Friday, 30 November 2007

Love is all around us

One Wednesday whilst I was driving in the middle of Jozi, my car Clutch cable broke right in the middle of the road. To my surprise when I look outside there were more that ten men pushing my car directing me where to park it safe before I can call my insurance. After parking my car at the Corner of Rissik and market the guys wished me luck and went their separate ways. I was left wondering, “is this Johannesburg I know or am I in the wrong city”? From my experience Johannesburg is the most arrogant city after Nigeria in Africa, people would wait until you ask for help before they can offer to help. To my surprise strangers just decided to offer me help without lifting a finger. I didn’t have words to thank them, that was incredible people risking their lives by jumping into the running traffic to help a stranger whilst they are strangers themselves I still can’t believe it. What I strongly believe in is that people are always willing to help if you ask for help, but this was beyond my imagination. I wish I can remember their faces on the streets and surprise one or two of them, but one of them was wearing Game uniform I suppose he works for Game probably in Pritchard Street.

As if that was not enough the following day Thandi’s friend (Thandi is my wife) borrowed us her car to Mpumalanga, can you believe this Mpumalanga Ermelo to be precise, +_250 KM away. When our car broke down we already had this trip planned and her friend told her that "you are not cancelling you trip I will bring my car to you in the evening"(not her exact words). Talk about luck. How do people choose friends I am sure my friends can do anything but to borrow me a car I am not sure they caold do that. Initially I thought that was impossible until it happened to me. Do you think there is any combination of words that can make up a proper thank you for that? I don’t think so, what would you do if you were me?

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


For sometime now we have been singing praises of our not so new coach Carlos Alberto Pereira. Bafana Bafana have played some tough opposition and came second best most of the times. They always show a promise that does not come to fruition. Since 1995 I have never seen press so friendly to a coach. I remember Shakes Mashaba who did fairly well with the team but press was a constant pain in his backside.

I am a bit concerned that our progress is going too slow for my liking. I would love to see Bafana go to the semi final of AFCON maybe even the finals… I know that is far fetched, but it is possible. I would not like to see us playing to lose only to be told later by the coach that he is not concerned about the score line that is a bit of a concern for me.

Remember Carlos Quiroz (former Bafana coach) he once said we must notbe concerned about FIFA rankings because he was not. Immediately South Africa plummeted to the lowest rankings ever. This was after it was no1 in Africa and enjoying the status of being in the top twenty in the World. The media then forgot about FIFA rankings, ironically when we were going to play the USA the media made sure that every South African knows that the US is 60 notches higher than Bafana conditioning us for losing. In the deed that worked because I am yet to hear someone complaining about that game even my most critical friend of mine Rathing is keeping quiet.

Our boys are lazy they can’t even run, they couldn't string three passes together let alone flowing game they were also erratic like amatures. I don’t see us beating teams like Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria or even Tunisia. These are some of the teams, which are likely to go the semis unless they cancel each other along the way. If between now and January the boys can show the sense of urgency in front of goals then we still have an outdside chance.

Proud to be a South African

There are few things that make one feel proudly South African. I lived in Cape Town for 5 years and that city showed me that Gauteng is by far more integrated than any other place in South Africa. May be I stand to be corrected on this one because my assumptions are based on only the cities I lived in like Port Elizabeth, Durban, Bloemfontein, and East London. Back in Jo’burg there is a group of 5 friends that I often see at Capellos, they are black, Indian and white and by the look of things I am the only one who see them that way. Every time when I see them having lunch together I just can’t help to think that this is what Biko, Tambo, Sobukwe, Mandela and others fought for.

What triggered this thought is what I saw in Qwagga centre in Pretoria yesterday. As we were leaving with my wife I heard a song “Sister Bettina”. This was a very popular song amongst the youth the last December (I must add that I hate the song… maybe I am getting old) when I looked behind me I was not prepared for what I was about to see, two young white boys about 17 /18 years were playing the song on their MP3 player or a cell phone and they were enjoying. I am sure they don’t know even a word from that song. I looked at them and for a moment I heard sister Bettina Rocking my world.

This was not for the first time I felt this way. In 1997/98 I was at SABC studios in Auckland Park when I heard Mandoza’s Nkalakatha rattling the roofs of SABC. I look at metro fm studio and the guys were just talking and I looked behind me Darren Scot on 5fm was dancing like crazy alone in the studio. When you look at small things like those it when you realise how lucky are we to be South African. Can you imagine if you were born in Serbia, DRC, Bangladesh or Somali? I don’t want to imagine what their children are going through. South Africa seems to be in the right direction even though the pace could be better. Remember Arno Castens rocking SOWETO? I was not there but for those who did go they enjoyed. I have every reason to believe that despite our differences SA still rock

Friday, 2 November 2007

Woman of colours

I am not a talkative person even though some people dispute that. Sometimes I go crazy and Tuesday morning was one of those days. I was listening to Bad boy T (Thomas these days) and his crew on Metro fm. They always play a feel good classic song just after 06h00 clock. They play nice old songs both local and international. This Tuesday as I was driving towards Jozi they the played Victoria Wilson James’ woman of colours and spontaneously I heard myself shouting oooooohhh umfazi wamabalabala (woman of colours) of course this song reminded me of good times and bad times. The year was 1992 and booze, dagga and all that goes with it (including crime) was the order of the day. Naledi extension and Zola (SOWETO) were the place to be I remember my friends, Rubber, CharlieMingus, Montana unfortunately not all of us made it to where I am now, we use to rule December (Dezemba in township lingo ) When we entered any shebeen an LP or a cassette of Victoria Wilson James “woman of colours” must be ready because it was our song or else we are leaving. That is the year my son was born, it is also the year that I lost my brother and later my best friend. My friend left with Snyman (the guy who sells dagga and drugs) and never came back until his badly decomposed body (to put mildly) was found at the nearby school by druggies who made school their safe heaven at night. 1992 was the beginning of my life because at the end of the year I changed my life around to who I am today a responsible person. But that was the year to remember... where were you?

Is there Justice in Justice

How often do you hear this phrase in South Africa” let the law take its course”? This phrase always live a bitter taste in my mouth because it is not about the law it is about how much can you fork out to buy you freedom. The poor of course can’t afford that, as we all know the law favours the rich who can afford lawyers of their choice. Your Tony Yengeni, Mark Thatcher and other rich dudes can easy elude the law. We as ordinary citizens we are made to believe that Judges execute their duties without bias even where we can see that there are indications of biasness and prejudice. Do we really respect justice in South Africa?

Take these two scenarios 1. A Judge issues a warrant of arrest for Jackie Selebi that warrant. Then the president suspends the head of the NPA as we all know. Advocate Mpshe who took over from Pikoli decides to withdraw the warrant (others say he did it by night nogal). What does that say about respecting judiciary? Clearly that undermines the integrity of the judge who issued that warrant. It is saying he was not competent enough be issuing warrants. Who am I to trust judiciary then?

2. Pius Langa and his judicial commission decide not to punish judge Hlophe because of what they call lack of evidence. Then one Judge Kigler and his whit counter parts run to the media to undermine that outcome and mudslinging began between black and white judges. This is the same Judiciary that want us to respect its decisions. But they can’t even respect their boss decision. They don’t have to agree with him at least. If even Judges go out of their way to doubt publicly the out comes of Judiciary who are we to trust judiciary.