back to the good old days when borders were not strong enough to prevent us helping a brother in need. – Bra Hugh in the Daily Nation 6 March 2013.

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The land beneath the plane on the approach to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is schizophrenic in its unrelenting beauty. Green mountains with sharp elevations, deep gorges cutting through dusty land, affluent homes many with pools perched along a river, the irregular crisscross of paths cut in the earth by safari vehicles chasing down a sighting, an industrial area with near identical warehouses, and farmland with no two crops alike within its confines. A light sheet of smog hangs over an unidentified part of the city, construction takes place at the airport itself… A land of many contrasts… It can only have marked its people in the same way. There are many different types of Kenyans who make up this nation.

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Three hours to kill in the airport transit lounge is not so arduous since there is free internet, courtesy of the Airport Authority. What becomes apparent as you walk its curving trajectory is that the building is desperately in need of an upgrade. Taking a peek into the Government VIP lounge yields a time capsule of bad taste in a sad state of repair. The elections are on every TV that isn’t showing departure times. As people wait they follow every new piece of information that comes to the fore. The country’s voter allegiances are clearly defined by how sharply they contrast in candidate’s home constituencies. Technical difficulties aside the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission was masterful by all accounts, even announcing their challenges as and when they occurred as opposed to obfuscating away any issues.

At this point on March 6th the Kenyana Elections could go in any direction, so attention is rapt on the TV’s. One thing causes great excitement at about 10 pm, the numbers from the Bomas are announced. The nuances begin to be clear but nothing definitive as to who is taking the crown.

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The plane arrives and it’s time to follow the influence routes down to Tanzania on Precision Air. I see the first air-hostess who is hot… yes well it had to be mentioned didn’t it. This time we sip on Kilimanjaro beer and look at lights coming and going as the plane heads down to Dar es Salaam. Arrival is nondescript and uneventful, it is 11:45 at night after all, there is a lot of digital scanning which is my idea of what going to America must be like. A photo is taken of your face, and each finger of each hand is also scanned. If you are from Botswana there is no need to worry about a tourist visa. Nice.

Mambo Tanzania!

Chicken Gate

8 Jan

 

There really needs not be an introduction… Start at the top and go down or start at the bottom and come up.

KgopediAfrika 11:38pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Mom apologised for Dad’s behaviour & tells me she doesn’t hate black people. Chair says she’ll brief security tomorrow #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:35pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Chair tells me this is a 1st in this complex. “We’ve never had to deal with a situation like this before”. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:32pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Conclusion: chair is going to put my suggestion on trial. Dad stormed out of mtg, saying something about govt. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:26pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

The chair wasn’t too happy. Trustees had stopped shaking heads & squinting at this stage. Mom accused me of being difficult. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:24pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

In any case, the security oke on duty on the day of the ‘killing’ becomes the automatic beneficiary of the head #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:22pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

My idea: I will alert the security guard when I drive in with my beast/s. He can then alert ALL neighbours/viewers #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:19pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

In the name of not wanting to start things I cannot see through & be accused of inconsistency+intolerance I made a suggestion #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:17pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

I refused. It’s inconvenient. Chair asked we exchange numbers with the mom & next time I slaughter I give her a heads up. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:14pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

After much ado about nothing Dad came back looking more vexed than when he left. Chair suggested I change my ‘killing spot’ #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:10pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

I explained this was going to be difficult as I ‘kill’ as I crave. Also had to explain I don’t do routine killings #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:08pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

“Atleast just tell me so I tell my son not to look or maybe take him to my cousin’s house on the days you slaughter” Mom #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:05pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

“I understand there’s no law against your ‘practice’ but please can you warn us when you’re going to kill the chickens” mom #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:04pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Mom said she spoke to other neighbours who were also concerned & approached caretaker who told them there’s nothing he can do #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 11:01pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Dad went out with son. Chair asked mom to table her concerns. Mom asked me to be considerate. She went on to explain… #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:58pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

It is of pivotal importance that I let you know: of the 12 people present at the mtg. 4 are black(self +1) incl. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:56pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Son stuggled to sleep for ‘a while’ after ‘witnessing’ this. The hole in the ground with blood became an issue all on its own. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:52pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

“Then she picked up the its head from the ground & went in her house” son. He started crying again si dad asked him to stop #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:50pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

“The lady then closed the hole in the ground with soil where she put the blood” son. At this point faces are contorting #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:48pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Mom held his hand while he shared details of how he saw me hold the headless chicken upside down with blood dripping from it #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:46pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

After much ado about nothing & them reminding me of options ie NOT slaughtering, the boy was then asked to share what he saw #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:43pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

I was then asked to ‘share’ why I ‘observe this practice’. I did! It was brief. “I slaughter them because I need to eat them” #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:40pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

After brief intro’s the ‘purpose of the mtg’ was explained. It was quickly pointed out there’s NO rule against slaughtering #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:33pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

All parties attended. Trustees, chair, complainant(mom to son), son, dad who doesn’t live with them & your’s truly+1 . #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:30pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

I just came out of a mtg called by body corp because I slaughter chickens in the complex & a neighbour’s son is traumatized. #ChickenGate

 

KgopediAfrika 10:11pm via Twitter for BlackBerry®

#ChickenGate mtg out. Quickly hugging complainants. Will update just now.

 

Looking Good Good-Looking

27 Nov

For a little while now the Monsieur has been tinkering with the idea of putting up some moving picture visual delights. Its an old idea, Vlog anyone, but its getting super love from the likes of Skattie What Are you Wearing who is doing some seriously sexy stuff with it. That’s all the gushing Skattie gets today. Starting with edited promos from fine people at WKNDSocial, Exhibit B and Soweto Don Dadas of Cool Thesis Social Jam Session, video is the way to go, even if its just to pimp your next bit of amazing.

Aaaaannnd this one right here gets special mention all on its own… Constructus, not of Cape Town Glitch Pop fame, but still Cape Town based. This little item will make any wanna go big creative person sell their neighbour’s mother to get on this. OK, its a bit of a late mention but, how badly do you want it, and how serious are you… Yes well…

Stop drooling and click right here and get cracking on your oh so wow idea for making money while making beautiful.

………………………………………….UPDATE

Ummm… first time I am doing this but… we must rep the local even if its… well… in development… sort of.

Blu Muffin’s effort.

It is what it is what it isn’t

8 Nov

6 million ways to lie. Choose one.

In a quest to bring out the best from the net and beyond, the Polk was looking at the internet today and really felt that this online thing is really promising something it has no intention of delivering. Admittedly if you are about to show your face online you can’t half step (as they say in Hip-hop) you basically drop bombs. Avatars (Avi) is what I am talking about, these things are like your calling card. This Guy (thank you Trevor Gumbi) long saw the mind field that trying to look good in a 2 centimetre by 2 centimetre box eventually turns out to be. A simple avi that is timeless and at time pointless, but alluring all the same does the job best. Its in fashion one day and out the next, but guess what, it comes right back. Hell Justin Timbersnake can bring sexy back all he wants, it never left my Avi and that’s what’s up.

 

Now, this morning my girl @LeratoTJ put up a post about being shocked by some person’s Avi and blocked him with the quickness. Now there is nothing more enticing then  such an extreme reaction on Twirrah. So basically a gang of people immediately clicked on the offending person’s handle and the shock gained in popularity or, like in the Polk’s case, hilarity ensued caused by human silliness. The Avi of the chump was quite literally his junk… glistening with a full bush, leaning distinctly to the right. Yeah, sadly the Polk got a eye-full too… and it was a foregone conclusion, that kind Avi will never ever be in fashion, even if it was a healthy size and didn’t look like it was just used. Just goes to show out here on the wild wild net it is what it is, yet it isn’t.

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