Tag Archives: South Africa

Woza Hollywood. Safe House

Never is there a moment of more collective patriotism than when South Africa appears in a movie. Like Blood Diamond, oh Leo with his 75% accurate SA accent. Then there was Invictus and Matt Damon’s 98% accurate SA accent and Morgan Freeman pretty much saying “Fuck you, I’m Morgan Freeman and Mandela sounds better with an American accent” – and we didn’t hate him for it.

These movies were cool. They were about Africa’s strife and South Africa’s success. Now there’s a REAL cool movie. That’s just about coolness, and guns and car chases and CIA/FBI and other stuff that’s supposed to be in movies with none of this “message” crap. And where did they film it? (If the answer isn’t South Africa, then this is a random introduction.) Yes. SOUTH AFRICA. Cape Town in fact.

It stars two of Hollywood’s hottest actors… Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Now I’d go see a movie starring those two ANYWAY.  Set it in Cape Town and I’m jumping for high-five JOY!

It’s a highly anticipated film. We all remember the roads being closed for the car chase scenes. Hearing about friends of friends who got cast as extras. Buying night vision goggles and camping outside Ryan’s hotel… (Just me?). Anyway.

Look at this:

My apartment block is in the top left of the photo! (I forgive you for not noticing anything past Ryan’s sexiness though.)

I am going to the premier pre-sceening on Friday the 3rd Februrary. At first I thought this meant that I was cool enough to get invited to rad events, but then I realised that it’s in the middle of the day, and what other layabout vagabonds did they know who had nothing to do on a school-day. But it DOES mean that I get to see the movie before anyone else, worldwide. (Except for maybe the film editors and director, I’m pretty sure they’ve seen it by now.)

Either way. RANDOM HIGH FIVE for the Safe House movie Premier. I am SO excited. I will have to pack an extra pair of panties (to throw at the screen)

Check out the trailer: *Cue squeals of joy as you notice landmarks all over SA*

*Random High Five to Prezence Digital for hooking a sista up*

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Our First Time

Talking about my first time with two guys. (Right. That opening sentence should secure the hits from porn website browsers)

But, contrary to popular leaked internet videos, we’re not talking about THAT first time… our COMEDY first time. (Which had more tears and less video cameras… or was it less tears and more cameras? both ended in awkward silence.)

Me and fellow comedians, Rustum August and Shaun Jejane Hung out on Long street with Peter Sserwanga and his video camera.

*comedic high five*

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Rocked, Rolled (and smoked) those Daisies.


photo from channel24.co.za

Things I learnt at the Daisies 2011:

A bottle of apple juice in a campsite is probably pee.

A dam that sits in the sun all day is not necessarily going to be warm.

Black people can get sunburnt too, and are more likely to remember suncream.

Sometimes said black people get confused and buy after-sun lotion instead of suncream, thinking it’s the same thing.

If you wear a headband with flowers on it, people will automatically assume you are a real hippy.

Blackberries don’t get proper signal in hippy-land, resorting to phone calls and SMS only, just like it’s only the noughties.

It is harder to convince people that Angel is your “real name” when you are wearing a hippie head-band in a campsite.

Straw is itchy to sit on when you are wearing short-shorts. (This makes ‘roll in the hay’ not sound like as fun a past-time as it used to)

Ice Cream is a suitable breakfast food. So are hamburgers.

photo by Jonx Pillemer

People are pretty rad.

An entire campsite will wake up at 6am singing Shosholoza to go to the main stage and watch the Boks play Australia in our thousands at 7am.

Gathered at Dawn to support the Boks vs Australia.

Watching our Boks en mass.

National Pride knows no boundaries, neither does our collective indignation at Bryce Lawrence’s blind refereeing.

It is hard work performing stand-up comedy at a festival.

Shade is a wonderful thing.

photo by Jonx Pillemer

Toothbrushes are wonderful things.

Everything is better when it’s sunny.

It’s impossible NOT to lose a squeezy bottle. Three times.

#RTD11

As I write this, my thoughts are being drowned out by the sound of a construction crew, incessantly drilling through (what sounds like) impenetrable rock. Ah, home in the city. I woke up in my bed, with the high thread-count soft sheets and satin pillows hugging my achey body yet couldn’t help but miss the hard floor of a tent, awaking to the sound of drunk festival goers singing jovially as they made their way back through the campsite littered with beer cans to fall into a sweaty coma in the canvas tent-castles of Rocking the Daisies 2011. Give me drunken cat calls at 5am, queuing for a toilet, dirty drum and bass beats vibrating all night over construction workers and traffic at 7am anyday.

Sunrise over the dirty Daisies. (from my Blackberry)

Rocking the Daisies did just as it promised. It rocked my daisy. We were blessed with a face meltingly hot weekend this year and the infamous dam became a welcome highlight, with imported beach sand around the Mainstay ‘beach-bar’ managing to mask MOST of the devil thorns from raping our soft, winter fresh little feet.

Mainstay Bar and Main Stage from behind. (Photo by Jonx Pillemer)

I am writing this blog to catch the last fragments of memories before they fall through my sieve like mind. (Sieve-like? My housemate’s name is Siv, and I do ‘like’ him. So that’s an accurate description. right?)

Dairy of the Daisies:

Driving to the Daisies with Dropkick Murphy pumping in our air-conditioned car – watching the countryside rush past, with fresh green buds on all the vineyards and purple spring flowers colouring all the fields we arrived rip-roaring into the Artist accreditation section to pick up our VIP armbands and right to walk with that extra bit of SWAG that comes with having an armband saying “Artist” on it. Of course, we could invent ANY type of career into that, as my friend who was “the back up guitarist for Civil Twilight” soon discovered. Girls love a guitarist, (it appeared). *high five*  They didn’t need to know that we were the lowliest of the Stand-Up comedians, brought there to only play one little gig – at midday to a very stuffy room full of a hungover Saturday crowd, recovering from the Friday night that Rocked all our faces off.

photo by Jonx Pillemer

Things I remember of Friday:

I arranged to borrow a tent from the infamous Dan Nash, On unpacking it and figuring out which pole went into what hole and how many times you can say “push and Pull” and other dirty innuendos (giggidy!) while pitching a tent (giggidy) I happily discovered that it was huge! (giggidy), like a castle. Bigger than my apartment in Korea was. #Win

My monster tent, Dwarfing Comedian Peter Ssweranga's little Super Mario Mushroom looking tent.

The comedians hosted by Rob Van Vuuren rocked the comedy stage hard on Friday. They were: Dusty RichKGPeter Sserwanga and Thomas Gumede. (If memory serves correct… which is not the most reliable assumption)

Up at the main-stage bar I realised that Tequila was a bad choice.

I bought a festival tshirt that had the lineup (including my name) printed on the back. I spent the rest of the night trying to show people my name, on my back, in tiny writing, whilst attempting to stand still. #fail

I met and bumped into a lot of people that had to re-introduce themselves and re-bump into me the next day.

I wore red socks as part of Red Sock Friday.

I remember a few camera flashes in my face. (Oh god, those photos will probably come back to haunt me)

People crashed the Jack Parow band on stage… like a photo-bomb, but on the large scale. They were thrown off by security to Boo’s from the crowd. (at the security for killing the gees, not at the stage crasher)

Jack Parow's stage bomber.... epic.

I called a time-out after midnight and went back to my tent, like a ninja. If ninjas sing loudly, high-five everyone they walk past and drunk-dial sleeping non-Daisyfied Boys. #NinjaFail

On waking up at 7am, I discovered that neighbours in campgrounds are friendly people.

Sunrise over the Campsite.

The Media guy who flew a camera-helicopter gave me an orange, (in a marvellous display of ‘throw and catch’ that would have made Jonty Rhodes proud.) The  ‘A Brother Moves On’ band shared their sunscreen with me and offered to share tequila – at 7am. I did not repeat the bad decision though.

You know it was an awesome night when you look into your friend’s tent to make sure he made it back ok – and you see a stuffed teddy bear back-pack thingy wrapped around his head. #win

The monster lines at our toilet and showers revealed that the ‘plebs’ had broken down the fence into VIP and were happily raping the facilities. Gotta love equality. The natives were restless.  But I shared Mapodile Mkhabela’s wisdom: “Who needs to shower already. It’s only day 1″

I had softserve ice-cream for breakfast (with sprinkles!!) and it was “game on” again (Also thanks to the free Wrigley’s gum that they kept handing out – minty fresh mouths make life better.)

In a nice ‘pay-it forward’ role reversal, we raped the facilities and shade gazebos of the more upper class Klippies and Cola hotel. These people took Glamping to another level with perpetually filled with ice coolerboxes under gazebos, tents with REAL BEDS and duvets in them and ample space. We shared the shade and the cooler boxes because,…we didn’t give them a choice.  (And they didn’t even have a fence to break down.)

Abusing the Shady Klippies and Cola Area.

My comedy was at 12 midday, which felt like hours after we woke up. In the heat of the day, I was impressed to see so many people attending, but it soon became evident that the heat mixed with the hangover made for a tough crowd. (Not to mention my best friends, front row en masse – launching a campaign to convince the crowd not to laugh when I came out. “She’s an actress and a model already, she has enough going for her. Don’t laugh” was apparently the brief. lol. With friends like these, who needs prozac? *blink*  )

Comedy at the Lemon Tree Theatre

All in all it went well. And according to a random French guy overheard in the campsites “The girl comic, she had jokes” (said in a thick nonchalant accent) A special shout out to Peter Sserwanga for stepping up and hosting the daytime comedy when our other host got the times wrong and wasn’t at the fest… Peter thought he was already finished and had started the day with beer. This made for amusing comedy (in the non-conventional sense). What a trooper.

Brendan Murray killing on Sunday morning.

Marcel, the comedic Magician was up after me and succeeded in freaking out all of the aforementioned best friends on their shroom trips with his magic… messing with their minds. (Revenge is sweet)

Jeremy Loops (a fellow Somerset Westian – my hometown) was my favourite performance of the main stage. Maybe I’m biased coz I know him, or maybe it’s coz he freaking rocked and got the crowd dancing and carefree in that ‘throw your arms up and twirl like a happy hippy’ kinda way.

The Converse stage on the walk to the tents featuring Deep Fried Man and Tol Ass Mo singing songs improv was another highlight. ‘We should nationalise the Daisies! But why? Because, we can! Because we like own the country … somehow’

Deep Fried Man and Tol Ass Mo (Photo from my BB)

Most of Saturday was spent socialising in shady areas with friends, making fun of a guy who looked just like Matt Damon. (MATT DAAAMON!!) Then the evening comedy was up with Paul Snodgrass hosting, my roommate Siv Ngesi killing, Rob Van Vuuren pulling out a genius and hilarious set and Mum-Z wrapping up a killer line up. All these guys dominated.

Civil Twilight and Band of Skulls were the back track to the drinking at the main stage later that night – and it all gets hazy.

Shout out to No Regret Friday for sponsoring and keeping the reality check in our minds.

Sunrise over the Daisies (from my BB)

Rad people that I can remember from the Daisies who are also on the Twitter-interwebs: @NatalieRoos @BangersandNash @JordanLSKY @YesWeCrann @LolaByTheSea @ZarahRobertson @Mapodile

Comedians: @iamSivN @Solidgame @KGComic @MumZ @Snoddie @DeepFriedMan @Robvanvuuren @DustyRich @TolAssMo @Marcel_Perform @ThomasGumede and me @YesReallyAngel

If anyone knows of any photo-blogs from the Daisies please let me know. I didn’t take a camera.

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Nkosi Sikelel’ i-Who?

Now, it’s not exactly a *high five* moment that Ard Matthews (of Just Jinger fame) managed to forget the words to Nkosi Sikelel’ iafrika, our NATIONAL ANTHEM last night after the Bok Selection on live TV. (Never trust a Jinjer)

What IS a High-five moment is the lol-fest that has emerged as South Africans unite in their bemused outrage. (Yes, yes. Ard apologised. Yes, yes – we forgive him (kind of) BUT if you are a performer and your entire job is to perform - of course people have a right to mock you when you mess up a performance.)

(in case you are under a rock, here is the link to the youtube of the moment)

Twitter exploded, first with indignation, then with humour… it was a thing of beauty. We united. No news is good news, and BAD news – is good twitter.

The advertisers followed suit today with GEMS like these:

 

*High five* to Nando’s,Klipdrift & Savanna (And to the selected Boks)

And a last epic Jumping high five to all South Africans who KNOW the Anthem!

*High Five*

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Fricking stop Fracking!

This is the content of a short speech given on Friday night in Cape Town by Lewis Gordon Pugh OIG (a.k.a. the Human Polar Bear) about the proposed fracking for gas in the Karoo, by Shell.   He received a sustained standing ovation ! – Friggen random high five moment of NOTE.

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank for the opportunity to address you. My name is Lewis Pugh.

This evening, I want to take you back to the early 1990′s in this country.  You may remember them well.

Nelson Mandela had been released. There was euphoria in the air. However, there was also widespread violence and deep fear. This country teetered on the brink of a civil war. But somehow, somehow, we averted it. It was a miracle!

And it happened because we had incredible leaders. Leaders who sought calm..  Leaders who had vision. So in spite of all the violence, they sat down and negotiated a New Constitution.

I will never forget holding the Constitution in my hands for the first time.

I was a young law student at the University of Cape Town. This was the cement that brought peace to our land. This was the document, which held our country together. The rights contained herein, made us one.

I remember thinking to myself – never again will the Rights of South Africans be trampled upon.

Now every one of us – every man and every women – black, white, coloured, Indian, believer and non believer – has the right to vote. We all have the Right to Life. And our children have the right to a basic education. These rights are enshrined in our Constitution.

These rights were the dreams of Oliver Tambo. These rights were the dreams of Nelson Mandela. These rights were the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, of Desmond Tutu and of Molly Blackburn. These rights were our dreams.

People fought ­ and died ­ so that we could enjoy these rights today.

Also enshrined in our Constitution, is the Right to a Healthy Environment and the Right to Water. Our Constitution states that we have the Right to have our environment protected for the benefit of our generation and for the benefit of future generations.

Fellow South Africans, let us not dishonour these rights. Let us not dishonour those men and women who fought and died for these rights. Let us not allow corporate greed to disrespect our Constitution and desecrate our environment.

Never, ever did I think that there would be a debate in this arid country about which was more important ­ gas or water. We can survive without gas….  We cannot live without water.

If we damage our limited water supply ­ and fracking will do just that we will have conflict again here in South Africa. Look around the world. Wherever you damage the environment you have conflict.

Fellow South Africans, we have had enough conflict in this land ­ now is the time for peace.

A few months ago I gave a speech with former President of Costa Rica.  Afterwards I asked him “Mr President, how do you balance the demands of development against the need to protect the environment?”

He looked at me and said : “It is not a balancing act. It is a simple business decision. If we cut down our forests in Costa Rica to satisfy a timber company, what will be left for our future?”

But he pointed out : “It is also a moral decision. It would be morally wrong to chop down our forests and leave nothing for my children and my grandchildren.”

Ladies and gentlemen, that is what is at stake here today: Our children’s future. And that of our children s children.

There may be gas beneath our ground in the Karoo. But are we prepared to destroy our environment for 5 to 10 years worth of fossil fuel and further damage our climate?

Yes, people will be employed ­ but for a short while. And when the drilling is over, and Shell have packed their bags and disappeared, then what? Who will be there to clean up? And what jobs will our children be able to eke out?

Now Shell will tell you that their intentions are honourable. That fracking in the Karoo will not damage our environment. That they will not contaminate our precious water. That they will bring jobs to South Africa.

That gas is clean and green. And that they will help secure our energy supplies.

When I hear this ­ I have one burning question. Why should we trust them?  Africa is to Shell what the Gulf of Mexico is to BP.

Shell, you have a shocking record here in Africa. Just look at your operations in Nigeria. You have spilt more than 9 million barrels of crude oil into the Niger Delta. That’s twice the amount of oil that BP spilt into the Gulf of Mexico.

You were found guilty of bribing Nigerian officials ­ and to make the case go away in America – you paid an admission of guilt fine of US$48 million.

And to top it all, you stand accused of being complicit in the execution of Nigeria’s leading environmental campaigner ­ Ken Saro-Wira and 8 other activists.

If you were innocent, why did you pay US$15.5 million to the widows and children to settle the case out of Court?

Shell, the path you want us to take us down is not sustainable. I have visited the Arctic for 7 summers in a row. I have seen the tundra thawing.

I have seen the retreating glaciers. And I have seen the melting sea ice.  And I have seen the impact of global warming from the Himalayas all the way down to the low-lying Maldive Islands. Wherever I go ­ I see it.

Now is the time for change. We cannot drill our way out of the energy crisis. The era of fossil fuels is over. We must invest in renewable energy. And we must not delay!

Shell, we look to the north of our continent and we see how people got tired of political tyranny. We have watched as despots, who have ruled ruthlessly year after year, have been toppled in a matter of weeks.

We too are tired. Tired of corporate tyranny. Tired of your short term, unsustainable practices.

We watched as Dr Ian Player, a game ranger from Natal, and his friends, took on Rio Tinto (one of the biggest mining companies in the world) and won.

And we watched as young activists from across Europe, brought you down to your knees, when you tried to dump an enormous oil rig into the North Sea.

Shell, we do not want our Karoo to become another Niger Delta.

Do not underestimate us. Goliath can be brought down. We are proud of what we have achieved in this young democracy ­ and we are not about to let your company come in and destroy it.

So let this be a Call to Arms to everyone across South Africa, who is sitting in the shadow of Goliath: Stand up and demand these fundamental human rights promised to you by our Constitution. Use your voices – tweet, blog, petition, rally the weight of your neighbours and of people in power.

Let us speak out from every hilltop. Let us not go quietly into this bleak future.

Let me end off by saying this – You have lit a fire in our bellies, which no man or woman can extinguish. And if we need to, we will take this fight all the way from your petrol pumps to the very highest Court in this land. We will take this fight from the farms and towns of the Karoo to the streets of London and Amsterdam. And we will take this fight to every one of your shareholders. And I have no doubt, that in the end, good will triumph over evil.

 

*high five*

 

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Our South Africa

Jonathan Jansen, I salute you.  We need more South Africans like you.

My South Africa by Jonathan Jansen

prof.jonathanjansen_blogphoto.jpgMy South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing. It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker’s children through the same school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than just a few words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the public sector strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning.

My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them – with the permission of the givers – to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer’s wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early-learning centers for their own and other children.

My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentelman’s game.

It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change in the condensed milk tin of a white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa’s greatest freedom fighters outside his home.

My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and came out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their impending misery.

It is the activist priest who dived into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who fell to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgave him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviewed the ‘Prime Evil’ in Pretoria Centre and came away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.

My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds.

It is the two young girls who walked 20kms to school everyday, even through their matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church whose parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness because he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of an objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawman who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country those deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead-in items on the seven-o’-clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.

http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/blog/my_south_africa_by_jonathan_jansen.html

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