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Get to know your leaders:let’s have a Big Brother election!

Two dozen political candidates, four hookers, one house, loads of booze, and ready access to weapons. Each candidate would be given R10 000 to protect, all cupboard keys would be removed, and the hookers’ gender balance would be adjusted periodically to match the needs of the remaining housemates. Within a month or two we’d surely know the people behind the masks.

Just magine it! We could have Terror, Sam, Jacob, Bantu, Manto, Helen, Mangosuthu, Malema (all schoolboys were called by their surnames when I was a kid), Eugene (for old times sake) and a few other likely candidates, with a dash of spice added through the presence of a handful of proven shit-stirrers, liars and thieves. For these, I’d suggest Robert McBride, Tony Yengeni, Allan Boesak and the Wit Wolf okie. Somewhere in this invigorating mix of politics and crime, I’m sure we’ll find space for Winnie and a quick Shaik or three.

To make the whole thing really entertaining we could invite our celebrities — Pieter Dirk Uys, Nataniel and that other well known clown, Herr Obersturmbahnfuhrer Dr Mike Sutcliffe of Stalag Luft Durban. On second thoughts, Sutcliffe is more politician than public servant, so he can join the herd and jolly well fight for his supper. Bishop Des could be guest of honour — hopefully he’d be able to keep the bloodshed to acceptable levels. Him, Nataniel and Evita would of course be armed with pepper spray and semi-automatic pistols for self defence. They’d also be fed properly and, when the dust settled, we’d pay them — we couldn’t expect them to hang out with such an unsavoury mob for free. And Thabo — shame — he’s been feeling a little neglected lately. We’d bring him in as mediator, along with his best buddy Bob.

Once this mob moved into the house we could turn up the heat and be entertained while we decide who to vote for. For the 24 politicians we could send in just enough food for 22 skinny people, and I’m talking the bare minimum here. Perhaps a slice of toast and half a tomato each, twice a day? Booze, of course would be unlimited, just to goad the housemates into more readily displaying their true colours. And some zol, even if it consists of newspaper and tea leaves.

My Big Brother would differ from the original in that nobody would be voted out. We need to see how each candidate goes about getting food and sex while under pressure. Anybody leaving the house (except for the paid volunteers) would have to go on a stretcher. Every time a housemate left, the rations would be reduced accordingly and the prostitutes — male and female — would be replenished as the old ones broke down or wore out.

About ninety days should be enough. I think we’d probably know within a week or two who’s best suited to run our country in the future, but while we have them all locked up we might as well keep them there, where they can’t do too much damage.

Umm. Talking about damage, I forgot to mention the baseball bats …


  • Gavin Foster

    Durban photojournalist Gavin Foster writes mainly for magazines. His articles and photographs have appeared in hundreds of South African, American and British publications, and he's also instigated and researched stories for Carte Blanche. Winner of the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa PICA Profile Writer of the Year Award in 2008. South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Motorcycle Journalist of the Year (Magazines) 2015/16/17. South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Motorcycle Journalist of the Year (Overall) 2015/16. South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Motorsport Journalist of the Year (Magazines) 2017 - Runner-Up 2015/16.