Azad Essa

Amla: A beer for your sainthood

An interesting email did the rounds last week. It was an open letter/apology from a former South African Breweries (SAB) employee to Proteas batting star Hashim Amla, which was posted by Bobby Skinstad on his personal blog. The story goes that when Amla requested to be exempt from advertising the alcohol beverage sponsor on his…

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Sometimes a Bond girl is all you need

I meet Huwaida Arraf at the Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival held in the working class district of Athlone in Cape Town. It’s a chilly evening but I request we move our conversation outside. The fake Israeli soldiers harassing patrons at a replica check-point inside the foyer of the Joseph Stone Auditorium are…

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Extra, extra! Screwing Indians wholesale

I have had it with Indian businesses. Sure, half of them are my cousins and all that, but even shared bloodlines and Sunday Akhni doesn’t make shitty service and bigoted operations okay. We all talk about how big ol’ Telkom, SABC, Eskom and SAA rip us off, but no one writes about “the Indian business”…

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Even the Taliban would’ve found it funny

After telling me where he was from, he grunts and looks the other way, nostrils flared as he pretends to admire the scenery. Of course, through the crowded wig-wagging of bodies, there was nothing to see. I peer at him and he reminds me of something I had seen on National Geographic. That thing about…

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‘The blacks have f***** it up haven’t they?’

It is a glorious summer morning in Istanbul; colours of the sky resemble a messy oil painting; both resplendent and melancholic in one go. After roaming around the ancient Roman road in Sultanahmet, Divanyalo Caddessi, searching for a cheap but tasty joint to have breakfast, I find myself standing outside a quaint pastry and fresh…

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Let’s jerk off to climate change

If you haven’t blogged, made a poster, built a sand castle or ran naked through the streets screaming “the climate changers are coming”, then you’re quite a tough cookie aren’t you? If you haven’t switched off the lights and sat in the dark or considered organic eggs or experimented with recycled bath water in your…

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Meet the Jew Zionists love to hate

I am not a fan of famous professors. They are normally so caught up in their research that they’re often socially starved animals; aloof and arrogant in their approach. I’d rather read their work than meet them. Some have been in the library so long they’re unaware of the hairs growing on their nose. When…

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Daily Planet: Obama beats Superman

The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo is a sort of religious site. Sitting adjacent to the harbour in central Oslo, a spot that could easily pass for Cape Town’s waterfront, the Peace Centre is a temple for serious diplomats, earnest hippies and wide-eyed, encyclopaedia-stuffed kids. I suppose the plush building is to idealistic peace-mongers what…

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Maybe the Holocaust was not enough

I I jump off a packed train in Munich and walk from the platform towards the station when a plain clothes policeman stops me. He flashes his badge at me. He is not an immigration officer. He is an undercover cop. I give him my passport, simultaneously searching the crowds for the familiar face of…

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Let’s pretend it’s curry wurst dripping through her scarf?

Sometime in 2008, a Muslim woman clad in a hijaab (head scarf) was verbally abused in the East German city of Dresden by a German-Russian named Axel W who called her an Islamist, a slut, a terrorist and some other politically erroneous nonsense. Marwa el-Sherbini, an Egyptian national who was married and working in Germany,…

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