I can safely say I have discovered the greatest pick-up line in the world. Ok, maybe it’s not a pick-up line; it’s more like a pick-up paragraph. Unfortunately it won’t work in South Africa. Which kinda sucks. One place it’s sure not to work is the Eastern Cape. I will share my secret though because I am that kind of guy. I share.

A few years ago I went to France. It was the first time I’d ever walked on foreign soil. Let me rephrase that. It was the first time I’d ever walked on foreign concrete. The thing about going to a foreign country is that you never land on their soil, it’s their tarmac or concrete. The French were not as rude as some said they would be. I found them a lovely bunch. Another thing I discovered about the French is that they speak French. Anyway, moving right along.

While I was in Cannes I met a number of people from all over the world. Every now and then the ladies would ask where I was from. I suspect that had to do with the fact that I was one of a handful of melanin-advantaged people over there. I’d tell them South Africa of course. Then they’d want to know if I spoke a language other than English. “Xhosa,” I’d say.

“Oh my word! How do you say that? Khosa?” they’d ask giggling. “Can you say something to me in Khosa.” I’d correct them and teach them how to say Xhosa. Then I would oblige and tell them something in Xhosa. The attention was puzzling and, of course, welcome. My exceedingly good-looking colleague couldn’t understand. He, punk, is so good looking all he has to do is stand there and women throw themselves at him when we’re in South Africa. He looks Italian, I suppose that helps. My Xhosa proved to be kryptonite. Only in Europe though.

I would say the following to these lovely ladies: “Qaqambile lukuqale nini iqhakuva emqaleni? Gqhirha I qhakuva emqaleni lindi qale ngomgqibelo ndaqonda uba mandiqale kuwe kuqala.” (Qaqambile, when did you start noticing that you have a pimple on your neck? Doctor, I realised on Saturday and figured I ought to consult you first.) There would be much giggling and amusement from the ladies. Of course I wouldn’t tell them that was a Xhosa tongue twister. “Oh my word, that is the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard!” One of the ladies exclaimed, she was from Venezuela. I tested this theory on subjects from Sweden, Estonia (I don’t even know where that is) Russia, Italy, Brazil and other countries. They would bat their eyelids at me and I would say “not tonight dear, I have a headache”. And then I’d be off on my way.

One of the ladies said something I’ll never forget: “If you can do that with your tongue I bet you’d make a great boyfriend.” I spat out my drink from the shock. I miss using that pick-up line.

Like I said, it won’t work in South Africa.


Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga* By day he perpetuates the evils of capitalism by making consumers feel insecure (he makes ads). For this he has been rewarded with numerous Loerie awards, Cannes Gold, several Eagle awards...

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