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Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

In memory of Nelson Mandela (one year later)

18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013 

Saint, hero, icon, saviour and unquestionable moral titan to some; perpetually misunderstood political hero, reconciler and complex human being if you think about him for a while.

Cartoon by Zapiro, Sowetan © 2000. All rights reserved

Cartoon by Zapiro, Sowetan © 2000. All rights reserved

There’s not much new that we can tell you about Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Everybody knows the basics. How he was born into a Thembu dynasty, how he tended cattle as a boy in 1920s Transkei. How he went to Fort Hare, where he met Oliver Tambo, and then Johannesburg, where he met Joe Slovo and Ruth First, and was mentored by Walter Sisulu. You know about the ANC, MK, Rivonia and Robben Island; about his release from apartheid prison in 1990, and how he was voted in as South Africa’s first (truly) democratic president four years later. About his subsequent global-icon status and the way the world mourned when he finally passed away in late 2013. And if you don’t, well, you’re not going to find too much of that stuff here.

The picture you have in your head of Mandela is a mirror into your own soul. But if you stop and think about it for a bit, it’s possible you might not like the reflection.

The gravest misrepresentation is that Mandela was just a nice old gentleman, a benign and happy grandfatherly figure who only ever wanted black and white people to get along. Something like the personal embodiment of the McCartney song Ebony And Ivory, and about as complex. In this incarnation all Mandela desired was to end apartheid, draw a line under the past and put his feet up while fondly tousling the hair of the bouncy giggling Rainbow Nation. Then the crying would stop, and the beloved country would frolic off into an idyllic future.

Add to that a fuzzy sense of saintliness, as though this was a man who has never done any wrong, and the end picture can become a wilful misunderstanding of the past – and, dare one suggest it, somewhat racist. Many people seem to like the idea of an affable, harmless darkie content with the status quo. Historically, though, the moment Mandela ever said anything vaguely revolutionary, condemnation was rapid.

So when he told the British government to engage in talks with the IRA in the 1990s, people were outraged, even though John Major did just that after he came to power two years later. When he denigrated Dick Cheney as a “dinosaur” in 2002, the White House briefed against him. He strongly condemned NATO’s action in Kosovo in the late 1990s. He caused fury when he said that Tony Blair was the “foreign minister of the United States”. He was apocalyptically angry about the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

When still in the public eye, Mandela was in fact the perpetual activist, forever calling out injustice where he saw it. And he saw it in places those who dared to dismiss him as a congenial old simpleton didn’t like.

It may seem like madness to some, but there are people who really don’t understand that Mandela, quite naturally, viewed political liberation as only the first step to uplifting black South Africans from a subservient existence bequeathed to them by more than 350 years of oppression of one sort or another. The first democratic elections of 1994 were, of course, just the start to fixing things. Mandela may have been keen to forgive – famously keen, in fact – but he sure as hell wasn’t interested in forgetting.

So, for example, the image of Mandela portrayed in Invictus is, for want of a better word, unabashedly white. Mandela did not, in fact, spend his entire presidency making friends with Afrikaner rugby players. Yes, he worked famously for reconciliation, and for many white South Africans the memory of the great man appearing on the Ellis Park pitch at the 1995 World Cup final wearing a Springbok jersey is the defining image of the post-liberation era. (See François Pienaar.) There is no doubt he had a gift for making iconic gestures. But for many, many more South Africans, Mandela’s time in charge was marked by something most middle-class South Africans can’t even imagine. Like getting a house to live in. Or a constant electricity supply. Never mind a vote.

The fact is that Nelson Mandela’s presidency marked a fundamental revolution in the way this country approached the governance of the land and the people living in it. How could it not? With able assistance from his deputy, Thabo Mbeki, Mandela pursued a radical agenda to change, as fast as he could, the lives of poor black people. He launched the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), introduced the Land Restitution Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act, and heralded the creation of a progressive and world-acclaimed new constitution. This was radical stuff, especially considering just how cowed and conservative South Africa was in the early 1990s.

But he didn’t just realign the architecture of the country. He worked on the ground too, and got things done. The Mandela presidency – only one term, remember – saw the building or upgrading of 500 clinics; nearly three million people were housed; two million were connected to the grid; three million got running water; 1.5 million children were brought into the education system. And amazingly, some people still wonder why the majority of South Africans vote for the ANC!

Indeed, the sentimental picture of a doddery, gentle, kind Mandela does a great disservice to the ANC, especially at a time when its reputation is in crisis. Under the corrupt and seemingly disinterested leadership of Jacob Zuma, following the paranoid and ultimately divisive Mbeki era, the party has rapidly haemorrhaged its reputation as a progressive nation-building entity. It is – to call it bluntly – in the process of looting the country and reducing to tatters our status as a gateway to Africa. But still. The ANC of old liberated South Africa.

Though Nelson Mandela was strategically promoted as the personification of the struggle, he did not ride in on a white stallion and, God-like, gift us all a chance at a future all on his own. Many brave men and women liberated this country. Mandela was certainly the greatest of the lot, but he was the quickest of them all to acknowledge the collective role of everyone involved.

Mandela was a tough, brave and ruthless leader in a liberation movement. Having initially adhered to the ANC’s nonviolent approach, as per the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, he changed tack after the Sharpeville massacre of 1960. The following year he co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Spear of the Nation, and was sent abroad to drum up support. He received military training and studied tactics of warfare, and went on to oversee bombings on government buildings and institutions that were symbolic of apartheid. The Umkhonto leadership had identified four forms of possible violence: open revolution, terrorism, guerrilla warfare and sabotage. They aimed to use the latter approach only, avoiding human casualties at all costs, but Mandela later admitted that the ANC violated human rights during the struggle, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found that the organisation routinely used torture. This is not something we lay at Mandela’s feet. But it is because he was willing to face up to the ugly truth about the way in which some of his comrades acted, and to do so publicly, that we mention it. Mandela had no delusions of saintly grandeur. He left that to us – to the likes of the embarrassingly twee and middle-class suburban muppets who liked to sing him songs on his birthday, as if he were a child.

No, Mandela features here not because he was a kind and gentle old man. We love him greatly and admire with awe his legacy of reconciliation and his genuine desire for a nonracial South Africa. Of course. We bow to his huge contribution towards averting violence and killing and general mayhem, especially after the murder of Chris Hani in 1993, a time in our history when civil war seemed almost inevitable. We are forever grateful for his insistence that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, white or black, and we can never thank him enough for his speech at the Rivonia Trial, which ought to be writ large in the halls of Parliament. We marvel at his capacity for the symbolic gesture, for having tea with Betsie Verwoerd (in Orania!), for insisting that his assistant be a young Afrikaner girl. We’ll love him forever for making PW Botha look so doltish and stupid, and for out-living him too.

But that’s only one element of the story. Mandela was a complex, fascinating, flawed human being. As his third wife, Graça Machel, described him, he was “a symbol, but not a saint”. So he finds himself in these pages because, generally, he could never be excluded from a list of fifty brilliant South Africans. But specifically he is here because he was a militant and radical revolutionary ready to die, and to bomb, for the cause – after half a century of nonviolent protest by the ANC at the treatment of black South Africans, it was unfortunately what this country needed to wake it from its moral slumber. It was a lengthy process, but eventually it succeeded – and so it is Mandela, the warrior, we salute.

This is an edited extract from 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans by Alexander Parker and Tim Richman.

50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans

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In memory of Ian Player (and Magqubu Ntombela)

Picture: www.ianplayer.com

Picture: www.ianplayer.com

It is an astonishing animal when you think about it. The white rhino. That magnificent beast like something out of The Lost World – not a thing we could begin to imagine were it not already here. And, of the southern variety, there were by some estimates twenty left. Just twenty, somehow eking out an existence in the remote “V” formed before the confluence of the White and Black Mfolozi rivers, the great hunting ground of one Shaka Zulu. That’s how thin the thread was, the animals shot almost to extinction by poachers and big-game hunters.

This was the early 1900s, and on the entire African continent there were only 650 white rhino remaining, the others being (quite logically) the northern variety. Today there are close on 20,000 white rhino left in the wild, more than 90 percent in South Africa, all of them southern, and all of them roaming the Earth in their primal (if still somewhat tenuous) splendour because of the efforts of two men: Dr Ian Player and Magqubu Ntombela.

Their story begins in 1952 when Player moved from Johannesburg to join the Natal Parks Board and met the man who would become his friend and mentor for life. Magqubu Ntombela was deeply connected to Africa, and filled with the traditional stories and lore of his particular place in it, specifically the area we now call the Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Park, the oldest protected park in the country.

At the time, the apartheid state was a mere four years old, and the esteemed South African government was far too busy setting out the legislative regime that would properly stuff up our country in the decades to come to worry about nature conservation. Rhinos, of which there were now several hundred in the area, were not particularly high on the agenda.

Wildlife conservation and the management of vast tracts of the South African wilderness was rather different back then to what it is now. Think of the bush today and the obvious name that pops up is the Kruger National Park, which was brought into existence in 1898 in its earliest form as a “Goewernments Wildtuin” by the then president of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger. To this day, it remains a fine national park, but if the picture you have in your head is that of a green Land Rover parked in a thicket of acacias next to a leopard, or a rimflow plunge-pool in front of a five-star chalet, then you’re not thinking about Kruger proper, you’re actually thinking about a private lodge in an adjacent reserve. The advent and rise in popularity of private game reserves since the 1970s has led to a massive influx of ecotourism money into the wildlife industry. It has become big business and as a result our animals are looked after far better than they used to be. In 1964 there were an estimated 575,000 head of game in South Africa; in 2007 there were 18.6 million. Today, a disease-free breeding buffalo can sell for up to R40 million. No-one could have contemplated such a ludicrous thought back in the first half of the 20th century when sheep and cows were the beasts of value – to the extent that game would be slaughtered en masse if they were believed to pose a health risk to farm animals. For this very reason more than 35,000 wild animals were killed in Zululand reserves in the two years from 1929 to 1931, which once again threatened the white rhinos, along with an increase in illegal poaching.

So it came to two people with a shared love for the veld, and the animals that roamed it, to see what they could do about the problem – this small problem, which no-one seemed particularly bothered about, of the potential extinction of the white rhinoceros.

The times being what they were, it would require Player’s whiteness to get things done, but Ntombela’s influence was central to success. Though illiterate and speaking no English, Magqubu Ntombela schooled Ian Player in Zulu culture, history and traditions, especially on the relationship between man and his environment. And Ntombela should have known – not only did he work in conservation from 1914 to 1993, he grew up in the hills of Zululand.

By the early 1960s, the two had initiated Operation Rhino, an anti-poaching campaign that saw them chasing down the hunters and setting up security networks to protect their animals. It was also a programme that would eventually see breeding colonies of white rhino sold to zoos, safari parks and game reserves far beyond the borders of Natal and South Africa. This was the vanguard of a new era in conservation, and they collaborated with the pioneering vet Toni Harthoorn to produce a wonder drug called M99, a synthesis of morphine that would render rhinos semi-incapacitated and easy to capture. They modified boma designs and worked to minimise animal stress during capture, when only years earlier dogs had been used to frighten game into snares and pits. It seems so sensible now, but this was revolutionary stuff back then; suddenly rhinos (and other animals) could be easily transported all around the globe.

In all, more than 3,500 white rhinos were moved to other areas, within their original range and all over the world and, as a result, the animal was eventually removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species. Player and Ntombela would ultimately succeed to the point that white rhinos have become a relatively common sight in some parks, and it is almost impossible to drive through the Hluhluwe-Mfolozi reserve without seeing them. It is sadly ironic that the success of Operation Rhino all those years ago is altogether evident in the scale of the slaughter that has taken place since wide-scale poaching returned in force in 2008; that South Africa can lose more than 1,000 rhinos in a year, as happens today, is testimony to their work.

Beyond their shared love of the wild, Player and Ntombela had something of a shared history too. Ntombela’s father had fought with the inGobamakhosi – those Benders of the Kings – at Isandlwana on the same day that Player’s grandfather, a Natal Hussar, was fighting at Inyezane.

In 1987 the two men, now both celebrated conservationists, took a pilgrimage to Brecon, Wales, headquarters of the Royal Welsh Regiment, the descendant of the 24th regiment of Foot that was slaughtered at Isandlwana. In a side chapel of the town’s thousand-year-old cathedral hangs the queen’s colour that had, in a simply gobsmacking story that requires a book in itself to be properly told, been extracted from the battlefield at Isandlwana at the cost of several lives. Kneeling down, Ntombela filled the cathedral with traditional Zulu poetry and prayer. It was, for all present, intensely moving.

Player and Ntombela went on from Operation Rhino to establish the Wilderness Leadership School, wherein a part of the Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Park was set aside for access only by foot. Player, in particular, was concerned that man had forgone life in his natural environment, the wild, and felt very strongly about encouraging city-dwellers to discover the power of the wilderness on the human soul. “You cannot stand or sleep in a wilderness area at night and not be humble,” he explained.

Together with Ntombela, he took more than 3,000 people on walking trips into the wilderness areas of Hluhluwe-Mfolozi and Lake St Lucia game reserves. He was justifiably proud of their efforts and was always quick to credit his mentor’s role in all they had achieved. “Through his patient instruction he introduced me to a new cosmology,” Player wrote after Ntombela’s death in 1993. “We worked together capturing rhino and on long patrols fighting poaching gangs… He always led with courage; following the rhino paths and stopping to explain the history of the landscape. For Magqubu the hills and trees lived.”

But Player was not averse to criticising his friend’s stubbornness: “Wherever he went he carried his little three-legged cooking pot that he had bought in 1925 for five shillings. To smart hotels or into the wilderness, the pot went with him. Once we were attacked by lions and he put his pot down as we were retreating. When he decided he was going back to fetch it we had a furious argument. I said his life was more valuable to me than the pot. He ignored me, braved a wounded lion and returned, smiling, with his pot.”

What’s also hilarious about this incident is the almost casual reference to being “attacked by lions”. It was probably elephants the next day, perhaps buffalo the day after. It was a different and extraordinary time.

And it is an extraordinary legacy of conservation that both Ntombela and Player leave a story that is not told often enough. The illiterate Ntombela, wise beyond teaching when it came to the wild, and Player who was a truly remarkable man – more remarkable even, we’d suggest, than his more famous brother Gary.

Not that Ian didn’t do sport properly. On returning from active service in World War II where he fought in Italy as a teenager, he took up canoeing, and he eventually initiated, completed and won the inaugural Dusi Canoe Marathon, from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on the Msunduzi River. It was raced for the first time in 1951, and his victory came despite being bitten by a night adder during the event. He also won in 1953 and 1954. So stick that in your golf bag and smoke it.

Ian Player died in November 2014 at the age of 87, a colossus of conservation to the last, and very much involved with the modern fight to save the rhino from the pathetic whims and affectations of Vietnamese party-goers and sad Chinese men whose penises don’t work properly. We take nothing from his great international standing when we say that he couldn’t have done all he did without Magqubu Ntombela. Together, they have inspired future generations of new conservationists to ensure the rhino, and our wilderness, lives on.

This is an edited extract from 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans by Alexander Parker and Tim Richman.<

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50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans nominated for Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award

50 Flippen Brilliant South AfricansBurnet Media is proud to announce that the bestselling 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans has been nominated for the Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award for 2013. The book has sold over 10,000 copies to date and is the follow-up to the hugely successful 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa.

About the book:

What does it take to be a flippen brilliant South African? Simple: sheer brilliance and a good story. So, whether naughty or noble, crazy or controversial, here are 50 of the most talented, successful, inspirational, intriguing, fascinating Saffers to have walked the planet…

Of course, there are the great statesmen (Mandela, Luthuli, Smuts), the landmark achievers (Charlize Theron, Chris Barnard) and the incredible talents (Miriam Makeba, Irma Stern), but the lesser-knowns will also make a case: such as Ntshingwayo Khoza, the conqueror at Isandlwana; Ampie Roux, the atom-bomb creator; Ryan Sandes, the world’s best trail runner… As will the honorary inclusions (Churchill, Rodriguez, Gandhi) and the previously scorned (Mbeki, Shaka). But how exactly does Winnie Madikizela-Mandela qualify? From space adventurers (Mark Shuttleworth) and fighter pilots (Sailor Malan) to entrepreneurs (Elon Musk) and environmentalists (Ian Player), this is a raucous celebration of the country we call home, proving that you just can’t have the bad without the good. 

Picking up where he left off with the bestselling 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa (also nominated for the Bookseller’s Choice Award in 2011), Alexander Parker’s irreverent but scathing writing is once again brought to life by Zapiro, who adds the finishing touches with his iconic caricatures.

Author biography: Alexander Parker

Alexander Parker is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in the Sunday Times, Business Day, Stuff Magazine, The Witness, The Financial Mail, FHM and Top Car, among others. He was the launch deputy editor of Top Gear magazine, a producer and presenter of SABC3’s Car Quest, and is currently motoring editor at Business Day. He is the author of the forerunner to this book, 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa, as well as 25 Cars To Drive Before You Die.

Author biography: Tim Richman

Tim Richman is an author and editor, and a publisher of South African books. He has written for a number of local and international publications, including GQ, Men’s Health and Vogue Living. He is the co-author of the best-selling Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? series and a number of other titles. 

Illustrator biography: Zapiro

Zapiro – also known as Jonathan Shapiro – is the editorial cartoonist for the Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Times and The Times. Born in Cape Town, he studied architecture and became active in the UDF in 1983. He was detained by the security police shortly before taking up a Fulbright Scholarship at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1988. He has published 17 cartoon collections, the most recent of which is Vuvuzela Nation, as well as a large-format hardcover, The Mandela Files. He has received numerous international and South African awards and holds two honorary doctorates.

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Burnet Media and Berg + Bach announce eBook partnership


The Racist's Guide to South Africa 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans The Irreverent A-Z Wedding GuideExciting news from Burnet Media is that we will be providing digital readers with a fully-fledged app solution for Android and iOS devices. In partnership with Berg + Bach, a small international company specialized in digital publishing, we will be digitally re-launching some of our bestsellers within the next few weeks.

 

Among the selected Burnet Media ebooks will be 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa, which has sold more than 40,000 copies, and its follow-up, 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans, by Alexander Parker with cartoons by Zapiro. We will also be re-launching the smash bestseller The Racist’s Guide To The People Of South Africa, and the book that every engaged South African should get; The Irreverent A-Z Wedding Guide: South Africa.

 

Berg and Bach will provide a feature-rich and immersive experience when reading selected Burnet Media titles on your mobile device. Berg + Bach earlier launched apps for The Big Issue South Africa and Zapiro. Part of Burnet Media’s eBook strategy includes making these titles available on dedicated eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle, and the recently-introduced Kobo.

 

For now though, don’t forget that you can still get selected Burnet Media titles on Kindle, iOS and Android. If you don’t have a Kindle but do have a smartphone or tablet, simply download the Kindle app from iTunes or Google Play and search for our books!

 

Happy reading!

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Podcast: 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans gets conversation going

50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans

Alexander Parker’s 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans is achieving what it set out to do – that is, get conversation going with its entirely subjective and often controversial list of brilliant Saffers. Having been interviewed on Talk Radio 702, SAfm, and 567 Cape Talk, the author has found himself defending his selections, and agreeing with others. The book has just entered the top ten non-fiction Adult titles and has received favourable reviews, even from those who may have found issue with the list of fifty. The following radio personalities had this to say about the book:

“It’s a fabulous book [with] some fabulous, fabulous stories” – Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show, 702

“As is the case with any reader of a list of 50 flippen brilliant anythings, there are going to be some fairly significant disagreements, some raised eyebrows, some ‘yep I’m with you on that one’, and quite a lot of whatabouts… One of the many joys of a book like this is that it does provide opportunity for debate” – John Maytham, Cape Talk

“I think it’s a fantastic book and it could quite obviously lead on to another book… What more could you want for Christmas?” – Jenny Crwys-Williams

Brian Rostron of Business Day also hailed the book as an informative piece of popular history, writing the following: “Written with conviction and brio, this could make a flippen useful Christmas gift”.

Listeners of Kieno Kammies’s show on 567 Cape Talk will be pleased to know that copies of the book are being given away as book prizes on his ’3-2-1′ competition throughout the week. You can listen to all the recorded interviews below, and follow Alex on Twitter to get the latest on 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans.

Podcast not working? Listen on the Burnet Media SoundCloud page.

About the book: The eagerly anticipated 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans, by Alexander Parker and Tim Richman and with cartoons by Zapiro, was launched in November 2012, having earned a coveted spot on the Exclusive Books 2012 Wish List. It is the follow-up to 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa, which has sold more than 40,000 copies, was shortlisted for the 2011 Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award and was one of the top five trade titles of 2011.

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Press release: 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans

50 Flippen Brilliant South AfricansThe eagerly anticipated 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans, by Alexander Parker and Tim Richman and with cartoons by Zapiro, was launched in November 2012, having earned a coveted spot on the Exclusive Books 2012 Wish List. It is the follow-up to 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa, which has sold more than 40,000 copies, was shortlisted for the 2011 Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award and was one of the top five trade titles of 2011.

About the book:

Although 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans brings more of a positive spin to proceedings, it is sure to get the conversation going with its entirely subjective and often controversial list of brilliant Saffers. (We said ‘brilliant’, not ‘nice’.) Of course, there are the great statesmen (Mandela, Luthuli, Smuts), the landmark achievers (Charlize Theron, Chris Barnard) and the incredible talents (Miriam Makeba, Irma Stern), but the lesser-knowns will also make a case. For example, Ntshingwayo Khoza, the conqueror at Isandlwana; Ampie Roux, our very own atom-bomb creator; Ryan Sandes, the world’s best trail runner…From space adventurers (Mark Shuttleworth) and fighter pilots (Sailor Malan) to entrepreneurs (Elon Musk) and environmentalists (Ian Player), this is a raucous celebration of the country we call home, and the perfect partner to 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa – proving that you just can’t have the bad without the good…

About the contributors:

Alexander Parker is a freelance journalist and writer, and a history buff. He is car editor of Business Day and author of 25 Cars To Drive Before You Die as well as 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa.

Tim Richman is a writer, editor and publisher. He is the co-author of the best-selling Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak? series, as well as a number of other titles.

Zapiro is widely regarded as South Africa’s foremost political cartoonist. His popular cartoons appear regularly in various publications and his annual collections invariably top the best-seller lists.

Book specs:

Title: 50 Flippen Brilliant South Africans

Authors: Alexander Parker and Tim Richman

Cartoonist: Zapiro

ISBN: 9780987043719

Released: November2012

RRP: R180

Imprint: Mercury

Published by Burnet Media              

Distributed by Jacana Media

Contact Stuart Hendricks or Amy Flatau for review copies, interview requests or more information – Stuart Hendricks: stuart@burnetmedia.co.za, 021 671 3440; Amy Flatau: amy@jacana.co.za, 011 628 3200

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Exercise your right to listen to whomever you want on this Human Rights Day

Out to Lunch...Ungagged FacelessDavid Bullard, author of ‘Out to Lunch …Ungagged’ and Bruce Sutherland, cartoonist and creator of ‘Faceless’, will chat about their work, and share some insights while you have a bite to eat and something to drink at EnGedi, the Oasis in the Cradle’s Bistro.

David Bullard wrote the iconic Out to Lunch column for the Sunday Times for 14 years. When the ST editor suddenly decided that his readers were too stupid to understand irony, the column moved to the internet where it ran for another three years to great acclaim. Apart from writing regular columns for countless magazines, Bullard also presented Car Torque on SABC 3 for five years and has published four best-sellers. The latest, “ Out to Lunch-Ungagged”, is a collection of his writing from the time he left the Sunday Times. It’s available in all good book shops and a few not so good ones. He currently writes for Playboy and Whisky magazine and has a few other interesting offers to consider.

Bruce Sutherland spent 23 years in the corporate IT world. In 2008, as a victim of restructuring, he found himself with a lot of time on his hands and finally knuckled down to something he’d contemplated doing for a long time, and so Faceless was born in 2009. As it gained a following, strips were spotted in the wild (behind toilet doors, on other websites, in emails sent on by friends and in Playboy South Africa), and there was an increasing demand for a book. Although Faceless amuses and entertains, its hard-core content is also bound to shock you out of your apathy. In this comic strip there are no holy cows – the comments and observations, and generally taking the Mickey out of people, are aimed at everyone.

As the original Hebrew name suggests, EnGedi literally is an oasis. This multi-purpose venue, located in The Cradle of Humankind, provides a natural haven which is focused on providing an oasis to guests.

Booking is essential:

EnGedi Contact details:

(+27) 011 589 3495 – Office

(+27) 076 681 7295 – Cell

info@en-gedi.co.za

www.en-gedi.co.za

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Ndumiso Ngcobo: “What Can I Find Today That Will Annoy and Offend Me?”

Is It Coz I'm Black?Some of My Best Friends are WhiteFrom Ndumiso Ngcobo’s latest Sunday Times column:

I wonder how many of you are aware that the Axe television – advert depicting angels falling from the sky to seek an unattractive geek wearing the deodorant – has been pulled off air.

An offended viewer complained to South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the advertisement was some kind of affront to the dearly beloved who believe in the heavenliness of angels.

I may have deviated somewhat from the righteous path in recent times, but I understand the gripe.

I find the idea of my favourite angel, Gabriel, having desires of a carnal nature rather disturbing. Where does it end? An ad portraying Gabriel lusting after a steak-clad Lady Gaga?

But fear not. The clear-thinking sages at the ASA must have been on a recent omega-3 loading diet, because when they applied their fish-oil-saturated, sober minds to the complaint, they agreed with the complainant.

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Defending the Caveman’s 11th Season Opens Tonight

Defending the CavemanHaving passed on the mantle of “South African Caveman” to the hilarious Alan Committie in 2006, local theatre legend Tim Plewman transposed the world’s most successful theatre comedy from the stage to the page.

“Defending the Caveman”, the play, opens for its 11th season at the Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay, tonight, starring Committie and directed by Plewman. The show runs until Saturday 19 April, with performances Tuesday to Friday at 8pm and Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm.

Defending the Caveman, the book, will be available in the theatre foyer – at a reduced price – before and after performances.
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What’s Estonian for Caveman?

Defending the CavemanTim Plewman has done so well with Defending the Caveman – first the play, now the book – that his fame has spread far and wide.

As far and as wide as the outer regions of the former USSR, at least. Read this:
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