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"Witboy in Africa", By Deon Maas

2010-06-03 15:14
DIARY OF THE END OF A MARRIAGE (an extract from the book)


I HAD AN OVERWHELMING feeling of déjà-vu when I landed at the Murtalla Mohammed airport for the fourth time. The Nigerians' smugness still knew no bounds and I was welcomed with a story of an American who acted the big man but met his match in a major way.
This time it was the rapper Akon's turn. Akon, originally from Senegal, was no stranger to controversy.* He was a man who walked around with the bravado of the big rappers.
Akon liked to do the crowd surf thing during his shows. He would dive in among the audience who would literally carry him on their hands. But as 50 Cent had found out the hard way, things were done slightly differently in Lagos. Before Akon tried his party trick in Lagos he was warned that the crowd was full of area boys who didn't like him very much. To his detriment he decided to ignore the good advice and went crowd surfing.
When he reappeared on stage he was only in his underpants. The rest of his outfit, including his watch, jewellery, trousers and even his socks and Timberland boots were removed from his body while he was in the crowd.
Here we go again - welcome to Lagos.

*The year before Akon was in trouble in Honduras after he simulated sex with a 14-year-old girl during a stage show. Two months later he was in trouble again when he hit a I5-year-old fan at one of his shows. For this transgression he had to do community service and pay an admission of guilt fine of $2S0.

About Witboy in Africa
 - a short review by Jean Barker

Deon Maas  - the chameleon of barflies -  has travelled all over Africa and written an hilarious account of his journeys. Read an extract and watch videos of him airing his views on xenophobia, his favourite places, and more.

How do you know Deon Maas? As a journalist who offended you and got fired by his ball-less editor for advocating religious tolerance in Rapport? As a documentary film maker? As a music promoter? As a TV writer for Nigeria’s biggest reality show?

Or perhaps you know him as the traveller who showed up in your country demanding to taste all your beers, three times each?  Because he’s also writer of a new book about travelling and working in Madagascar, Rwanda, Botswana, and then Nigeria - a country became a fascination, and an addiction, for him.

Video: Life and death in Africa
Gatvol South Africans, Nigeria and Nigerians, his favourite places in Africa, and how he'd like to die.
Video: Xenophobia
How real is the threat to South Africa - and how can we counteract it?

Too many african travelogues are sentimental, patronising watercolours of our country, our natural wonders, or guides full of ludicrous crime prevention tips and even more ludicrous stereotyping.

You don’t need to create excitement in Africa. It’s all here already – as our friend from overseas, Akon discovered when he discovered there isn’t much African about African Americans, really.

Deon Maas’s account of our continent is the honest, sometimes depressing, always funny kind, which leaves you feeling you know him and perhaps would like to have a drink with him. Written from a very personal perspective, it details his love life and career, and is shot through with fiercely earned African pride - and occasional accounts of drunken stupidity.

Deon openly admits he sees himself as the Hunter S. Thompson of South Africa. Which I guess he is – without the heroin, or the gun in the mouth... so far.

The book is available in stores, as well as online from www.kalahari.net.

Read about big star Akon's most embarassing moment in this extract from a new book by Deon Maas, in which he escapes death, and lives life in Africa to the full. Plus, watch two video interviews with Deon Maas.

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