Joe Kitchen

The Great Unravelling

A few weeks before the May 8 elections, I got lost in central Joburg. I was on a highway I had driven dozens of times before, when, all of a sudden, I realised that it had been closed down. The entire highway seemed to be barricaded by concrete blocks. My rented car and I was…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

A rebel without a satellite dish: Decoding the recent Steve Hofmeyr saga

Recently, a new method of braaing became fashionable in South Africa. It’s called the “MultiChoice Decoder and Satellite Dish Braai”. It’s more a roast, actually. This kind of braai did not appeal to me, to be honest. In the first place, I wasn’t sure how tasty it will be. I wouldn’t be able to chew…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Whiteness – it must be possible to transcend black and white divisions (Part 2)

In many ways, this is a time of awakening. I should say “rude awakening”, because the awakening I am speaking of holds many unpleasant surprises. With “awakening”, I mean the sensation of seeing something for what it is for the first time. Waking up from false preconceived notions. A flash of recognition after which nothing…

2 Comments Continue Reading →

The unbearable whiteness of being a middle-aged Afrikaans male

When I was recently asked to perform a few of my songs at the private birthday party of an old fan from the Voëlvry era, I agreed. “I don’t like performing at private parties, but at least these people won’t be a bunch of potbellied Afrikaans right-wingers,” I said to my wife. “This guy says…

11 Comments Continue Reading →

Midnight in Parys: A journey into the dark heart of the South African platteland

I have never been to Paris, even though my forefathers hail from France. Yes, as my real so-called Christian name (André le Roux du Toit, or André Letoit for short) suggests, I am of exactly 50% French ancestry. This, in spite of the fact that the only few snippets of French I know consist of…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

South Africa’s three words everybody loves to hate

As someone who, in the grand old liberal tradition (I’m not sure if there is anything grand or old in the liberal tradition, but, if I had to choose a tradition, that’s probably the one I’d chose in spite of it being utterly impractical and unfashionable) generally considers the rights of the individual as more…

9 Comments Continue Reading →

When ‘Under the Dome’ turned into ‘7de Laan’

Seldom had I looked forward to a TV series with so much excitement as the sequel to Stephen King’s Under the Dome. Alas, the second series turned out to be a damp squid. In my mind, there are two Stephen Kings. There is the Stephen King who is a genius of horror fiction. But there…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

Tim Noakes and the weight of the soul

Other people, when they feel the need to get away from it all, to meditate, or to seek spiritual guidance, withdraw into seclusion. They visit gurus on mountain tops. They trudge into the desert. They go wandering with rucksacks on uncharted footpaths. I went on a pleasure cruise on a gigantic, crowded luxury ocean liner….

7 Comments Continue Reading →

The day after the day before tomorrow

“If scientists were predicting the imminent return of the ice age I’m certain our response would have been more robust. ‘Global warming’ creates an illusion of a comfortable, warm future that is deeply appealing … ” The Weather Makers – The History and Future Impact of Climate Change by Tim Flannery (Allen Lane, Penguin, 2005)…

20 Comments Continue Reading →

How I discovered the grand unifying theory

It was quite simple, really. I discovered the grand unifying theory of the universe just now, during teatime. And I wasn’t even drinking tea. I was drinking coffee. Cappuccino, to be exact. I have always wanted to discover something big, such as the grand unifying theory of the universe, but I did not expect it…

18 Comments Continue Reading →