Friday, April 30, 2010


There is a game I played a few times in the UK - I think it is called Scattegories but I could be wrong. It is pretty much like 30 Seconds except you only have to get the people on your team to say one word. However, the hard bit is that written on the card are 5 words you may not use. For example, if the clue was elephant, you might not be able to say animal, trunk, dumbo, mammal or pachyderm while trying to explain the clue.

One day we were playing it and one of the chaps was trying to explain "Newcastle", as in the city in the UK. He pointed to Neil, one of our group who was from Newcastle, and said "Neil Neil Neil" excitedly. Pretty simple, you'd think. But no.

Niel is gay.

So while the oke was going "Neil Neil Neil" as his Newcastle clue, we were roaring back "gay", "homo", "poof", "fudge packer", "pillow-biter", "Elton John", "the Queen", "queer"...

Poor Neil. He sat there like someone had slapped him while we pissed ourselves laughing when we heard what the actual answer was.

Sadly, our 30 seconds ran out. And we didn't get the point for it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We suck at talking to each other

Last night I was sitting with two Yanks and two Brits chatting about South Africa. One of the things that came up was the process of getting married in Zulu culture, specifically, the practice of lobola. One of the Yanks (Called Yank 1 fro now on) worked with/knew a Zulu woman who was about to get married and had told her that cattle were being passed around (apoplogies, I don't know the ins and outs of the process) for the purpose of her being married to some oke who she had been in a relationship with for a long time.

Yank 1 - who is very pleasant and NOT AT ALL the type of typical Sarah Palin charicature you may fall back on - then said that when she had spoken to the wife-to-be, and while doing so, asked the prospective marryer how much she herself (Yank1) would be worth, and whether it would be more than a chicken. Cue laughter from the other people at the table. Yank 1 then mentioned that the Zulu woman hadn't taken what she said in jest.

My reply was that I could see the Zulu woman's point of view. Someone foreign, white American nogal, was taking the piss out of a very important ritual for Zulu people. Yank 1 certainly did NOT mean anything malicious by it, nor was she trying to make a point. It was just something she had said as a joke. The Zulu woman evidently didn't see it as such, and it showed.

Yank 1 couldn't quite understand this. In fairness, I don't think many people who aren't Zulu (or have similar rituals) would.

I also think that Yank 1 doesn't know what it is like to have been on the receiving end of prejudice. I think it is key. Being prejudiced against makes one defensive.

What may have been meant in jest, was received as some kind of light form of imperialism.
What was intended as a joke was taken as a patronising observation.
What was probably intended as something jovial, was taken as a slight.

Being gay gives me a tiny insight into what it is like being on the receiving end of preconceived ideas, and I have become incredibly defensive before when I percieve a comment to be a slight on me or my peoples - anything that could be interpreted as your way is good and mine is bad or stupid or lame or evil or whatever.

And this reaction is not confined to Zulus and gays. Try Christians, Muslims, farmers, Afrikaners, handicapped folks, people with AIDS, traditional leaders, coloured folks, Durbanites, Jews, French people, New Zealanders, anyone who has ever supported the Lions, Scottish and Welsh people... the list goes on.

(Pretty much everyone except white athiests. They're a weird exception.)

So do I think Yank1 was wrong? No. I am saying that as a white American, she may not know how she is being perceived when jokingly comparing the ancient (black - it is a notable point) process of lobola against being bought for a chicken. And perhaps if the Zulu woman had explained why she felt like she did about it, things would be clearer.

In fact, if everyone spent more time thinking AND explaining, we'd be in a healthier place.

It reinforces the notion I have that we suck at talking to each other. People are never going to understand unless you tell them things. If you just expect them to know things, you're living in La La Land.

Monday, April 19, 2010

#PromCricket Match Report

And so they gathered under the hot African sun with the expectation of great cricket as the #promcricket Test series commenced. The team sheet looked like this:
RoxyAlexDallas (known as Roxy from now on)
TOMolefe (aka DarkNativeBoy and Ozzibuko)
Niels Himself and family

Due to short numbers, MvelaseP was promoted from drinks guarder to player
(Just so you know, the above crowd is a good reflection of South African society, and represents a multitude of races, genders, sexual orientations and ages. We did in one attempt what Cricket South Africa has been trying to do for years).

The start of the fixture was delayed initially because only three of us were there, and there was a security incident when two policemen, for safety reasons, ordered a change of venue (actually, we were playing on some sort of ball-game free section of the Promenade and they made us move, which was rather annoying).

Once the match began to progress, controversy struck as Arcanius was deemed to have used an illegal bat, which was one of the reasons he plonked us all over the park during his first innings where he saw off the pace threat of TOMolefe, the wily spinners of Lesterkk and the, erm, original bowling style of Roxy. Slowly but surely, the pressure began to toll until him and his giant bat were finally out after he had torn the bowling apart in the initial part of his innings. This whole episode followed TOMolefe’s ripping pacers terminating Simonwillo’s opening knock.

Lesterkk was next to show off his abilities as he began by attacking the spin threat of Simonwillo and deposited a few big blows over the leg side field. However, the innings was not to last as a beautifully timed cover drive ended up in the sea, and, due to his own rule, was declared out by the umpires (everyone else who was there). As he didn’t fetch the ball, like the laws of the game state, and wimped out from reterving it from the icy jaws of the Atlantic, he will get bedonnered in the fines meeting, scheduled for sometime in the future.

Niels, on his eighth or ninth smoke-free day was energetically throwing himself round the field as Simonwillo athletically guarded the stumps taking two excellent reflex one-hand-one-bounce catches. The pair of them also spoke a whole heap of shit while the game was in progress. Niels was particularly verbose when Roxy was diving around the field like a hybrid Jonty-Rhodes-sprinbok

Heather’s innings was brief but entertaining as she nearly hit the ball, and then the competition became fierce as Franczeska had to face up to none other than Carl, his boyfriend. In the battle of the couple, Carl had the first laugh as his slender textbook bowling action ended Franczeska’s adventurous innings, but the favour was returned in the next over as Carl, looking set for a long innings, did not actually have one due to the unpredictable deliveries from Franczeska.

Mvelasep, the travelling reserve surprised all as he smashed the ball around the park in an innings that took the other players by surprise, and included a great shot over mid on, past the diving Niels.

A scheduled drinks break signalled the end of the days play as the players were sitting in the sun and having a few beers, and it was just lovely.

In the end the players all shook hands and said goodbye because by then they needed a nap (Well I did).

So hopefully we see YOU at the second season of #promcricket when, once again, we will entertain ourselves with the JP Duminy cricket set, and each other.

Friday, April 16, 2010

#Promcricket update

Ok folks,

I may have recruited two cricket bats which is good news. At worst, we will use @arcanius' and just drop it before running. Niels might bring one too.

Also, @lesterkk brings up a good point. If you hit the ball over the boardwalk, you are 6 and out and you go and fucken swim and fetch it.

New additions, we have Heather from, some kiddies joining, @byronrode, @almackay, @magicmike1313. If you still want to come THEN DO! I haven't invited anyone specifically - everyone who reads this can come.


I am not dishing out my phone number, I am afraid. You just have to find me from 12.30 on the Promenade across from the Winchester Mansions.

Bring your A-game and booze. I am not bringing anything.

PS, if it rains we can just go to the pub across the road and get trollied.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hello folks.

As I suck at organising things, I only found my list of RSVPs for #promcricket today.

This is who I have who has RSVPed:

1) @franczeska
2) @RoxyAlexDallas
3) @lesterkk
4) Kimmefruit (Letterdash)
5) @TOMolefe
6) @Mohebo
7) Mos Native (Letterdash)
8) Antoinette (forgot twitter name -sorry)
9) Niels Himself (Leterdash)
10) @franczeska's +1
11) @lesterkk's +1
12) @lesterkk's +another 1

- @dyled
- @BobMabena (or @Bob_Mabena I can't remember)
- @brendan_l
- Bernard (Letterdash)
- @arcainius

And the booze will be looked after by @Mvelase_P

Garden cricket rules apply.
First ball to be bowled abetween 12.30 and 1.

Does anyone have cricket bats and/or tennis/slaz balls?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A heroine of mine

I don't care much for famous people, to be completely honest. I have very few role models that I don't know in some sense. I have always based my personal growth and inspiration on those I can access and be interactive with. In a blogging sense, I gravitate toward those I can learn from - you know who you are - some of whom I get to appreciate in person too. In a real life sense I spend time with some amazing writers with whom I work, some well-versed political folks, some people who just know a lot of stuff, some who have overcome difficult circumstances.

For me, these are my role models.

Except for one person who I admire from afar. Today I was quite surprised at how sad I felt when I read that Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer. This fucking disease has infected thousands upon thousands of people, but it really struck me today just how it can smack anyone.

Martina Navratilova has always been a hero of mine. In my view, while everyone wanks over Roger Federer, I think she is the greatest tennis player of all time. The battles she fought were fairly difficult - she crossed the Iron Curtain to go and live in the US, where she was deeply unpopular due to her original country, as well as her open homosexuality. And she was booed and booed and booed, but she destroyed opponents before her. Her record is incomparable in professional tennis.

She beat every bloody thing that came her way, even winning a French Open mixed doubles title at the age of 52.

She fought and she won, and she fought and she won. And now she has to fight through 6 weeks of radiation therapy. She's got to fight and win again.


I am sure she will come through it. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't really sad about it.

It seems that Martina Navratilova is my Elvis.