Category Archives: Middle class concerns

On my mind

Three rather frivolous (middle class) thoughts on my mind:

1. Every time President Jacob Zuma opens his mouth to speak, I involuntarily think of this meme:

we told them the wealth would trickle down

2. I was on a no carb diet for over a week and then made up for it over the weekend. As such…

low carb meme- Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. I think JayZ’s latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail is rather average compared to his previous work but that’s okay because as Rolling Stone magazine puts it, “Jay-Z is richer than God, and probably about as famous…his 12th solo album went platinum before it even came out”

i got 99 problems going platinum aint one jay z

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Kenny Kunene’s open letter to Jacob Zuma

Herewith the open letter by Kenny Kunene to President Jacob Zuma, as posted in today’s The Star newspaper.

Dear President Jacob Zuma…

I’m writing this because I’ve never been more disappointed with the ANC you lead. I was once your fervent supporter, I attended some of those night vigils during your trials, and, like many, I believed you would be the force for change the youth and the poor desperately need in our country. Like many others, I donated to your cause when I was called on, and allowed my facilities to be used for ANC and Youth League meetings, sometimes for unusual meetings where your political comeback was planned.

You may wonder what qualifies me to make any kind of political comment. As everyone knows, I’m just a socialite and a businessman, but it’s also no secret I am a hobbyhorse for politicians to ride whenever they want to criticise “crass materialism” and the decay of morals. It’s true, I like to spend, and I’m not an angel, but unlike politicians I’m not spending taxpayers’ money. My real point is that, as a socialite and a businessman, I meet many people, including politicians. When they speak to your face, Mr President, they tell you your imperial clothes are very stylish. When they talk to me, and feel they are safe from your army of spies, most of them admit that you, the emperor, have no clothes.

The Gupta issue alone should be the last straw for many South Africans. But the extent of how much the Gupta family controls you, and by implication this country, has not even begun to be understood. It’s amazing how terrified most people in the ANC are to speak about this reality, because they truly fear you. Even if you’re not in government, tenders are used to inspire fear among people of influence. Thank God my livelihood is not dependent on tenders. I’ll save you the trouble of trying to find out if I have any tenders so you can cut me out of them. I don’t have any.

You show no loyalty even to those who kept you out of prison. After the Shaiks and Julius Malema, the Guptas must know that you can drop them faster than they could drop your name. In your quest for self-preservation, you have become heartless.

The reason I supported you and your campaign is because you were marketed to us as someone who would unify us and get rid of the politics of fear, but today there’s more fear and more division in the ANC than ever before. In public you smile and laugh, but in truth you behave like a monster, a tyrant who will target perceived enemies ruthlessly, and because of that fear few dare to speak openly. We’d have had yet another Cabinet reshuffle if your wings had not been clipped a little in Mangaung.

Of course, I am not so naive as to blame everything regrettable that happens in the ANC on you. But in my home province, the Free State, the premier, Ace Magushule, imitates your behaviour and even seems to be trying to outdo you in being entangled with the Guptas. He learnt it from you. He thinks its okay to blow R40-million (or R140-million, others say) on a website. It’s not a great website either, by the way. When even your Kenny Kunenes start thinking a guy is wasting money shamelessly, you should know how bad it is. Of course, we’d all like to know where that money really went.

This is not what the ANC is or should be. We thought it was bad enough with the Shaiks – but who could have predicted your, and therefore our, wholesale nationalisation by the Guptas?

Even your immediate community, your neighbours in Nkandla, have to walk past your ridiculously overpriced palace donated to you by a once-unsuspecting public, knowing how you have your own private clinic they cannot use and their children must play in the dusty streets among the stones, while your compound has an astroturf sports field that cost the taxpayer R3.5-million and costs R100 000 a month to maintain. How is fake grass a part of security upgrades?

Everyone knows the Public Protector’s report will find damning evidence of what went on there – but something must be said now already, in case you find a way to shut her up too.

It’s no wonder the ANC lost the vote in Nkandla. If the people who know you best, the place you are from and where you occupy tribal land, do not trust you enough to vote for you, why should the rest of us?

This ANC is no longer the ANC of John Langa Dube, Oliver Tambo and other illustrious names. I’m also getting tired of hearing about how the ANC is bigger than any individual.

There are those who are stubbornly loyal to the ANC, as if it’s some kind of marriage, who keep the faith that some day the party will return to its roots. But even if they’re my friends, I can’t enthusiastically join in with the declarations of those who say they will die in coffins wrapped in ANC colours, no matter what, as my former business partner Gayton McKenzie once said to me.

Mr President, I don’t want to be one of those who tell you in fear that you have clothes on, when it’s obvious you are completely exposed. I know the dogs will be set on me for saying this, but you have been naked for longer than most of us were willing to admit. And you’re now stripping the ANC of the last shred of its integrity. The world laughs at us.

I love the ANC, or what it’s supposed to be, but I don’t love your ANC. For those of us who care, the question now is, as Vladimir Lenin asked: “What is to be done?”

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Why I won’t be using Ariel washing powder

Another washing powder promising to effectively rinse out those chakalaka and beetroot stains. Sigh.

Ariel washing powder has hit the SA market with guns blazing. Three television ads, billboards and a local spokesperson. Kudos to them for brand awareness. However, I am tired of seeing ads with happy black people that dance, sing, jump and clap at the thought of washing powder, cement, beverages, clothes and just about anything else.

For crying out loud where is the creativity?!

Exhibit A: Jik- Nkalakata

Exhibit B: MTN- Dr Malinga

Exhibit C: Doom Insecticide

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Sophisti Ratchet

middle class concerns 2

Buzz Feed has compiled 28 middle class problems that have been shared on Twitter over the past few months.

It made me roar with laughter. Personally , I’m having real trouble harmonising my love for ratchet hip- hop music with my university educated, 9-5, young professional side. Apparently I’m part of a new breed of 20 something year old females referred to as “sophisti- ratchet”. After feeling offended by the term, I realised it’s just plain true.

My playlist currently comprises of Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Drake, Lil’Wayne and Kendrick Lamar and yet I’m up to date on current affairs and breaking news. Awkward.

Definition of Sophisti- Ratchet:

Adjective

  1. A woman of highly educated pedigree (academically, socially and otherwise), fluent in various forms of public etiquette yet is equally knowledgeable of the latest strip club songs.
  2. A high class individual who is open to incorporating low- brow tendencies in to her persona for momentary enjoyme
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High tea at the Westcliff

High tea at the Westcliff hotel

For no reason at all, a few girl friends and I booked high tea at the Westcliff Hotel.

It was just the kind of uppity activity we had missed while at Rhodes University. Perhaps we’re making up for lost time but who doesn’t want to indulge in a “lazily feast” that includes “tantalising delicacies”?

Whilst politely sipping on my ice tea- I couldn’t help but overhear the table behind us speaking about how irresponsible cyclists have become. It seems black cycling gear has become quite a fad and is causing real outrage in northern suburbia. As such:

Dear cyclists please wear light clothing. Maureen can’t see you coming from her E- Class Sedan.

And just when I thought the world had officially ran out of middle class concerns, the table in front of us whispered Happy Birthday. It was the first time I’d heard Happy Birthday sang like a hymn rather than belted out like a war cry.

Non the less fun was had, I learned to laugh like a lady rather than laugh out loud and I really need to work on my dining etiquette- elbows off the table and less clinking between my crockery and cutlery.

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Food.Wine.Design 2012

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I would seriously suggest you pop into the Food Wine and Design Fair at Hyde Park Corner this weekend. It really is a celebration of bespoke goods. I had a sneak peek last night and was oohing and ahhing at everything. Your eyes, ears and taste buds will not be disappointed although, if you can pull it of, I would suggest you rob a bank on the way 🙂

Food Wine Design

Food Wine Design fair at Hyde Park

The return of bespoke goods at the Food Wine Design fair

Fine Brandy coacktails

Fine Brandy coacktails

Honest Chocolate

Raw organic Honest Chocolate

Sirkel Jewellery

Sirkel Jewellery on 44 Stanley Avenue

Stoned Cherry frock

Stoned Cherry frock

Tin Table

Wooden skulls from Tin Table at 44 Stanley Avenue

Crockery from Anatomy Design

Hand crafted crockery from Anatomy Design

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No student hungry

This is why I love the interwebs.

This is an ad for “No Student Hungry”, a program that provides needy students with a balanced meal on a daily basis, because after all there’s no focus without food. The aim is to help students excel in their academic endeavours and, ultimately to obtain their degrees.

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Hair salon nightmares

I switch between three hair salons throughout the year. The search for a salon that is both clean and fair priced is grueling and its likely death might come before I find it.

Like many black girls, I’ve been kicking the kink out of my hair since I was five. Once a month, my Saturday mornings would begin with ammonium thioglycolate and an evil stare down with a hair dresser who’s tasked with straightening my knotted crown as my only ally/ mom cheers her on.

Twenty years later, little has changed except…

Look #1: hair mayonnaise treatment

My preferred salon is highly overpriced but comes with a few luxuries. Notably:

  • Coffee, tea, champagne or whiskey on arrival
  • Respect for appointments
  • A witty exchange between myself and the hair dresser
  • Reclining chair and a personal TV screen
  • Mint with my receipt

They treat each strand like gold and I walk out feeling like I could easily replace Sarah Jessica Parker in those Garnier commercials.

Look #2: corn rows

The second salon is relatively clean but sans tea and coffee. Plus the hair dresser barely says two words to me and if you’re there at 12 noon, you have to join them in prayer. I’m completely fine with this except… can we pick a time when I don’t have chemicals that could burn my scalp off in 0 to 10 seconds? They do a fine job corn rowing my hair but I would give them a lukewarm 5 out of 10 for overall experience.

Look #3: Curly braids

The third salon is train wreck and accounts for the majority of my hair salon nightmares. The walls are a dull sunrise yellow, the chairs are broken, the equipment is outdated and the music is so loud you can barely hear your thoughts. During my last visit, one of the hair dressers opened a drawer and a million cockroaches came scurrying out. I could have really done with that 12 o’clock prayer session whilst my stomach churned. So why do I go? Desperation people! The lady who usually braids my hair does an exquisite job but takes up to 8 hours and I have a life to live. No champers, damp towels, loud music and roaches BUT I’m in and out in a timely manner.

What’s a girl to do? Death is nigh and I would like to look gorgeous for it.

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