Yesterday the route to Goodman Gallery along Jan Smuts Avenue appears to have been lovebombed. In the same spot where a week ago a spear became a smear that caused such great fear some shweshwe prints, a few chunky knits, lots of stitches and a flurry of hearts festooned the trees and street poles leading to the Gallery between Denbigh and Chester Road along Jan Smuts Avenue. If you drive past, just smile. I did.
#181. Watch BBC footage of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison (20 years tomorrow) and the day that followed because quite incredibly I can’t seem to find SABC footage of that historic time. I was searching for SABC’s coverage of the day and the commentary from one Clarence Kuiter (I think it was him, and not sure of the spelling) that seems to have been erased from digital memory and in the absence of footage, from mine – that’s one powerful corporation. (Not surprisingly.) I recall much talk of sun and taps filled with water and lots more inane commentary as the hours dragged by (it conjured up at least 20 of the 27 years) and Clarence bravely soldiered Continue reading →
#100. Keep an eye on the ANC’s election posters that are getting a makeover all over this city. With just two weeks to go until South Africa votes, a campaign has been mounted… above the ANC’s campaign, literally, with ANC-like posters being placed above the smiling face of President-in-waiting Jacob Zuma bearing all sorts of catchy phrases like “Ke Nako Ya Go Ithuta Sezulu” — It’s time you learnt Zulu.” So far they have been spotted on major routes leading into the city.
#98. Look for the crazy signs. And they are everywhere. This town is plastered with election posters — On Barry Hertzog in Emmarentia a forked tongue hangs out of the mouth of a smiling Jacob Zuma. In Saxonwold his nose is bright green. I have seen him with an AIDS ribbon covering his mouth, two missing front teeth, a curly mustache and a showerhead or two. The ANC posters seemed like Greek to me until I realised they were actually written in Greek – I saw three on the top of Oxford Rd next to Temple Emmanuel, a reform synagogue. It’s understandable.
All Mediterannean nationalities look the same or at least cook similar dishes.
They should have carried an English subtitle saying: This is not a joke.
Then there was the Pan Africanist poster in the city – next to the Joburg Art Gallery that said: Cancell all student debt [sic]. I saw Bantu Holomisa wrapped around a large dustbin in Braamfontein with a message that read “Now is the time to clean South Africa” and Helen Zille’s shiny, puffed out face smiling down at me.
Cope tossed the poster idea after failing to work out which face to put on it — one leader or another — and instead wrapped up a building next to the Nelson Mandela bridge asking me to vote hope.
If these election bids are anything to go by – Right now my vote is my secret — so secret that it’s even hard for me to work out how I am going to use it.
#49. Eat out while the global economy winds down, Terror Lekota winds up the ANC — first by divorcing the party and then by making plans to start a new one — and rolling bailouts take the place of rolling blackouts as a conversation piece. The place to do it is at the bottom end of Commissioner Street, deep in the heart of Joburg’s old Chinatown.
Wonder whether Thabo Mbeki will still be President of South Africa tomorrow. The Times is reporting that the ANC has “decided to tell President Thabo Mbeki to resign – or face a motion of no confidence in Parliament.” See the full story.
#35. Re-enter my world. Back in Joburg all anyone can talk about is Zapiro’s cartoon that appeared in the Sunday Times. The image of ANC president Jacob Zuma unbuckling his pants while members of the alliance — the ANC Youth League, SA Communist Party and labour federation COSATU — hold down the figure of Justice and the ANC says “Go for it, Boss” is in a word, shocking! Continue reading →