Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Joburg Art Fair 2011

There were so many amazing things going on in P-Town and Jozi this weekend (STR CRD, SA Fashion Week, last Hotbox party, Vredefest). It was also the weekend that I had to work on a big assignment for International Relations. Naturally, I felt quite sorry for myself. After staring at my computer screen for three days, I decided to go to Joburg Art Fair. My sanity could just not take it anymore. My incredibly talented cousin, Alexandra Makhlouf, was also showing some her work (I plan on doing a proper post on her work soon, so watch this space) so we decided to go show some support.

I'm no  photographer so I really struggled to take decent photos without the light reflection getting in the way. Here are just some of my favourite pieces. There were so many, trust me.

By Pieter Hugo

Unraveled by Leghlogonolo Mashaba

Montevideo on My Mind by Diana Hyslop
From Generation to Generation by Motsamai Thabane

Friday, 23 September 2011

Music video x3

Quite a few local talents have released some amazeballs music videos recently. Take a look!

Die Heuwels Fantasties (Ft. Inge Beckmann)- Modus Operandi

Farryl Purkiss- Seraphine

Van Coke Kartel- Vir Almal

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Zoo City: Review

I am officially an entertainment journalist for Tuks' varsity paper, the Perdeby. For my application, I had to do a movie, book or film review. I am so super excited about this new venture and the chance to write about things that I really really enjoy. As per the request of a certain special friend who lives far away (ok, not that far but Cape Town is far enough), here's what I wrote.

Zinzi December is former junkie who lives in a dingy little flat in the heart of Hillbrow’s squalor. She makes a living by conning the unsuspecting through internet scams and has a knack for finding lost items. Zinzi is also a murderer. The sloth on her back, her animal familiar, is a reminder of her crooked past and the mistakes she has made. It is against this backdrop that Zinzi finds herself helping music producer, Odi Huron, to locate the missing half of a popular teenage singing duo. 

With an unconventional heroine like Zinzi, it’s no surprise that Zoo City has caused quite a buzz in the literary world. Local author, Lauren Beukes, recently won the Arthur C. Clarke award, which is equivalent to the Oscars in the sci-fi world. Beukes combines her wild imagination with a witty narrative, to transport the reader to an alternate version of Johannesburg. It’s an eerie Jozi where criminals are identified by the animals that follow them, where muti is rife and crime and poverty are plentiful. Perhaps what makes Zoo City so captivating is that it is set in a Joburg that, although different, is not far off from the one we know now. Beukes uses the novel to mirror reality from a different perspective and to comment on topical political and social issues. 

Zoo City is one of those books that you’ll find very hard to separate with once you start reading it. Suspense absorbs you with every unexpected twist in the tail and you feel a strange sense of comfort as you engage in a supernatural world filled with tik, taxis, moegoes, chiskoppe and spaza shops. Beukes’ powerful blend of magical realism makes it very difficult, or rather impossible, to fault her writing. Zoo City is Beukes’ second novel after Moxyland, her highly-acclaimed debut novel. Beukes has followed in the footsteps of Neill Blomkamp’s film, District 9, when it comes to putting South African science fiction on the map. I suspect that Zoo City will have a cult-like following sooner or later. Once you’ve read the book, there’s no questioning why. Orwell and Adams better make some room for Lauren Beukes. Her world-class writing represents the future of South African literature while proving that local really is lekker.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fairy tale time

Once upon a Saturday night, these three ladies (plus one who hates being photographed) went to Arcade Empire.

They were entertained by this man, Farryl Purkiss, and his mean guitar skills.

They also jammed to this insanely talented band, Isochronous, while getting showered with confetti canons.

They had fun. Lots of it.


Saturday, 17 September 2011


It's no secret that BOO! has a global cult-like following. On Thursday night, a rather large number of us adoring P-Town fans crammed into Tings 'n Times to be part of what has become a typically mind-blowing experience.

What lures the devoted towards the music is the theatrical quality to BOO!'s performance. The glitz and glamour of show business are blended with bad-ass punk to produce something incomparable. Describing their music as 'monkipunk', BOO! chooses to defy the boundaries that are created when putting music into neat little boxes based on their genre.

As the stage area starts bulging with people, the audience is told that they are not allowed to smoke because of the effect that it will have on front man Chris Chameleon's delicate vocals. Had it been anyone else, I would have brushed this request off as unreasonable. But Chris Chameleon is a non-apologetic, demanding diva. When he walks onto stage there is no questioning why. His crazed eyes are painted with perfectly applied eyeliner and his arms twinkle with glitter. He is clad in a black and red outfit that resembles something an instrument- bearing Ninja Turtle would wear. Ladies and gentlemen, I can honestly say that there is no performer that comes close to the cross-dressing talent that is Chris Chameleon. And I think I've seen my fair share of live music. His face contorts into a myriad of different expressions as he sings. One minute he is delicate and doll-like, the next he is dark and sinister. He is a character like no other.

The rest of the band are wearing equally entertaining outfits. Ampie Omo, with his long, wild blond locks, is sporting black bell bottom pants with red flames at the bottom and a matching shirt. In the back, Riaan van Rensburg is pounding the drums in what looks to me like shiny white harem pants and a pink shirt. Am I starting to resemble the fashion police? Maybe just a little.

BOO!'s catchy, high-energy tunes provided for a lot of jumping around and going crazy. Hell, I think I may have even jammed the curls right out of my hair. As the music ended and the crowd roared "Booooooooo!" one last time, I walked away with sore dance-feet feeling wholly satisfied with my music fix.

Plus One

As of today, this is the newest addition to our family. Say hello to Simone de Beauvoir, aptly named after the French philosopher (The Meletakos Family has a tendency to name our animals after people we admire- my Yorkie's name is Sophie, after Sophia Loren). Christi is a big Simone de Beauvoir fan, hence the name. This pretty little thing reminds me of an aristocrat with her pearly white and grey fur and bright blue eyes. Too cute!

Friday, 16 September 2011


For those of you who don't know, I'm studying journalism. As part of an assignment last semester, we we went to Mamelodi once a week for roughly a month and wrote articles about things happening in the community.The second part of the assignment was an introduction to photography. We are now in the process of producing a newspaper for the Mamelodi community which we hope to distribute sometime in October. I spent my time at a primary school called Meetse a Bophelo. It was previously a very dilapidated school but after a recent renovation by steel giant, ArcelorMittal South Africa, the infrastructure has been transformed into something quite awe-inspiring. I worked mainly with the Grade Rs and the focus of my article was Early Childhood Development and how the South African government spends a pittance on this sector of education (perhaps one day I will post my article as well, who knows). I really loved working with the kids. They taught me a lot about myself and about a world that exists literally down the road from me but that I had no clue about. I also got the chance to practice my Zulu with them which was pretty rad. They were only too obliging when it came to me taking photos of them. So, here are some of the pictures I took of the special little individuals that I had the privilege of meeting.Enjoy!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Van Coke Kartel, your new track is pretty awesome!

The boys from Van Coke Kartel recently made their new single, Vir Almal, available for download. Has anyone heard it yet? What do you guys think? My word, but Jed Kossew plays some mean guitar! Their fourth album, Wie's Bang? is set to be released in November. Can't wait!

If you haven't downloaded Vir Almal yet, here's the link. Do it. Now.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Do you like Mew?

I do, I do, I do! Although this video isn't the greatest, it is one heck of a song!

Mew- Sometimes life isn't easy

"Today I do not love my country"

So, my weekend consisted of studying, studying and more studying. Somewhere in between, I managed to squeeze in the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival. I first went to a poetry reading session where Denis Hirson and Ingrid de Kok recited some of their awe-inspiring poetry. Antjie Krog said about the session, "We have been truly alive for only 40 minutes today." I think that pretty much sums up the sheer brilliance of the experience that I had the privilege of being apart of. The second session that I went to was a panel discussion on the relationship between the ANC and COSATU and whether or not this relationship is still relevant. The panelists included Moeletsi Mbeki, Susan Booysen and Kally Forrest. It was quite a riveting discussion. Take these stats for example: 24% of people who vote for the ANC are employed full time. 9% are employed part-time. 66% of the ANC's electorate is unemployed, while only 8% have a tertiary education. Makes you think, doesn't it?

I'll leave you with a poem by Ingrid de Kok. She wrote it at the time of the xenophobic attacks in 2008. I think it really echoes my sentiments towards my country given the events that have occurred over the last few days. It's really something special- enjoy!

Today I do not love my country

South Africa, May 2008

Today I do not love my country.
It is venal, it is cruel.
Lies are open sewers in the street.
Threats scarify the walls.

Tomorrow I may defend my land
when others X-ray the evidence:
feral shadows, short sharp knives.
I may argue our grievous inheritance.

On Wednesday I may let the winded stars
fall into my lap, breathe air's golden ghee,
smell the sea's salt cellar, run my fingers
along the downy arm of the morning.

I may on Thursday read of a hurt child
given refuge and tended by neighbours,
sing with others the famous forgiving man
who has forgotten who were enemies, who friends.
But today, today, I cannot love my country.

It staggers in the dark, lurches in a ditch.
A curdled mob drives people into pens,
brands them like cattle,
only holds a stranger's hand
to press it into fire,
strings firecrackers through a child,
burns stores and shacks, burns.