“What’s your top seller?” I ask Fatima Nanabhay of the African Music Store near Diagonal Street in Joburg’s city centre. “The goat bells,” she says. At R14 a piece they fly out the shop. Cow bells are also a big hit, she tells me. As I ask the question the only thing flying past us is the traffic along the city street and the guy wheeling a trolley with blankets piled high past the doorway. For the record there’s not a goat to be seen.
While Julius Malema was not celebrating a victory after the contentious hate speech ruling delivered yesterday we were at the Troyeville Hotel dinner and book club listening to Fiona Forde, the author of his biography, in conversation with City Press Editor Ferial Haffajee.
The event was apparently sold out in just over an hour. The room was wall to wall with journalists in whose professional lives Julius Malema occupies a special place. The man is news. He strides across the public stage as if he owns it, and has a way of making even reasonable statements sound outrageous, flanked as they usually are by the spectacle of a tenderpreneur calling for the nationalization of everyone else’s wealth.
#187. Attend the Flux Trend Review, which I did yesterday at the University of Johannesburg Theatre – a little spot of [architectural] light on an otherwise mostly foreboding campus (that was besides for the delicious food from the hospitality and tourism students – 10 out of 10 for the home-made biscuits). Ferial Haffajee, editor of City Press gave the opening talk, a state of the nation address that included lots of ripe bananas, a great soundtrack and even a soccerball giveaway (definitely a 2010 event trend). Maybe JZ should try that. Continue reading
#186. Share the viral load. It appears that someone out there is having a whale of a time creating Hollywood scenarios for South Africa’s two most headline-hogging (mostly for the wrong reasons) politicians. My inbox is jammed. So here’s another take on the Juliob or Jacobius (our shorter answer to Brangelina) relationship.
First there was Dr Evil and mini-me then there was …
There’s an academic thesis in here about political figures and popular representations, about humour and fear, but I am not going to be the one to write it. Suffice to say it’s all kind of funny in an uncomfortable way.
See More on Jacob Zuma’s “baby dady” drama for the first take on this.
#114. Laugh it Off. Last night we joined close on 4000 people for the Heavyweight Comedy jam at Emperor’s Palace. The mood was good, the audience all warmed up. The jokes kept coming. “We used to drive on the left side of the road, now we drive on what’s left of the road”, said Al Prodgers.
“The Gautrain will have 200 people in each carriage and go 160km an hour. Do you think taxi drivers are worried about that?” And then there were the jokes about South African politics – from Helen Zille and her concubines to David Kau’s riff on Julius Malema’s woodwork grade. Judging by the laughter just saying the name Julius Malema is a punchline in this town. Continue reading