There’s only one person I dig less than a foreigner criticising South Africa. Actually, let’s start again. there are only two people I dig less than a foreigner criticising my country and those are a South African expat living overseas whingeing about South Africa and a South African living here in the most amazing country in the entire chuffing world but banging on about how bad things are and wishing he was in Perth. Or London. Or Vancouver. Or Chernobyl. Or anywhere in the world but in South Africa.
What is this all about? I, the first person in South Africa (even before President Jacob Zuma) to be medically diagnosed as “SA-positive”, cannot get my head around it. That might well be because I’m phenomenally stupid. Fair dos.
Dianne was simply exercising her right to give her personal opinion about her experience. As she did when she exercised her right to join her South African boyfriend here in Cape Town. Her eyes, unlike those of many whining South Africans, were opened to the beauty of our beloved country. Not just the physical beauty of the landscape but the beauty of our fascinatingly diverse peoples, their friendliness, their openness, their warmth, their vitality.
The view from Dianne Russell's Cape Town apartment... what a lucky Canadian!
But clearly she had not chatted to that weird group of South Africans – mostly, in the words of that nincompoop Julius Malema, of a “white tendency” – who live frozen in fear behind their electric fences and only come out by day to make large amounts of money and to go to braais held by their similarly-minded friends.
There they will wolf down humungous amounts of steak and boerewors, sluk on brandy-and-Coke and Castle Lager and whinge incessantly about how terrible crime and corruption is, how this country has gone to the dogs and, maggies, have you checked how bad the potholes are on the road to the office? These South Africans stand around the braai rooted in their collective consciousness and abject fear, moaning and wishing they could go to live in a “civilised country”.
They mourn “the good old days” (read the apartheid era) when most of the national resources were handed to them (a small percentage of the population) on a plate and the vast majority of South Africans had to get by on the scraps thrown to them. Now that our new democracy is founded on sharing everything equally among everybody (and the government is struggling to do that and make ends meet), these “SA-negative” people dream of supping on the “milk and honey” which apparently abounds in other countries.
Yeah, yeah. Pull the other one. When are these previously over-privileged South Africans going to grow up? Get real, mense. Have you even travelled abroad to grasp at the reality of living in stultifyingly over-regulated, overly politically correct and plain boring countries such as the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand? Please do. and make it a one-way ticket. You’re holding us back, bru. And your negativity is draining the beautiful energy the rest of us are putting out.
And some of you had the ignorance to write into this blog to bash away at the positivity Dianne Russell, a Canadian, feels about South Africa. Your anger was tangible, so much so that a rather confused Canadian blogger has brought it to the attention of Canada. How dare a foreigner move to our country and have the audacity to tell us how wonderful it all is? Who does she think she is? A South African? Ja, if she were South African she would share our pain at the moerse potholes our double cabs disappear into on a daily basis. And to be truly South African like us, she must give up her Canadian passport, hand in her Canadian dollars, stop being a “party girl” and sitting around sipping cocktails outside Caprice in Camps Bay and come to stand around our braai in Hierdieplekisblerriekakfontein and endlessly bemoan the increasing girth of Julius Malema and potholes.
Eish! But there is hope for these people. Remember Brandon Huntley, that sad South African okey who claimed political asylum in Canada after telling some gullible immigration officials there that he had been mugged, assaulted, sodomised and even sworn at at least five times a day while living in Mowbray, Cape Town. You do? Well, there you go. I’m sure there are quite a few countries that will give you full citizenship on the grounds that those potholes are getting so bloody big that you can’t get your double cab around them on your way to work. Then you can freeze happily ever after and leave us to somehow struggle on in the brilliant sunshine of our South African lives.
And I tell you what. Before you go, I’ll let you in on something personal. Back in the day (yes, under apartheid rule), when I was mos a laaitie – and before PW Botha’s military taught me how to shoot a R1 rifle at the commie terrorists on “the border” and before Home Affairs confiscated my passport because I refused to work as a spy for them in London and before they tapped my phone when I joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement there and before they detained me and interrogated me at Jan Smuts Airport when I next came back to South Africa to visit my parents… yes, before all of that – I used to play soccer barefoot with my friends, white and black – on a golden field near a river running through Pietermaritzburg. Late into the night and by the light of nearby houses.
And the next day, we would go down to that river and feel our chests thump as we whooshed down that foofie-slide that Uncle George had fixed high on a tree. And then, slightly bruised and bleeding, we would slosh around in the river, worried about bumping into the much-feared legavaan (Varanus abigularis or Monitor Lizard) that apparently could break a child’s leg with a swish of its tail.
A Legavaan... this mythical river beast could apparently break our legs with one swish of its tail
Then we would collect tadpoles in the river to take home to watch grow into frogs, stopping only to munch mulberries off a number of trees and grab a few leaves to feed the shoeboxes of hungry silkworms about to go through their cocoon-moth-egg-silkworm cycle. And once, when the river came down in flood, the boy next-door and I borrowed my mom’s zinc bath (used to bath the dogs) and sailed merrily down the river. We ended up about eight kilometres away, on the other side of Maritzburg, and I had to borrow five cents to phone my mom and ask her to come in the car to pick us up as we couldn’t carry the zinc bath all the way back.
It was a beautiful childhood. Until I became gradually aware of the racist policies of the government of the day. I owe a great debt to my country. South Africa owes me nothing. I love South Africa.
No more so than when I see, around where I am blessed to live, children of all tones of skin kicking a football around on the village green. And getting very animated when they spot the seal that has taken up residence in the river that runs through Stanford. These children won’t grow up to be told to shoot rifles in a crazy war, they won’t be asked to spy for a crazy government and it is highly unlikely that they will be stopped at OR Tambo Airport and interrogated about why they belong to an organisation that campaigns against a racist South Africa.
That, my friends, is why I believe that we live in a far better South Africa. A South Africa that is not without great challenges, for sure, but a South Africa in which I choose to live and die in. So, when you are around that braai this sunny weekend and the dop (liquor) is going down fast and freely – and perhaps you are watching the Bulls play Super 14 rugby in Soweto, nogal – please try to get your potholes drama into some perspective.
And, even better, perhaps you might want to clamber out of your huge pothole of fear, leave Dianne Russell alone, put on a Bafana Bafana jersey, get hold of a vuvuzela and join the rest of us “SA-positive” people in celebrating our uniquely wondrous country and the sensational World Cup we are about to host. Feel it. We SA-positives are here!
Everybody knows that I hosted the party of the year in 2009.
I just love celebrating my birthday properly. So I invited Frikkie, Lofty, Tich and old Farquaharson round to the Bush Tavern in Umdloti and we had a right skinful while watching the rugger.
Never mind that the Boks lost. Never mind that Lofty got bounced out for trying to snog the barmaid. Never mind that Frikkie fell down the steps on the way out, ricocheted off a really big oke’s girlfriend and took a mighty right to the ear for his trouble. Never mind that Farquaharson, as is his custom, deposited his zooosh kebab on Mrs Hindmarch’s Morris Minor. And never mind that I had to be reminded of all this the next day after being rudely woken up at 2pm in a zinc bath full of what had been ice at the bottom of Tich’s mother-in-law’s garden. Great night out.
But it appears that my party-hosting skills have been usurped.
And, once again, it is that young bounder who goes by the name of Seth Rotherham who has dared to upstage me in the partytjie stakes.
How, you ask, has Camps Bay’s premier blogger and unparalleled sex symbol managed this? Good question.
Well, the little blighter has only gone and hired some posh club in Camps Bay, secured the services of, in Seth’s breathless words, “South Africa’s Most Exciting Party-Pumping Entertainment Act – The Wedding DJs” and then reeled in every one of his infamous Weather Girls (read excruciatingly gorgeous swimwear models), hasn’t he?
It'll be a nice change to sip a cocktail with Gen instead of getting rat-arsed with old Frikkie
The slick-on-the-draw mind behind 2oceansvibe.com has left no stone unturned in his quest to trump me and for this I am, like, totally stoked. Because he’s invited me along to witness it all.
Something you will not be privy to if you haven’t yet snapped up a ticket. There weren’t that many left at 10.30pm last night (Thursday) so if you want to be rubbing snakeskin boobtubes – or whatever the fantabulous wear these days – with the fantabulous and the even more fantabulous and watch me totally chopping up the floor with my terrifyingly suave Umdloti Wardance, then you had better get on to Webticket like quicksticks. Eighty ront a shot gets you in. There will be zero tickets at the door so don’t even entertain the idea that you can sommer rock up and swan in.
No, really. Seth has taken The Party of the Year standard up a few notches with this little soiree and, with the help of Marina Nestel, uberbabe behind The Little Black Book, tonight’s fandango should cook like Jamie Oliver on, well, whatever, Jamie Oliver is on.
I’m so looking forward to hooking up with my close friend Gen Morton (don’t listen to what people are saying, we are only very good friends and that’s the end of it, right?) and hearing how her very hectique modelling career has been going and, y’know, just chilling in the VIP suites with all of my other model, photographer, film and general celeb connections. I’m not dropping names because, as you know by now, I like to keep it all below the radar. Makes a refreshing change from getting slaughtered with Frikkie and the boys though.
I’ve got it. Why don’t you read what Rothers himself is saying about his own party by sliding effortlessly over to his very entertaining, if a little cheeky, 2oceansvibe blog and reading all about it. Hang on, you’ll need to scroll down a bit, past the pics of Candice Swanepoel “jumping around in her underwear” – Seth rolls like that, to the bit about The Vibe and what will be going down at St Yves in Camps Bay from 6.30pm tonight.
How did you get on with that? He’s got a hilarious turn-of-phrase has our boy, hey? Yes. OK. So let us look forward to a lethal cocktail of glamour, terribly subtle body language, immaculate grooming and terribly good-looking people in very tasteful clobber. I’ll do my best to fit right in. But I can’t promise anything.
So what are you waiting for? Shimmy on over to here and grab your tickets now. Check you later.
This is one of the left-over pics from my shoot at the inaugural game between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United at Durban’s excruciatingly gorgeous new World Cup stadium last Sunday.
I like it. There’s something gloriously incongruous about 22 men in full whites enjoying a Sunday game of cricket in the shadow of one of the world’s great football stadiums. At the same time as a dancing, cavorting, vuvu-blowing mass went bonkers inside the stadium.
Legendary cricket commentator Charles Fortune would have waxed lyrical about this, chatting about the Mynah birds hopping around on the boundary while the willowy thwack of bat against ball caressed his ears and how good the chocolate cake sent in by Mrs Labuschagne of Malvern tasted.
Please allow your eyes to run over this genteel, almost pastoral, scene…
Nice. I can almost see old Jim Wright, my high school cricket master, propped up on his "sitting-stick" on the square-leg boundary... and gargling on his fifth gin and tonic of the day. While muttering darkly about the bowling action of the young whippersnapper running in from the "Paris Hilton's Handbag End" Pic: Hatman
Just thought you might enjoy seeing this on your “SA-positive” blog. While I wait on tenterhooks for “Judge Lucy” (Lucy Balona of Cansa) to reach a decision on whom of Camps Bay blogger Seth Rotherham and Umdloti marathon unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink is the deserving winner of Movember’s “Great Camps Bay vs Umdloti Mo-off” contest. I’ll be back later with the result! Please try to remain calm while “Judge Lucy” works her way through all the criteria which pertains to which of our celeb contestants grew the finest moustache! Rescue Remedy comes highly recommended.
I don’t know if it’s in the water but Durban – and Umdloti in particular – has sprouted some scary moustaches for Cansa’s “Mo-vember” campaign to raise awareness of those cancers that nibble lethally away at men… prostate, testicular and, yes, breast cancer can pick on men too. You didn’t know that, did you?
So a lot of guys are strolling around South Africa and sporting ‘taches which are terrifying the living daylightsness out of their womenfolk. Hang in there, ladies, you can order him to de-tache in just six days’ time. Meanwhile, an update on the “Great Umdloti vs Camps Bay Mo-off”, a friendly tussle between Heart & Sole marathon unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink and Cape Town’s “sex symbol” blogger Seth Rotherham.
So without further hair-do (OK, so I’ve used that line before but I like it too much, all right?), let’s brace ourselves for the second phase pics of their top-lip turnouts… first up, Seth “I’ve gone for the Porn Star vibe” Rotherham…
Hmmm, I'm not entirely convinced many porn stars are looking over their hairy shoulders in fear at Seth's paltry turnout... but, hey, I don't want to influence the judges' decision here!
Next up, and I suggest you cover your children’s eyes for this one, our nutty Umdloti marathon unicyclist, Geoff “MuthaTrucker” Brink…
Golly gumdropsness! He does look rather terrifying, doesn't he? In a kind of "Umdloti Has A Village Idiot And I'm It" kind of way. Actually, he's quite harmless... without a razor in his mitt!
Well. I’m not sure what to say. Except perhaps Camps Bay’s sexiest blogger might have some catching up to do. Not that I’m taking sides. No. I’ll leave that to the judges. Er, that will be me. And I’ll make my decision next week. End of Movember, right?
Right. Now for a little light relief. If that wasn’t light enough for you. Last time out, my guest Mo Bro was Springbok rugby legend Bob Skinstad. The last I heard, he had taken refuge in a snug in a Dublin pub ahead of the South Africa vs Ireland match and was dyeing his moustache with Guinness. So who to feature this week?
I’ve been ranting on forever about stick-insect models setting a terrible example to young women – see here and here - so I was highly chuffed when the Hatman Mansions’ media department pointed out that I had received support for my campaign for more shapely women from young Cape Town blogger Seth Rotherham.
Now Seth has come on in leaps and bounds since I dispensed to him as many pearls of blogging wisdom as I possibly could when I met up with the enfant terrible of the blogosphere during our “Strengthening the Ties Between Umdloti and Camps Bay Tour” earlier this year.
You may witness for yourself just how well our boy has done since then by visiting his rapidly improving blog at 2oceansvibe.com. The boy done good, hey? Yes, he has. Just drink in all that advertising and those awards. The super-fast cars. The whole vibe! I’m so proud of him. And he’s taken it even further, as he does, by pouring acclaim on a supermodel who is bucking the trend by eating more than three lettuce leaves and 12 lentils a day. Good on you, my boy. And more than good on the sumptuously configured Doutzen Kroes who is more than happy to show off her delectable curves to you…
Now that's more like it! The more woman, the more we like it. Just take in those child-bearing hips, boys. Good gollyness, Miss Mollyness! Doutzen does it for us, doesn't she?
Yes, she does. But, as our Seth rightly points out in his very appetising post, there is no excuse for going all “fatty-boom-booms” on us. Just keep it nice and shapely. As my dear Mum used to say, “Everything in moderation, dear”. And she was so right, wasn’t she? Yes. No fatties on Umdloti’s beaches this summer, girls. And certainly no emaciated supermodels. Yuckness.
* Acknowledging Seth’s support for the fuller figure, I would like to bring to the attention of Hatpeople a very good cause that is backed by Seth on 2oceansvibe… Montrose Manor, an eating disorder treatment clinic in Cape Town. Jolly good work all-round, I’d say.
For one month only, this month of Movember, the whingeing of female partners are given the hairy sneer as we men do what we have to do. Grow our mo’s in support of Cansa, the organisation highlighting the perils to we men of the cancers that dare nibble at our prostate glands and testes. Not at all nice.
So we’re doing our bit, aren’t we mo bro’s? Yes, we are. And if you’ve been giving into threats of no sexualness if you grow Mo, then no mo respect from us mo bro’s, oh kay. OK. I’m stopping this right now.
Seriously, dudes, it is incumbent upon you as a male with mo growth potential to adjust the flightpath of the old Gillette V8 Turbo-charged RX Twin-Engine to make way for top-lip sprouting. So get to it. I published on here last week a pictorial guide to the ‘taches one can cultivate – refresh your memory right here - so you have no no-mo sexcuse. Mmmm.
Celebrities no less luminary than 2oceansvibe blogger and supermodel-endorsed Camps Bay sex symbol Seth Rotherham, Hilton First XV (and Springbok) rugger-playing legend Bob Skinstad and Umdloti tree-feller (and the Heart & Sole’s Durban to Cape Town unicycling nutter ) Geoff “Heartman” Brink are resisting unreasonable demands from their women for smooth-lipped snogging to sport their mo’s for a good cause. So you, highly unlikely to cross lips with the level of stunners they get sexually harangued by on an almost hourly basis, can do same. Right?
Right. I feel like we’re all beginning to wobble our moustaches to the same hymnsheet here. Good. We’ll move on.
Taking this to the next level, Seth, the aforementioned blogger and sex symbol extraordinaire etc, has cheekily challenged – Camps Bay’s finest rolls like that – my boy The Heartman to a “mo-off” to see who will be wearing the hairiest beast come the end of Movember. Are we up for that? Look, if we (I mean he) can ride a unicycle 1,700km only to land up in a spot like Cape Town, we’re not likely to shy away from a moustache-cultivation contest, are we? No. Well done. You weren’t wrong there.
So here’s how our two stellar Mo Bro’s square up at Phase One of “The Great Umdloti vs Camps Bay Mo-Off”. In the windy Camps Bay corner, I give you… the Caprice Supermodels’ favourite, Sethhhh Ro-the-the-therham!
Fine. Nothing wrong with that. Nice scarf. And Seth's "Porn Star" mo, set off by his ubiquitous RayBans, reminds me of a movie I once wrote as a vehicle for Sean Penn. I'm more deeply troubled by the amount of washing-up to be clearly seen in the background of this shot taken at the legendary Safe House. I strongly suspect that Mavis, Seth's domestic executive and compulsive gambler, might have been wedged in at GrandWest Casino since her last payday. But that's none of my business, is it?
No, it isn’t. So let’s swing around to my boy, waiting patiently in the sunkissed Umdloti corner… laydeez and, er, laydeez, I present to you Geoff “Heartman” Briiiiink!
Oh my hatness! That's a quite different vibe our boy is putting out there, don't you think? More Hulk Hogan in the ring than Sean Penn in whatever that movie was, methinks. Yes, our treefelling unicyclist has opted, quite appropriately, for the "Trucker" look and he looks to be fine with that, doesn't he?
Yes, he certainly does. Only nine days into Movember and Heartman is enjoying quite a healthy turnout around his laughing gear. Except he ain’t laughing, is he? I think old Heartie’s taking this all rather sneeringly. Even as his friend, personal blogger and publicist for his 1,700km unicycling nuttiness, I’m a tad unnerved by that lazy eye manoeuvre he’s throwing out!
“They came, they saw, they conquered” is a saying I dreamt up a few years ago while doing the morning crossword on the bog at Hatman Mansions. Yowzerness, you might exclaim in surprise. You didn’t know I do the crossword. Well, what can I say… I’m a man of letters. And you didn’t know that the origins of that popular phrase lay in the head of Fred, did you? There you go. It’s just the way I roll.
So I don’t have to apologise to anyone for corrupting my saying to “They came, they schmoozed, they, like, TOTALLY ROCKED the Smother City!”
Which pretty much nails the vibe that Heart & Sole unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink and moi created in Cape Town as we swept all before us and “AmaOneTyre” (the unicycle)… at the SiliconCape launch (where Helen Zille and I fell in love, serenaded by the delectable Lucy Kenny and aided and abetted by head honchos Vinny Lingham and Justin Stanford) to morning coffee with Seth (yes, Rotherham) at Camps Bay Vida to arvie beers with internet marketing supremo Fred Roed of worldwidecreative.co.za and ideate.co.za fame to dinner with Gen and Lyndall (yes, Morton and Jarvis) at Caprice to a public appearance at Caveau to… hang on, this is turning into a very long sentence… so time for a pic (waffle to be contd.)
Seth (the "sex symbolic blogger" of 2oceansvibe fame) and I strengthen the ties between Camps Bay and Umdloti at the SiliconCape launch. Lest you be confuzzed, SA's sex symbol blogger is the one on the right. Just so you know
OK. Where was I? Oh, yes. (continuing)… to an autograph signing session at the Sky Bar at the Cape Royale (big doff of red hat to Goldfish for providing the tunes) to breakfast at La Bruixa where we shared Barca scrambled eggs with social media oligarch Dave Duarte to a pizza and glass of wine with Channel24 editor Jean Barker to a highly convivial and fruitful meeting with Argus editor-in-chief (and obsessive mountain biker) Chris Whitfield to double espressos and almond croissants with Springbok rugby legend turned commentator and philanthropist Bob Skinstad to.. oh, chuff it, that’s enough name-dropping for now.
South African rock musician Toni Rowland has pledged her support for Geoff “Heartman” Brink’s trans-South Africa unicycle odyssey, which has previously been documented here and here.
Toni Rowland: totally behind Heartman's mad unicycle marathon
Our Geoff is hard in training to undertake the approximately 1,400 kilometre stretch on one wheel later this year and was understandably “totally stoked” to hear of Toni’s support for his ride. Heartman is unicycling from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of The Sole of Africa, the Mineseeker Foundation’s anti-landmine campaign. He is also hoping, through a competition to be announced soon, to raise sufficient funds to enable him to afford a “pretty awesome wedding” for the woman he so desperately wants to marry.
Toni, who recently released Unfolding, a new album which is receiving huge acclaim in the USA and Britain, is thrilled to be involved with the Heart & Sole Tour. She told fredhatman.co.za: “The Heart and Sole tour is just amazing. Geoff riding a unicycle across South Africa in a way reflects the whole plight of the people that are affected by landmines. A solitary figure on a single wheel is kind of what people who have lost a limb are left with.”
Toni is an active ambassador for the Sole of Africa campaign and has travelled to Mozambique with the Mineseeker Foundation to see for herself the effects of landmines on women and children.
This experience inspired Toni to write a song for the Sole of Africa campaign entitled “Put Your Foot Down”, which she wrote in Spain while recording Unfolding with former Uriah Heep rock superstar Ken Hensley. The royalties from the sales of this song are being donated to the Mineseeker Foundation. You can find out more about Toni at her MySpace profile or on her personal website.
Meanwhile, the Heartman has been drawing bemused glances – and even the odd cheer – while wobbling down the Umdloti beachfront during his daily practice sessions. He has upgraded from a 24″ wheel to a 36″ and, weighing in at a portly106kg, presents a rather formidable sight to locals not accustomed to seeing anything more exotic than a horse and cart offloading barrels of beer outside the Bush Tavern.
A formidable (and hilarious) sight he may be but Heartman didn’t exactly impress a Doberman Pinscher which ran across our heroic unicyclist the other day. My red hat is extravagantly doffed to local Umdlotian Marc Desvaux de Marigny (gollyness, I’d kill for a name like that) who captured this beautiful moment…
Fido adds a bitemark to the litany of bruises and cuts adorning Heartman's legs. Nice.
All part of the training schedule. Heartman needs those legs to be impenetrable before meeting up with those killer bulls which roam the roads around Mthata. Not to mention the huge risk of being gored by a fusillade of stilettos when he is mobbed by the adoring supermodels who will be waiting to receive him outside Camps Bay’s excruciatingly trendy Caprice restaurant when the Heart & Sole Tour team finally pulls into Cape Town. As Heartman’s back-up vehicle driver and general watch-his-back man, I’ll have a right job keeping the gals at bay. Hmmm.