Clifton waiter apologises for ‘2 Blacks’ bill

“CAPE TOWN – The waiter responsible for describing patrons as “2 Blacks” at The Bungalow at Clifton Beach in Cape Town has said he never intended the offence taken.

Screengrab of slip.
Screengrab of slip.

The waiter, Mike Dzange, says he regrets the controversial incident.

“I’d like to apologise deep from my heart for the trouble I have caused; it happened without intention of hurting anybody. I’d sincerely like to apologise to Mr Scott and partner,” Dzange, a Zimbabwean national said.

He has been suspended from The Bungalow, where he has worked for eight years.

Scott Maqetuka tweeted a picture of this slip describing him as one of two blacks, accusing the Bungalow restaurant in Clifton of racism.

Dzange admits he was wrong to use racial descriptions for patrons. He has been suspended in the interim.”

eNCA caught up with Dzange.

Dressed up as revolution

Dabbling the dark arts of fiction, read the full but short story here.

“Their conversation is punctuated with the topping up of wine glasses and champagne flutes. The men and women dressed in black and white lingering on the side-lines catching bits of conversation, looking annoyed as more food is ordered by the increasingly loud bunch — their agitation making those seated at the table slightly aware of their privilege.”

Be gentle.

ON: Being a news voyeur

I haven’t written anything on here in a few months and it has everything to do with my new job. My new job isn’t the kind of job that affords one the time or “space” to scribble one’s considered views on current affairs or even personal affairs.

I get to work with moving pictures which, I grew to love in 2015, and I suppose you could say I still get to write via scripts. However, it’s not quite the same.

I miss writing so so much. I miss being in the field everyday doing something different and speaking to different people, getting to see the “real” South Africa unfold before me. I miss talking to my people, talking about my people, talking through my people.

Don’t get me wrong, I still do the news but it’s slightly different when you do the news for an international audience and for pure profit. The space I was speaking about shrinks or maybe widens, depending on who you are and why you came into journalism.

It’s like watching things around you happen in slow motion, you are there but at a distance. Stuck in a fixed point unable to move close, probe deeper, ask more – just standing there with the best telephoto lens on the market – but far, very far from the centre of the riot.

It’s a good job, the opportunities that come with it are positively amazing, I’m getting invaluable experience, imali is good and and and – but we miss what we miss. I’ll be gone til November 😦

 

Literary Postmortem: The Reactive

My excitement and expectations going into this book were quite high and I must say I was not disappointed at all. This debut novel by Masande Ntshanga, is one of the best things I have read in a long time. He is a young, black writer from the Eastern Cape aka everything I want to be one day (save for being from the Eastern Cape).

Anyway so late last year I attended an event where he read an extract from the book and I knew then that I had to read the book. He writes in a way that demands you to carry on reading. If you plan on reading the book and want to be surprised don’t read this – there will be spoilers.

Right.

So I mentioned the high expectations – shattered not long after I had settled into this read. I expected to read about his younger brother, Luthando dying at an initiation school and the guilt his older brother, Lindanathi felt over his compliancy in that. That’s actually why I was so interested in the story to begin with. It’s a horrible thing that happens to young boys out in rural areas in our winter. Luthando’s death is always lingering throughout the book but I still felt I needed to know more about his death.

Initially I thought the immense guilt the protagonist (Lindanathi) feels throughout the book irrational because you know things happen, right? But then the more I read about his drug induced hazy days in Cape Town with his two friends Ruan and Cecelia, the less empathy I felt.

They did drugs. Often. A lot of drugs. Often. It scared me. Scared me because it just happens so easily, they are at the point where it’s routine, they need the drugs to peel themselves off Cecelia’s apartment floor. It also scared me because Ntshanga writes about the drug use/dependency with far too much accuracy to not be drawing from personal experience (or so I think). There’s also quite a bit of kinky bordering on messed up sex, group sex with masculine porn endings *purses lips*.

But anyway in a nutshell, these three are drugged up all the time and sell pharmaceutical drugs (ARVs) on the side – they lead a life that looked like absolute chaos to me. But there are reasons for why they are the way they are, some which we don’t really get to learn about. Personally, Lindanathi making himself reactive was the most chilling for me. There’s a lot of ambiguity in the book, shielded by absolutely beautiful imagery and sentences. I can’t recall how many times I had to stop reading to re-read and mull over the perfect sentences.

To me, Lindanathi redeems himself towards the end of the book when he decides to stop running from his problems and avoiding his family. He goes back to do the thing he promised his brother he would do with him. He decides for a change to look his life in the face and show up. Then we meet Esona, ah I would have loved to have one more chapter for their story – she sounds like the thing he has needed for a long time.

The way the book ends is comforting, still sad (yes, I cried) but it feels like things happen as they should. It really was a brilliant read, it felt extremely honest, therefore heartbreaking but also so necessary.

I am just a girl with a blog who read a book but I would definitely recommend The Reactive.

Imbawula: Modern storytelling

We laughed, we cried, we were enlightened and we were simply enthralled when four vastly different people told us stories in a basement  at Bean Republic, over wine last week Thursday.

It was the first Imbawula event jointly hosted by Random Window and Quarphix Foundation, under the stewardship of Siphiwe Mpye. He got the ball rolling by telling us a tale of how the idea for what will now become a monthly event came about. He remembered always being curious about the time shift that happened as the sun set and he had to run home to when the dark settled leading to older boys taking over street corners to talk sex and politics next to informal fireplaces.

I imagined that people would read something short that they had written – but it was really just four people telling us stories about themselves, which was really something. First we had Lee Molefi, who told a very moving story about being a kid on the cusps of teenage drama, who had to navigate  not black enough, too smart and and an untimely death. He has the kind of voice you can listen to for hours and so it was nice to hear him speaking in such a personal way as opposed to the very serious MC’ing I’ve only ever heard. His story had us gasping, laughing  in one moment  and then suddenly crying.

The second storyteller was, the sultry voiced, Vutomi Mushwana. She spoke about love and used the example of what was one of her most important relationships to illustrate how love can smother, hurt, heal and ultimately make you grow. As a lover of love, her story was my favourite. Not because of the topic but because of the reality of what  a toxic relationship can do to you without you realizing. She definitely hit us with some wisdom. I have read some stuff on her blog and I have become a fast fan.

The third speaker was one of my favourite commentators slash bloggers, Milisuthando Bongela (better known as Miss Milli B). First of all her outfit was fierce and fittingly so because her tale was about where her journey with fashion began. But the bigger story she told was how she met her intuition while on the job, when it seemed that the world was coming crashing down around her. We so often second guess our intuition and if she had that day things would not have worked out as intended.

The night ended of an a light note when Anele Mdoda’s storytelling time turned into a bit of a comedy set. She regaled us with a tale from her early childhood, one I had read before in her book, It Feels Wrong to Laugh, But (part of The Youngsters series) but because of how animated she is in person I loved seeing that story come alive. I cried but not because there was any sad part in the story but because I was laughing so hard.

I loved the intimacy of the evening because it let those who told stories do it so freely and made those of us who listened privy to some the four storyteller’s most telling tales. I am keen for the next event, to hear more stories over wine in a basement.

PS – In between the storytelling, Melo B. Jones serenaded us, here’s a little taste of that:

On Ferguson – The System Isn’t Broken, It Was Built This Way

All of this.

The Belle Jar

I have an uncle who was a cop.

His kids, my cousins, were around my age and when we visited our family in Québec every summer I practically lived at their house. As soon as we got to my grandmother’s house, all rumpled and grumpy from our eight hour drive, I would start dialling my cousins’ number on her beige rotary phone. I spent the whole damn school year waiting for summer, and my time with my cousins, to come; we wrote each other letters all through the dreary winter, hatching plans for new summer exploits. Life with my cousins – swimming in their pool, family barbecues, playing hide-and-seek in my grandmother’s mammoth hedge at twilight – was lightyears better than my boring life in Ontario.

Pretty much every summer my uncle would, at some point, take us to visit the police station. He would pretend that we were criminals and…

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Debate Club: Gender agenda

Gender not sex. Womanism not feminism. Patriarchy not masculinity.  These were some of the things brought up at the last debate club meeting of the year on November 25, 2014. The panel steering the direction of the conversation was made up by Panashe Chigumadzi, Lee Molefi and Lebohang Nova Masango.

Feminism, what it is and who it speaks to made up a substantial part of the debate on the night. Some described it as movement that seeks justice and equality. As women wanting to live in a world where they don’t have constantly “check” themselves to stay out of harms way. As vaginas and boobs not being the things that dictate where we belong and what we get to do. The most poignant description for me was:

The way patriarchy shapes what men should and can expect from women was another hot topic. I recall one guy in the audience saying he is all for woman empowerment and equality for “other women” just not his woman. He admitted that he had learnt to expect subservience and as a result that is what he now yearned for.

If I recall correctly he said he’s all for his sister becoming and engineer but his wife should have a more “humble job” as to not bruise his ego and mess with his role as the head of the house. The room, filled predominantly with women, was up in arms at that. This is the kind of thinking that reminds women that they are alone in this struggle, black men aren’t really here for us. Agreed with these comments on gender roles:

My biggest take away from the night was the fact that so few men were willing to understand what feminism is, some suggested that they can never identify because they aren’t women, that they need to be schooled and feel included to get on the train. In response the panel said acknowledging patriarchy and how as a man you benefit from it, is similiar to white people having to acknowledge white priveledge. Something that was necessary to start trying to make things better.

There is a lot more that could have been discussed but time rules us all. This is a very short video of the night made by the good people at LiveMag:

 

Water supplies restored as reservoirs fill

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on September 16, 2014. 

Water supply has been sporadic or non-existent in parts of Johannesburg and the West Rand over the past two days.

Democratic Alliance ward councillor Amanda Forsythe received calls from residents reporting “ first  low water pressure and then others saying they had completely ran out of water”.

Forsythe contacted Johannesburg Water, who informed her that the Rand Water reservoirs had ran out of water due to an extensive power outage.

FILE PICTURE: A resident fills her bucket with water from a tap. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
FILE PICTURE: A resident fills her bucket with water from a tap. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Johannesburg Water spokesperson, Justice Mohale said: “The interruption was caused by the power outage in the Eikenhof area, which resulted in Rand Water unable to pump water from its Eikenhof Pumping station to the Meredale Reservoir, which supplies Joburg Water.”

Affected areas included the south-western part of Johannesburg and northern suburbs including Emmarentia, Greenside, Melville and Parktown. Restoration of water supply began yesterday afternoon but because of the size of the reservoirs, it took a few hours. Forsythe said water was restored to most residents by 10pm last night, but that there were some glitches.

“Some people had water on for a while last night and then this morning had nothing, but I believe water has been fully restored now,” Forsythe said.

Considering the extent of the water interruption, Forsythe said: “Those reservoirs are huge. The power outage must have lasted a day or so. They even have back-up generators, but those also ran out of power because of the high demand for water.”