It’s happened! Who knew this blog had such influence, such power? Last week I suggested that Julius Malema, president of the ANC Youth League, might be well served by appointing a public relations person to improve his image in the media. And he has! He has appointed Hugh Mangazi, former Editor of The Limpopo Larynx and massage therapist to the Springbok netball squad, to this post and, what’s more, Mr Malema has insisted that his press releases be fed to the world’s media through this humble but reputably “SA-positive” blog.
I am thus hugely honoured to publish Mr Malema’s first official press release, written by Mr Mangazi, in the wake of the media feeding frenzy directed at Mr Malema since the unfortunate fracas witnessed at Luthuli House. the headquarters of the African National Congress, in Johannesburg yesterday:
From the desk of Mr Hugh Mangazi, official public relations officer for Mr Julius Malema, president of the African National Congress Youth League. For immediate release on April 9, 2010:
“I am not amused by the way the media have responded to the fact that I had to have that BBC journalist removed from my press briefing at Luthuli House yesterday.
Like most white journalists, and especially the ones from Britain with their imperialist agenda, he clearly came to cause trouble with me. And he had the insolence and colonial arrogance to think that he could come to my place, the home of the ANC steeped in the proud tradition of the struggle, and carry out his mischief. He is just a small boy from Britain, one of those pimply whites who still keeps a train set under his bed.
But this British boy agent comes here and tells me I’m talking “rubbish”. Why should I tolerate this? Did I go to 10 Downing Street and tell Gordon Brown in his home that what he is saying is rubbish? Did I go to 10 Downing Street to ask Gordon Brown where he lives? No. I didn’t. Because I don’t care where he lives… as long as he doesn’t try to steal my people’s land in Africa and grow rhubarb on it and pay my people R20 a week to grow it. And as long as he doesn’t let that Victoria Barkham with no bum come here with her right-wing agent husband to our World Cup and colonise our TV news.
This boy from the BBC, an agent for imperialism and the whites who occupied Zimbabwe and tried to run South Africa… who had the cheek to say I live in Sandton… why did he come to my press conference to do that? Why does he want to know where I live? Does he want work as my garden boy? I’m sure he stays in a nice house in Windsor, or wherever white people like to live when they’re at home, and has a Sony Playstation 4 and his own collection of toy Ferraris… so why does he come here and insult me? No, he had to go. Why didn’t all the media follow him out? Because they need me, they feed off me, they eat up my words. I don’t need them. That BBC boy can work in my garden, if he behaves himself and plants my mielies in a straight row and listens to me in my home. Then I will even give him lunch. He can have samp and rice. And I’ll even pay him his wages on time.
I live in Sandton because I can. I’m not a garden boy. I am a leader. My people want me to live where I like. Because I am an inspiration to them and show them what they can become. The media dig around in my life because I have money to buy a big car and wear good clothes. They think I must ride a bicycle to work in those white shorts with the red piping around the legs like a garden boy. They want to know where I got the money from. They think I am corrupt. They don’t understand how a black man can have these things while they drive around their suburbs in big cars and wear a Rolex. I can do what I like in my country. This is my home, not theirs. I am not their garden boy.
Look at this skeleton that has been dug up in Maropeng. A white boy dug it up. The whites are always digging around in Africa for what they can find. These are the bones of my ancestors. African people. My people. These bones could be my relatives but white people have dug them up… do they want to take my dead family back to London? They must dig around in their own backyard and see what they can find. Maybe they’ll find their Churchill and a few dead kings and queens there. If they want to dig here, they can find their colonial emperor Cyril Rhodes and take him home. He was the worst white gold-digger of them all.
These colonialists have taken enough from Africa. They must leave us alone. A white boy found our bones because he has nothing better to do than dig around in Africa, looking for what does not belong to him. Like that BBC agent yesterday. Why wasn’t it a black boy who dug up this skeleton? Because he has to go to school so that he can get a proper job, not digging around in a white man’s backyard. I have had enough of these whites who come and dig up Africa and make trouble. And I will not apologise for sending that BBC agent home with a big fly in his ear.
No, my friends. My comrades. My fellow Louie Vittons. We must stand up and say enough is enough. As the imperialists’ own William Shakingspear said: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”
I was summoned at the weekend by The Oyster Box’s Head Honcho to discuss his proposal for my weekend residency at the newly revamped colonial-style hotel, a veritable institution among old Natal hostelries.
Over the finest cream tea to be had anywhere, our residency agreement was speedily finalised. I mean, am I the biggest fan of the Oyster Box or what? I was hugely relieved to note that the recent refurbishment of this grand old lady of South African hotels has not in the slightest bit diminished her haughty yet laidback seaside grandeur.
When Head Honcho put on the table a kind offer for me to stay as their guest (any weekend I like) in a suite which, I imagine, very few other than Nelson Mandela get to see the inside of, it was a firm gentlemen’s handshake, smiles all-round and a stiff gin and tonic and salted peanuts were waiting four-poster-side before Alfred had even dropped off my Vuittons.
Coolness. I was left to wander around the old girl, a hotel where my parents used to take me as a snotty-nosed sapling for a Coke Float and Chocnut Sundae way back in the day. So I swooned over the way Red Carnation Hotels have expertly blended in the new with the old, maintaining the dignity and character of Old Lady Oyster Box, and wielded the Canon 50D with no little relish.
OK. So I got a tad fixated on the old lighthouse, an Umhlanga icon situated directly in front of the hotel and a humungous source of wonderment to me as a child. This is how it all turned out…
I'm fine with that. The view from where I scoffed my cream scones on the Indian Ocean-adoring verandah. The view from the newly-named Hatman Suite which larges it up on the top floor is not too shabby either...
Post-cream tea deliciousness, I was tempted to plunge into my new rimpool but decided not to disturb the reflection of my lighthouse and spoil it for the other patrons. That's how I roll. Decorously.
So I got creative instead and paid homage (that's ho-marge, as in French) to My Lighthouse with some crafty compositionness. Hope you like this...
And, not being one to leave it there, I thought I'd capture another angle, knowing all the while that these vignettes (vin-yets in the French) from my new weekend residence might serve to cheer all of you up this Monday... anything for my Hatpeople.
Cool. I’ll leave it there. Perhaps, if you all behave really well, I’ll release i-marges of the Oyster Box’s magnificent new decor d’ interieur, pardon my Franglais, in a later post. Let’s just say that I’m not at all displeased with the totally sick suite Head Honcho has thrown my way. Catch you in the Lighthouse Bar on Friday evening, Honch. I trust you’ll have those G&Ts lined up on that bar of great splendidness. There’s a good chap!
* Please feel free to help yourself to more info on the sumptuousness of the new Oyster Box by checking in here and/or here. Tell them Fred sent you.
Right. I know I’ve had a pop at Cape Town’s WC2010 stadium and likened it to a “half-sucked Polo mint” but then, to be even-handed about it, I gracefully accepted that Durban’s new Moses Mabhida Stadium does look a bit like Paris Hilton dropped her handbag in the middle of Durbs.
Fair’s fair, yes? But, no, the Cape Town vs Durban conflict has now gone to a new level since Cape Town’s Amanda Sevasti lambasted food writer Anne Stevens of Durban for her stinging attack on the Mother City.
Yowzers. This is nastiness. Bitterness. Dare I say it, hatefulness. This makes Man United vs Liverpool, Bush vs Osama, Australia vs England, Everybody vs Australia look like a Rotarians’ tea party in a sun-dappled meadow. Next to a gurgling stream. Instead of the gentle thwack of willow against leather, I hear the mega-thwack of a Louis Vuitton handbag against meaty temple.
I say we should get this internecine goading out of the way before our nice foreign soccer fans arrive for the World Cup. We need to work together, guys. Yes? Quite right. So allow me to present the original anti-Cape town article, as written by La Stevens… and then the robust riposte as published by La Sevasti. and then, dear and peaceable Hatpeople, we can put this spat to the vote and put this whole malarkey to bed. OK?
OK. Here is Anne’s anti-Cape Town tirade, as published in the Sunday Tribune (it follows a nice scene-setting pic of Durbs-by-the-Sea, complete with Paris’s lost handbag)…
In the north-east corner... Durbs Pic courtesy of http://allanphoto.wordpress.com/
Cape Town, you can keep your mountain
By Anne Stevens
October 13 2009, Sunday Tribune
“Cape Town sucks.
This may be a harsh judgment of the bedrock of South African history, but with one reluctant foot on the tip of
the continent, its extremities in the water and heart yearning for Europe, this is hardly an African city.
Fuelled by tourist dollars, pounds and euros, it sets itself apart from the rest of the country with a hauteur that is
infuriating. “Oh, but we’ve got The Mountain,” a Capetonian remarked recently when mildly reminded that Durban has good beaches and warmer water. That’s part of the trouble. The bloody mountain is whichever way you turn, making a crow’s flight trip from Rondebosch to Hout Bay resemble the Great Trek.
Now, as all Hatpeople know, I take a very keen interest in all matters fashion. Nay, allow me to rephrase that… The Hatman is widely regarded as a renowned arbiter of cutting-edge, street-savvy style. Especially in Umdloti.
This is clearly obvious when you drool over the picture below, in which I modelled the Bob’s For Good Italian loafers to support Springbok rugby legend Bob Skinstad’s philanthropic bid to give a pair of shoes to underprivileged South African kids who were plodding off to school barefoot.
Eat your heart out, Milan: Italian loafers have never looked this good
Along with other haute couture heavyweights such as Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Jimmy Choo, Yohji Yamaha, Sago Suzuki and Massimo Motoguzzi, I like to occasionally do my bit to help those less fortunate. It’s the cool thing to do, right?
Social responsibilities aside, I love to encourage – now that I am on the wrong side of 30 – the kids on the street to get their look just right. It’s important to step off to college or the office with a vibe that shouts: “You had better take me seriously! I do.”
This is why I simply adore the Chictopia website. How should I put this? Chictopia is kind of like a, um, more inclusive, social networky version of my fellow fashion fundi, The Sartorialist, who finds excruciatingly trendy peeps on the streets of SoHo and the Village, snaps them on his Kodak Instamatic and pulls big bucks by chucking them on to his site and into books. Nice work, Sart.
I’m fine with that. It’s known as the entrepeneurial spirit. And I enjoy all spirits, especially Olmeca. So one of the very first things I do after arising at Hatman Mansions of a late afternoon is check in on Chictopia to glory in the boundless creative spirit expressed by the arb peep on the world’s streets. Chictopia never lets me down.
Today I was drawn to an image of a very sharp, mean-looking dude hanging in a gritty alleyway wearing some hardcore clobber that suggested he was on his way to a Manila Fight Club event. Except he had teamed his DIY-ripped tee, rugged jeans and seriously macho boots with a, er, handbag. Fine. OK. I’m all for the freedom of expression. So let’s unpack Karl’s vibe…
Karl's so hard he's throwing down a rude thumb-twixt-fingers challenge at the photographer. And check the fancy footwork!
Niceness. I don’t know about you but I’m digging this look. Mostly because I don’t get it quite right when I join the okes for a few cold ones down the Bush Tavern. I so need to scour Gateway for a divine handbag to complete my “Don’t mess with me, have you seen Brad in Fight Club?” ensemble.
Inspirationalness right there. I’m amped to dump my Lenny Kravitz velvet-codpiece mojo vibe and plug into Karl’s hardboy i-marge. Gen will be so chuffed when we park her TT at the Bush and I send the so-called Bush crew diving behind the potplants. She’ll be all over me like a rash. As will my Louis Vuitton handbag. Ooooh!