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From South Africa

2010-02-05 16:13

NB: For those who prefer my less earnest writing: The obligatory knob-joke is at the end (final paragraph) where it belongs.  Feel free to skip ahead.

No, I don't have a British passport. I just speak English well. Yes, I had read the collected works of Shakespeare from cover to cover by the time I was 12, but could only say "Good Morning" and "Thank You" in Xhosa. But I am South African. As Twitter goes nuts for a new trending topic, #insouthafrica (we're at number two) and looking at what people from all over our country are saying, I know it's true: I belong.

As I grew older and the country changed, it became more and more important to me to live here, not just survive here. And let's be clear: I intend on doing both. To make that work, I've spent time finding the spaces in which I feel comfortable – a place, a cultural community. Whatever it is.

That physical place, for me, is Sea Point in Cape Town, central areas in Durban, Melville in Joburg, and the airport departures lounge in Port Elizabeth... Just teasing, PE. I adore the Transkei!  And any long road works for me too.

My music is Chris Letcher, Thandiswa Mazwai, Dave Matthews, Die Antwoord, Simphiwe Dana, Moses Molelekwa, Goldfish, Valiant Swart, Blk Jks ... and that's just off the top of my head.  I also value those who, like Koos Kombuis, keep saying what they think, even when everyone seems to disagree,  which they frequently do, for a variety of reasons that seem to only ever be expressed in a somewhat homicidal manner. So let's hope that like me, Koos also believes that as long as EVERYONE says you're wrong, you're probably on the right track.

Remember Fiela se Kind? Well, read TV editor Sam Brighton's feature about it. Then there's the movie Skin, recently released, which explores similar themes. District 9 and Invictus both just earned Oscar nominations and are being watched by audiences all around the world. My condolences to Leon Schuster's many fans, for it seems that as a nation, we've finally moved on a little. We've also been attracting better and better artists to our country lately. Last night I saw Eddie Izzard live from a front row seat. Wow...

I believe some times are more exciting than others are – and that right now is very exciting.

Suddenly, all sorts of South African stuff is cool, almost overnight. Is it because we're hosting the soccer? Will it last? Will it help us end the crime? Will Shaik get off and shame us all – and can even the best French chef and all the butter in Durban do anything about it? Will we solve the education crisis through quality TV and inspirational cultural works? Will even 1000 2010 soccer anthems motivate Bafana Bafana enough that they make it through Round One?

And most importantly, will even the greatest art ever get the image of Zuma's unsheathed penis - which the media just won't stop dangling in my face - out of my head? Yes, not everything is perfect. But though the hairy, distended underbelly of our world looms large at times, I believe there is hope. And thanks to the amazing things I've been seeing lately, I continue to dream.

I feel we're still moving forward, on and up (or these pills are really good). publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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