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How I discovered the world’s greatest pick-up line

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* 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 and a Black Eagle. Khaya has an ego-crushing bank balance but an ego-boosting 6.5 million views on the popular video-sharing website YouTube. Africa's top Digital Citizen Journalist in 2008 for innovative use of the internet, at the Highway Africa conference, the largest gathering of African journalists in the world. Jeremy Maggs' "The Annual - Advertising, Media & Marketing 2008" listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in Advertising, Media & Marketing. Winner of Financial Mail's Adfocus New Broom award 2009. He has listed these accolades to make you think more highly of him than you ought to. * The views expressed in this or any future post are not necessarily his own (unless of course you agree with them). [email protected]


  1. Bee Bee 18 August 2009

    LOL! definitely won’t work down here, did you really pass on all those offers?..good read, really enjoyed it :-)

  2. Token Token 18 August 2009

    I should try that next time I go gallivanting foreign lands… owe me a case of beer should I get any other response besides what you just illustrated

  3. mocha chica mocha chica 18 August 2009

    foreigners love africans, everytime I go to the states the men go crazy because I’m coloured & to them look like I’m from the Dominican Republic. I speak Afrikaans which to them sounds like german & my english is better than the other 3rd worlders they have over there. They never believe that I’m from SA when I tell him & I have hotter men hitting on me over there than when I’m in SA…it’s hilarious, I LOVE THE EXOTIC FACTOR!!!

  4. haiwa tigere haiwa tigere 18 August 2009

    @Bee read between the lines the man never passed on any of the offers. he had to keep his tongue and other parts in practice.

    A pick up line without the trophy at the end is just a curiosity. The man did score in cannes- good one Khaya

  5. Namagongsaram Namagongsaram 19 August 2009

    Afrikaans works just as well on Korean girls. All they want to know is how to say ‘I love you’. When they try to repeat it, it comes out as ‘Ik eesu leep bvir yee oh’ quite cute, really. The American girls over here also ‘can laaik to dig’ the way English sounds when spoken with an Afrikaans accent. Foreign languages and accents will always spark curiosity in women and foreigners in general by virtue of their inherently exotic nature.

  6. Liza Liza 19 August 2009

    That was a lovely article. It’s very refreshing to read something light and funny in the M&G for a change.

  7. khathu khathu 19 August 2009

    Haha..nice one dude :)

  8. KM KM 19 August 2009

    That definitely would not work in the Eastern Cape…Funny though

  9. Kenny Kenny 19 August 2009

    You have just made my day… this is a cracker, I cannot understand Xhosa myself, however there are provinces that you can use this line in, try the North West(Mafikeng, Rustenburg and all those areas) it might work…

  10. Gabi Gabi 19 August 2009

    That’s a nice one,,, lol… Just made my day… Much respect for you… :-)… You are right, it wont work in S.A because you would get a punch…

  11. sacksinthecity sacksinthecity 19 August 2009

    That pick up line would work in the foreign land… ‘Peoples Republic of Cape Town’

  12. Jabba Jabba 19 August 2009

    I thoroughly enjoyed that! What a most welcome light-hearted distraction on a Wednesday afternoon.

  13. Al Al 19 August 2009

    Liza said “That was a lovely article. It’s very refreshing to read something light and funny in the M&G for a change.”

    Got to go with Liza. I mean, I have to agree with Liza. Some other articles lately on race, Mbeki’s legacy etc have got VERY HEAVY and there are a lot of idiots, including myself, who reply and then read the replies to my reply, and then write replies to the reply of my reply, and it goes on and on and #$%$$%# on.

  14. Noko Noko 19 August 2009

    You are fast becoming my hero. Good laugh

  15. JB JB 19 August 2009

    LOL! You write well!

  16. Lizile Lizile 19 August 2009

    Eish Khaya, I just tried using that ‘paragraph’ to an American colleague of mine and she said: “That’s Arabic right?” . . . I was puzzled to say the least.

  17. phizar phizar 19 August 2009

    Bee, of course Khaya’s not gonna admit that he accepted ’cause this is public platform. He’s partner might be reading this, right. I mean which guy would pass a night with a lady from Brazil, Venezuela and I suspect the ‘Other countries’ included France and America.

    Every guy who watches football knows that the players’ brilliance is just one of the reasons why we would even watch a national team of another country play another country that is not ours.I mean, like, duh!

  18. Faz Faz 19 August 2009

    What a pleasant surprise for a Wednesday afternoon, well written Kaya, and much enjoyed. Thank you for the smile.

  19. Big Fish Big Fish 19 August 2009

    Really enjoyed that. Kudos to you Khaya Dlanga!

  20. NV NV 19 August 2009

    Excellent stuff – I’ve love to hear that tongue twister too. Something tells me its far more impressive than anything we could do in English!

  21. Tongue In Cheek Tongue In Cheek 19 August 2009

    It might work in Orania…

  22. Humza Humza 20 August 2009


  23. Chris Chris 20 August 2009

    I’m off for my first Xhosa lesson this afternoon. I’ll be Pretty Fly for a White Guy.

  24. Saberah Saberah 20 August 2009

    wow that was cool :) … now i feel guilty for being a coconut…dang

  25. mokha thwane mokha thwane 20 August 2009

    While reading your profile on the right hand side, very impressive writting skills, I thought to myself. After reading the article above, glad the profile wasnt false advertising and Im not reffering to the awards but the style of writting. Nice one buti

  26. pete ess pete ess 20 August 2009

    What a hoot! Great post. A friend of mine (an mlungu) speaks good isiZulu and rattles off a tongue twister that has something about a porcupine it it. Much hau! hau-ing when he demonstrates it to Zulu-speakers, who of course, KNOW that mlungus can’t speak Zulu (and certainly not complicated Zulu).

  27. Mosotho Mosotho 21 August 2009

    Classic Khaya!! Since most of our people are so provincial rather than national in South Africa, Xhosa would work well in some parts of the North and Free State. And I bet the “ggggg’s”, “tlh tlh tlh’s” and “rrrrr’s” from the Tswana dialect would work magic on most of the Southern gals (Nguni) and our SA based European cousins (English and Afrikaans and Coloureds), given their hopeless multilingual stance (knowing only xhosa/zulu and english).

  28. Luthando Luthando 21 August 2009

    Limpopo, it works bra i promise! nice piece though

  29. nompylo nompylo 25 August 2009

    don’t discard it if u haven’t used it, u neva know it myt even work here, 2 our black sistaz 2 (model c’s / coconuts) lol…

  30. CHUMA CHUMA 14 October 2009

    Just discovered this.
    Awuphilanga Khaya I swear.

  31. Nalizo Nalizo 5 November 2009

    Ndisayihleka nangoku.

    I used the same trick in Japan a while back.But it started becoming a problem when they kept asking me to sing Miriam Makeba’s song,”Igqirha Lendlela”.My you my singing is not that great.

  32. Make Money With Adfoc Make Money With Adfoc 24 February 2012

    Hello there, I discovered your site via Google even as searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks great. I have added to my favourites|added to my bookmarks.

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