The tears of the girls in advertising

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October 27, 2016 · 2:16 am

Like, Unlike, Block, Delete

Another piece from my collection of new stories.

Like Unlike Block Delete 1

Like Unlike Block Delete

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She Invites a Man

As promised, more pieces to follow of what I’ve been working on for my Master’s thesis.

This story, Efe invites a man, was originally published in Tyhini 2014, Rhodes University MA in creative writing’s annual journal.

The story has morphed a little since then, as well as my style. This was the first story I wrote where I decided to focus my thesis on women and their relationships in the advertising world. It speaks of the push and pull of desire, the ambivalence of the female mind, and the longing for acceptance.

Here we go.

Efe Invites A Man 1Efe Invites a Man 2Efe Invites A Man 3

Efe Invites A Man 4

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Rooi Bloemfontein

It’s been a while since I last posted something, but so much has happened in the last year. I’ve been working on my Masters in Creative Writing (part-time) through Rhodes University; I’ve adopted a cat (the coolest in the world) called Abby Bukowski du Plessis; and I’ve changed jobs.

This blog will change, like my life, my mind and my views. For now I’d really like to share my first published Afrikaans poem. Published by the awesome crew of the zine Ons Klyntji – launched every year at the Oppikoppi festival.

Here it is. Rooi Bloemfontein.

Photo by my friend Melt Sieberhagen, who kindly sent me this pic while enjoying Oppi 2014 in Northam.

Photo: Melt Sieberhagen

Photo: Melt Sieberhagen

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The Tik Guys Down The Road

Woodstock, Cape Town

Woodstock, Cape Town

Cape Town is of course a beautiful place to live, but it also has a bit of an ugly side. The drug side. Or as I call it, the ‘tik eyes’ – the eyes of those who don’t make direct eye contact, push up against your car window and desperately point at their plastic cup of clinking 5c coins.

Thing is, I generally feel safe in my city, but I had a nasty experience a few months after moving to Cape Town from Jozi. A car guard got a little frisky with me on my way back from The Book Launch – it wasn’t in the middle of the night, and it wasn’t in a dodgy side road either. Nothing too dramatic happened, but I do remember the look in his eyes right after I pushed him away. I could smell alcohol on his breath and his eyes had that look – the one of desperation and (maybe) tik. It’s an offish kind of look, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, this made me more cautious at night, and it also made me uncomfortable as my carefree days of walking the streets of Cape Town had a bit of a shadow hovering over it. As the months went by, I noticed more and more young guys on the streets. The Famous Four (as I like to call them) on Orange Street used to frighten the sweet crazy out of me, until one night I decided to talk to them. I rolled down my window, made proper eye contact with the boy who could not be a day over 12, and asked him how he was doing and why he was out begging at night. He got so confused he looked desperately to the other cars. But I wanted to know his story. He got a little emotional, and so did I, so I left feeling both sad and better. Sad that he lived like this, being dropped off by some uncle every night to do his bit of begging, but also better because I had made proper eye contact.

It’s an ongoing battle, I know, but I hope in some small way I can help to make Cape Town a better place to live for all of us. Even if it’s just to take the time to have a chat with someone to understand their situation better.

PS: I shot the above pic in Woodstock and, to me, it shows the contrast of life in Cape Town.

If you’d like to add your voice to the Cape Town community and help deal with the substance abuse problem that affects the city, you are invited to share your own story. 

Post your story of how drug abuse affected your life in The City of Cape Town, and share it on Twitter by using the hashtag #ihaveadrugproblem. If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, phone the free 24hr helpline on 0800 43 57 48.

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Confessions of a Cape Town freelancer: Part 3

More from the ‘Confessions’ series, first posted on the sweet & soutie blog.

One of our members, Ronel, also shared her adventures of being a freelance designer. Be sure to check it out here.

Back in the day my second novel featured on the Exclusive Books' Top 10 list.

Back in the day my second novel featured on the Exclusive Books’ Top 10 list.

In the days when I pulled a full salary at the end of a month, book launches meant one of two things to me: celebrating myself or celebrating another author. It’s not a vain thing, trust me, but when you eventually come to the end of a gruelling process of writing, editing, rewriting and giving birth to a novel, the book launch at the end of it is how I imagine my married friends felt on their wedding days. It’s champagne. It’s fireworks. It’s the dress, the hair, the makeup, the frills and trills, and I love it.  Since that full salary disappeared along with my royalties, book launches have taken on a whole new meaning. And here it is.

I still go to book launches to support other authors, but these days I also go to eat. Yeah. The snacks. And drink. Yeah, the wine. The beauty of a book launch in Cape Town is that you’ll never get shitty wine. The snobberati is way too cultivated for Tassies and the like. While I sip on my glass of Sauv Blanc, I survey the room. Not to look for the author and his/her entourage (which is often made up of a stressed-looking publisher), but to locate the food. The. Food. And when a launch is good, the food is stellar. I’m talking sushi, spring rolls (not oily), mini dishes of risotto, biltong (OMW, b-i-l-t-o-n-g!), tiny sandwiches, chocolate brownies, macaroons and strawberries.

All of this abundance happened just the other night. True story. The bookshop that shall not be named pulled out all the stops on a dreary Thursday night. It was a typical only-in-Cape-Town kinda winter’s day, and I barely got myself out of the house in a decent outfit, sans winter gown. I was also starving, which was probably the main reason I managed to remove my bum from the couch and force myself into semi-sexy stockings. My diet of Provita and Marmite, followed by almonds and yoghurt was starting to make me weepy. And needy. And grumpy. I was craving meat like a crazy person. So when I arrived at Bookshop X, I nearly clicked my heels Charlie Chaplin-style when I saw the massive bowl of biltong. If it weren’t for my friends who had just arrived, I would have disappeared into that bowl never to be seen again. As the speeches started, I stalked closer and closer to the biltong. With one hand gently caressing my glass of wine and the other casually making its way to the meat, I thought: this is where I’ll get my weekly fix of protein. And later, when I left the bookshop, I decided to sign up to all and every newsletter from bookshops in Cape Town so as to be informed of each and every launch. I know the food won’t be as extravagant as the spread at this specific launch (where the authors later told me that they had paid extra for catering), but as a freelancer I sure ain’t gonna turn away no chicken wing or samoosa.

Books might be the food of the soul, but I can’t eat my books, and they sure as hell don’t taste as good as biltong.

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SoeperGuava se Volmaan

Die hartjie van dirty, dirty Obs – waar ek al heelwat graffiti afgeneem het – sorg die ander dag vir ’n heel ander prentjie: die launch van die Afrikaanse soeperhero, SoeperGuava, by Fabrik8. Die storie met die guava kom eintlik al van jare se brainstorm deur die briljante Thys de Beer (wat ook heel toevallig my nefie is) en toe ons nou uiteindelik met guavatinis in die hand staan, sê ek: “Dis mos nou lekker. ’n Nuwe soeperhero is gebore, en het ons nie almal maar een nodig nie? Veral ’n lekker bekkige guava met ’n hart van goud.”

Thys de Beer & ek - guavatinis in die hand. Fotograaf: Fiona MacPherson.

Thys de Beer & ek – guavatinis in die hand. Fotograaf: Fiona MacPherson.

Die aand van die launch is ek karloos. My arme Vivo was die slagoffer van ’n mini ongeluk en sy is nog by Super Body Repairs in Paarden Eiland (eiland, mense, eiland. Nie ‘island’ in Engels nie. Dis steeds eiland) en ek gaan maar moet taxi. Ek e-pos vir Thys (we’re tight like that) om te hoor of hy nie dalk ’n sexy jong lat in die pyplyn het wat van die stad af ’n lift vir sy nig kan aanbied nie. Nee kyk, Thys is oppit soos vlieë op ’n tjoppie, en binne 10 minute het ek ’n lift. En ek weet nie of dit die volmaan, Thys se strategiese brein of Murphy was wat saamgespeel het nie, maar my lift draai uit om die lekkerste groep mense te wees – die tipe waarvan mens sommer dadelik hou, sonder Cape Town uptightness en nonsens, en wat nie twee keer sal dink as jy ’n guavatini of twee vasvat nie. Bless their hearts.

soeperguava launch menu

Nou ja, aangekom by die launch, is dit ek, Sybil, Peet en Lizanne wat eerste die guavatinis invaar. Die goed is so sterk ek voel of ek ’n hipster snor groei op die spot, maar dis lekker en dis ’n launch en niemand gee om nie. Die venue, Fabrik8, (ek weet nou nog nie presies waar dit is nie) is in ’n gebou waar heelwat kreatiewe-tipe studios ’n tuiste gevind het. Dis het so homey-gevoel, met alternatiewe skop, natuurlik. Thys en sy span, insluitende Wayne (die illustreerder) en George (ek weet nou nog nie presies wat hy doen nie), het uit hulle pad gegaan om ons te bederf. En die plek lyk móói. Soeper trendy, eksê. Daar is SoeperGuava kussings op kleurvolle banke, beligting wat saam met die volmaan speel en smullekker boerekos. In tipiese Soeper-styl is dit nie sommer enige spyskaart nie, maar ’n ses-gang gedoente met onder andere sop, broodjies, slaai, visbobotie, guavapoeding en Hertzoggies. Ek kan nie onthou wanneer laas ek actually die woord Hertzoggie gesien het nie, nevermind the koekie in my hand vasgehou het.

So tussendeur die kos, kos, kos vertel Thys van SoeperGuava, ’n karakter wat nou al jare in sy kop spook en nou reg is om vrygelaat te word. Hierdie guava is nie op haar bek geval nie; sy woon in Lettiespan, haar vriende is ’n spul kleurvolle karakters, en sy veg teen prejudice. Ons word toegelaat om ’n kort animasie te kyk, waar die karakters slim geteken is, en die dorpie so eg voel soos ’n plek in die Karoo waar mens deurry oppad Noorde toe.

Soeper Kussings! Boonop te koop.

Soeper Kussings! Boonop te koop.

Van hier is dit ’n kwessie van tyd voor SoeperGuava bekend word. Ek voel dit aan my effense ouer lewer. Check haar bietjie uit op Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoeperGuava en volg haar twiets op Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoeperGuava. Teen hierdie tyd is my Vivo al veilig terug by die huis, en ek is vas oortuig dat SoeperGuava se volmaan iets daarmee te doen gehad het.

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