Posted inNews/Politics

In defence of Oscar’s memory

“I don’t recall, M’lady.” “I don’t know, M’lady.” “I’m not sure, M’lady.” The refrain now familiar from the Oscar Pistorius trial has entered popular culture and found its way into memes. The underlying assumption: that Oscar’s memory loss is very convenient, and quite likely a cover up. Because nobody has a memory that bad, right? […]

Posted inNews/Politics

Insults and the imagination

This is a short speech I prepared for the opening of the Time of the Writer festival in Durban. My name is Sarah, and I collect insults. I’ve written three collections of South African insults, and I don’t think I’ll ever run out of material for more. In the research I’ve done, I’ve found that […]

Posted inGeneral

‘The Giver’ and the listener

“Others pull you down because they’re beneath you already.” Fifteen-year-old Melikhaya Mdubeki explains to the group as we walk up the rutted road in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay. He’s one of the star pupils of the Lalela Project, an arts education programme aimed at children living in extreme poverty. “Oh wow,” says the movie […]

Posted inGeneral

How I got Bert le Clos to sing for me

Last Friday I spent more than R4 500 of my own money to get four seconds of swimming star Chad le Clos’s father Bert le Clos singing for this video. I phoned Bert, booked a flight to Durban, went down the next day, hired a car, drove to Pinetown, missed my turn, found Bert, got the […]

Posted inNews/Politics

Where were you when Madiba died?

I spent most of the day after Madiba died lying on my back watching tributes on CNN and Sky. That’s because I spent the entire day at the dentist, and he distracts his patients from the drilling by giving them TV to look at. I arrived at 8.30am and his work, installing 11 crowns — […]

Posted inGeneralLifestyle

Are you allergic to debt?

To be allergic to debt is an inconvenient and annoying affliction. It’s worse than being lactose intolerant or breaking out in hives when you accidentally ingest a strawberry. I do have a credit card, and a cellphone contract, but other than that, I don’t borrow money. I’ve just developed a credit education campaign for a […]

Posted inEnvironment

Me and Melissa Bachman

I have been thinking about lions a lot lately. Partly this is because of Melissa Bachman, and partly because I happen to be painting them at the moment, for my feminist wildlife art project. Lions are not afraid of the dark, and I envy them for it. I met a lion called Sunshine once. It […]

Posted inEnvironment

Want to help lions? For real?

Before I kick-off with this, let me state upfront so nobody can miss it: lion breeding in South Africa should be banned. The hunting of lions is clearly out of sync with middle class, Western public sentiment, and increasing their numbers merely exacerbates the problem. Breeding big cats for the gun is something that will […]