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Published by tasch, 2020-02-27 06:43:13



take me home please March 2020

PICASSO HEADLINE with Kevin Fraser

FOR THE MENU see pages 4 & 5


Have you noticed how often new buzzwords or phrases seemingly become part of our everyday
business conversations?
‘Reaching out’ is one such phrase – it came out of nowhere and is now everywhere. The phrase
seems to be the latest all-encompassing buzzword and has replaced, ‘I have called them’, ‘I have
emailed them’ or ‘I have asked them’. Perhaps, it’s a ‘quantum leap’ from ‘touching base’ or ‘face time’. Everyone ‘reaching
out’ to one another in one big happy embrace.

Perhaps it’s intended to create a feeling of warm fuzziness, as in a mother ‘reaching out’ to comfort
her child.

Rather than create a ‘warm fuzzy’ feeling, however, it gets me hot under the collar. Hopefully it is a passing fad and will
soon join the lexicon of other passing fads.

Happily, though, ‘to the tune of’ seems to be dying out, but ‘unpack’ is still going strong. Consultants, however, still
insist that they are ‘solution providers’, whilst ‘deep diving’ has also resurfaced as a refinement of the much used
‘drilling down’.

Thankfully, ‘brainstorming’ has fizzled out, but has unfortunately been replaced by ‘thinking out the box’ or ‘paradigm
shift’ as we move towards ‘blue sky thinking’. Equally, ‘110%’ has been replaced by ‘120%’, as in ‘raising the bar to 120%’.

It also seems that we can either ‘take a step back’ or ‘circle back’. I am not entirely sure which is the
better option?

I wish I could say I am without fault, but to my dismay must confess to recently using ‘low-hanging fruit’ and the
equally unforgivable ‘best practice’.

‘At the end of the day’ it seems like these jargon traps are everywhere.

Glenn Orsmond is Airline Chief Executive Officer
at Comair Ltd. MARCH 2020 3



There’s no end in sight for business
buzzwords, apparently. 49 A ND ALL THAT JAZZ 65 S PINNING IN SIMON’S TOWN
Meet a few of the stars who’ll Is this the future of low-impact
24 I TCHY FEET be shining at the country’s biggest self-propelled travel?
From the shores of Mozambique to jazz festival.
the coast of Tasmania, our cover 67 REST ASSURED
star loves to travel. 55 BARFLY Where to stay in the Bo-Kaap,
From sticky-floor watering holes Lanseria and Strathavon.
EXPERIENCE to A-list secret speakeasies, we go
on a deep dive bar tour. 73 A USSIE RULES
28 T RIPWORTHY Kevin Fraser follows the Yellow
A weekend of wonder in 55 Brick Road to the Land of Oz.
the Elgin Valley.
31 O N OUR RADAR Freedom’s just another
Carnivals, comedy shows, and name for the Land Rover
a festival named Corona (yes, Experience Tour.
with highly infectious music)!
41 SLOW BURN Baguettes, bubbling
Oliver Hermanus has made volcanoes and switchback
another hard-hitting film. mountains.

12 MARCH 2020


109 Travel by aroma and flavour, recipes and
121 childhood kitchen memories.
151 They don’t just like to travel, they love it.
14 Deepen your camera envy.

A wind-fuelled journey from Cape Town to Rio.


Where to catch Margaret
Atwood in conversation
about her follow-up to
The Handmaid’s Tale.

Read all about it – it’s the
next best thing.

Meet the world’s greatest
127 tattoo artists and then go
shopping for treasures.

Space-age clobber for space-
age travellers, plus gravel bikes
and all the bags you need to
pack before you leave.

Put down the selfie stick
and back away from the
tourist attraction.


MARCH 2020

Editor Keith Bain
Content Manager Raina Julies – [email protected]
Content Co-ordinator Vanessa Payne
Copy Editor Nicci Collier

Head of Design Studio Jayne Macé-Ferguson
Senior Designers Mfundo Archie Ndzo, Lesley-Ann van Schalkwyk

Advert Designer Bulelwa Sotashe
Production Editor Shamiela Brenner

Retouching Sven Kristian

Project Manager Richard White
khlassifieds Project Manager Steve Norval
Sales Consultants Stephen Crawford, Jay Deary, Bonnie Eksteen,
Randall Grace, Nazeem Hoosen, Nikita Moore, Gavin Payne,
Andre Potgieter, Roman Ross, Clint Smith, Ándre Theunissen, Zelda Stein
Advertising Co-ordinators Johan Labuschagne, Merle Baatjes

Novus Print

Business Manager Lodewyk van der Walt – [email protected]

Management Accountant Deidre Musha
General Manager, Magazines Jocelyne Bayer

Airline Chief Executive Officer Comair Ltd Glenn Orsmond

Head of Marketing, Shaun Pozyn
Marketing Manager, Bridgette Ramuluvhana
Brand Communications Manager, Luane Lavery

1 Marignane Drive, Bonaero Park, Kempton Park, 1619
Tel: 011 921 0111 | | contact centre: 0861 KULULA (585852)

To advertise in this magazine, please contact
Richard White (Sales Project Manager) at +27 21 469 2542

or email [email protected]
To advertise in the khlassifieds section, please contact
Steve Norval (khlassifieds Project Manager) at +27 21 469 2435

or email [email protected]

Copyright: No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent of the publisher.
The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited material. khuluma is published monthly by Picasso Headline. The
opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline, kulula or Arena Holdings. All advertisements/

advertorials and promotions have been paid for and therefore do not carry any endorsement
by the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its contents, neither kulula,
nor the publisher can be held responsible for any omissions or errors, or for any misfortune, injury or damages

that may arise therefrom. We reserve the right to edit interviews for layout purposes.

So much from which to choose.
Only one choice.

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We are cashless! Silence your hunger
and thirst craving on one of our green
machines by paying for those snacks
using your credit or debit card.



Look out the window and share those
cloud-filled images with us.

#kulula #kululaviews #GreenFleet

t first I thought wanderlust was a term I’ve loved impersonating people since Interview: Keith Bain, Pictures: Supplied, dorian2013/istockphoto
used to describe the confusion I felt I was a young boy. I would dress up, get into
between real love and infatuation in high character and live out all kinds of situations
school, but lately I’ve learned that it’s that happened in my imagination. I think
a better fit for an Instagram biography. Durban had a big impact on my personality
and my sense of humour. It’s such a laid-
Before I got into comedy, I was a DJ, back city. And for a creative nut head like
known as the Spindoctor. These days, me, being in a chilled environment really
I spin stories instead of records. I use helps – the more at ease you are, the better
mostly observational humour – I love the creativity flows… Except in February.
watching people. I’m a sponge. I soak In February, you’re just trying to focus on
up situations and put a spin on what I see, delivering breathing in Durban.
those stories in my own way, filtered through my wild
imagination. And often with an accent. I’ve had itchy feet and been in love
I’ve been pushing accents out for years, since I was with the idea of travelling and exploring
a kid with aspirations of being a singer. I’ve accepted the world since I was very young. Being
that the singing career will never happen, though, a Durban boy from a small village, though,
because people tend to evaporate when I sing. So, going ‘overseas’ inevitably meant heading
instead, there’s doing accents. Lately, my ‘Aussie bogan’ up the coast and across the border to
accents have become popular, especially down under, Mozambique – I’ve had many a Portuguese
but my ‘Sandton mommy’ is still a big hit… roll to sober me up after a fantastic night
on the town there.
I have, since my youth, managed to scratch the
wanderlust itch more thoroughly and been privileged
to explore the world. From diving into a new life down
under to popping my head up amongst the sheep in
New Zealand, I’ve explored the manic city streets
of Hong Kong, savoured the island life in Bali, gone
country bumpkin in Canada, braved a cold summer
in the UK and drunk Guinness in Ireland. I’ve skipped
across to Amsterdam and paid through my backside
for a coffee in Switzerland. I’ve felt the buzz of New
York City, and sipped R200 cocktails in Miami.
Nothing, however, compares to the hospitality and
vibrancy I’ve experienced in Zimbabwe. The people,
the culture, the laughs, the hospitality, the gratitude
and the all-round fun… For me, Africa has it all and
I’m in awe of this continent and its diversity. Which
is why I love coming back. Not only to perform, but
also to soak up memories and accents and situations
you just don’t find anywhere else on earth. Not even
on Instagram.

24 MARCH 2020

Let's throw some shrimps on the
barbie, mate!


TtfflhrooaeewrtnCqnhadnCcueah,anteio1ttahenntfy8otrartbhnereBdlAtaeyiehssiopp,sag-ecKntaerbsdtohToigZdheil4mrwoo.eiovDtpiucpnAhwhpi7urgnZauApeA3arhtattrabFrt)ou,iip.ehcmalrtaus,’essdhinuatIreti.taedcllOnwcotrisnkuaoultuJiidisilhmtcrsvr(lo,oeakeseobnob.nscsfCweConudoatowraoihbym2dfgyrnfai8eonsa,vociluibnMemyvnkonaCaaioultnranintocptdtnhhhe,e MARCH 2020 25

Read about the Cape Town KAMERS/Makers on page
149 and while you plan to make a day of it, why not get your name
into the draw to win amazing products from two of the makers
who’ll be there from 26 to 29 March? From Blankets from Africa,
there’s an eco-cotton bobble lace-edge throw worth R2 499, and
from Kare Bags, there’s a hamper of reusable cotton shopping
bags valued at R1 525. The lucky winner will also score a set of
double tickets to the KAMERS/Makers 2020 show of their choice.

Philadelphia R&B and hip-hop
group Boyz II Men is coming to South Africa
next month and we have two sets of double
tickets to each of their shows – they’re up
for grabs by four lucky readers. Get your
names into the draw for a chance to see
them perform either at the Sun Arena, Time
Square, Tshwane on 9 April, or at the Grand
Arena, GrandWest, Cape Town on 13 April.


Durban-born Aussie-based comedian TRIP LOGGER
(and DJ) Kevin Fraser is coming to Cape Town, Little LogBook is a mileage tracker designed for
Durban and Joburg this month for three live SARS and business mileage claims. With no monthly
stand-up shows. On page 73 you can read his or annual fees, you’ll turn your mileage into money
with this hassle-free gadget. You can view vehicle
thoughts about activity, routes travelled and speed along the route,
his adopted home and can generate a multitude of reports to claim
– you’ll find a few your cash back. We have two Little LogBook USB
clues to a social GPS Trip Loggers up for grabs.
media competition
could score you With headline acts Gorgon City, Black Coffee
free tickets to see and Purple Disco Machine, Cape Town’s edition of Corona
him on stage. Read Sunsets, a gathering that’s held in cities all across the globe,
what he has to say is the first of three such festivals happening in SA this year.
and visit him on It’s at The Bungalow and Oval Field in Clifton overlooking the
Instagram ocean on 28 March and you can read more about it on page
and Facebook 37. We have two sets of double tickets to give away,
to stand a chance so get your entries in by 15 March.
at winning.

28 MARCH 2020



out & abo


A blank canvas upon which to live out your wildest dreams and party up a storm, Bazique is
a three-day festival of music, art and absurdist self-expression. A beautiful setting, imaginative
decor and folks fulfilling their fantasies by dressing up (or down) like they’re in a movie… Plus,
there’ll be art installations, pop-up parties, food stalls, art cars and a few art boats, too – plenty to
help you explore your edge, unsaddled by the worries of your day-to-day. There are also, of course,
mountains at which to stare and a majestic lake in which to cool off, swim and play. A variety of
music stages will satisfy different tastes and moods. This year’s line-up includes Marcus Worgull
and Madmotormiquel from Germany and Terr from Brazil; all in all, there’ll be six international and
around 60 local acts. It’s happening in the exquisite Elgin Valley at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club.

13–15 March,
Words: Keith Bain, Picture: Jonx Pillemer

ut MARCH 2020 29




C1A–P8EMTAORWCHN Sea monsters
and skinheads
‘In my heart, I’m a skinhead radical feminist,’
says Scottish comedian and writer Fern
Brady who ditched journalism for stand-up
and is critically outspoken about women
being treated differently in the comedy
arena. Brady says she was taunted with
the nickname ‘Moustachio’ throughout her
childhood, so prettying up to be on stage
and in front of cameras is a bit weird. ‘Male
comics can look like sea monsters and
coast by on charm and a bit of tooth
whitening,’ she says, ‘but if you’re a woman
on TV, you either have to be about ten
pounds underweight or so fat that it’s
a political statement.’ Having once worked
as a stripper, she says her brief stint as
a trainee news reporter was boring and so
got into comedy so she could have a job
where she could be herself and say precisely
what she wants to say. And she really is
worth listening to: smart, funny, and blessed
with that gorgeous Scots accent.You can
catch her at the Cape Town International
Comedy Festival which relaunches this
month after a long hiatus – there’s a variety
of shows with 15 international artists and
many of South Africa’s funniest comedians.
Brady will perform in the U.N. Comedy
Show, which runs from 2 to 8 March and
co-stars Daliso Chaponda (Malawi), Laura
Davis (Australia), Sindhu Vee (India),
Stuart Goldsmith (England) and local
hotshot Nik Rabinowitz. She’s also in Book
Club, an all-female show starring a mix
of local and international comedians on
4 March. Artscape Theatre Centre,

MARCH 2020 31

Sies! March
Last month, Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre celebrated its first decade Shakespeare Schools Festival
with the opening of a Fugard classic, ‘Master Harold’… and The Boys South Africa, Cape Town.
which continues this month. And every Monday the Fugard Bioscope The Fugard Theatre hosts the Cape
World Arts Cinema Season affords audiences the opportunity to Town leg of the most inclusive festival
watch filmed versions of live performances from the world’s best of theatre written by the Bard yet seen
opera, theatre and ballet. This month’s screenings include the Bolshoi Ballet’s Romeo in this country.
and Juliet, the Royal Opera House’s La bohème and the new Emma Rice-directed
musical, Wise Children. Plus, on 30 March, there’s a filmed conversation with Margaret 05–08 Spiritfest, Swellendam.
Atwood about her sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale – read about it on page 139. If it’s Yoga, meditation, camping and
laughter you’re after, though, you’ll get it in Never Too Naked, a new one-woman wholesome food. Om!
show featuring Evita Bezuidenhout’s sister, Bambi Kellerman, the black sheep of the
family who left Bethlehem to become a stripper in Vienna in the 1950s. You can see 06–15 Toyota US Woordfees,
Bambi in full force, from 24 March until 11 April. Stellenbosch.
One of SA’s biggest arts festivals,
Fateful five with over 500 performances. Plus,
a healthy dose of literature (see
A musical in miniature, The Last Five page 47).
Years tells a bittersweet tale of a
07 Huawei KDay, Cape Town.
struggling actress and a budding novelist Family-friendly festival with dancing and
who meet at the wrong time in their lives. lolling on the grass at Meerendal Wine
Estate to the likes of Shekhinah, The
To underscore this star-crossed theme, Kiffness, GoodLuck and Mango Groove.
the story of their ultimately doomed

relationship is told from two perspectives 15 Secret Sunrise Fiesta, Sandton.
– she gives her account backwards while At Milk Bar in Parkmore, this early-
he relates it chronologically. Their stories morning headphone-fuelled gathering
is more than a silent disco – it’s about
converge at only one point – on their dancing, playing and connecting. There’s
wedding day. Golden Arrow Studio, Baxter, a Mexican fiesta theme, so dress up if
Cape Town, 19 March–4 April, you like.

Check this, my cousin 26–29 Retreat Yourself, Overberg.
At Elandskloof Farm near Greyton,
‘I don’t curse, I don’t do politics, and I don’t really do religion,’ this is a festival that stretches beyond
says everyone’s favourite cousin, Barry Hilton, who is doing dancing to DJs. There’ll be yoga, Pilates,
a short touring season of Barnyard Theatres this month. ‘I movement and wellness workshops,
keep my shows family friendly, but my eyes tell the rude a roller disco, stand-up comedy, talks
bits. There’s no need to use any swear words. The rude bits on a range of topics, a secret dance
are in your brain. Still, some people say they actually hear floor, routes for mountain bikes and
me swearing.’ Hilton also says that 90% of all his humour is
generated by the way his face expresses what he’s saying. ‘If
I impersonate a cow or giraffe, people will tell me they could
actually see the cow or the giraffe. That makes me quite
happy, because at that point, in my mind, I actually am the
giraffe. I become the cow.’

32 MARCH 2020


29 trail running, a market, loads Spanish tights
29 of healthy food, and camping. Balletomaniacs are in for
a treat this month when
Wonderland Festival, two of The Royal Ballet’s
principal dancers – Argentine
Sandton. Marianela Núñez and Russian
At Innesfree Park, it’s Mzansi’s Vadim Muntagirov – show
biggest dance festival for off their undisputed genius
people aged 18 and under. during a trio of exclusive guest appearances in Joburg and
Cape Town. The duo will join
Sexy Groovy Love, Joburg Ballet for two performances (20 and
22 March) of Don Quixote, based on episodes from the popular Cervantes
Franschhoek. novel. Set in Barcelona, it tells the story of beautiful Kitri and her love for the
Get down and dirty with French dashing but poor barber, Basilio. The spanner in the works is Kitri’s father who
DJ Sébastien Léger along with wants to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. Aside from a gorgeous score, the
local heroes Bruno Morphet, ballet includes a lump-in-the-throat pas de deux in Act III. The show runs from
Chris de Vos and Paradise 13 to 22 March, and other performances will feature dancers from Joburg Ballet
Citizens. It’s at the Rose Garden as the young lovers. Núñez and Muntagirov, meanwhile, will also be performing
at Boschendal (technically for one night only as part of a Grand Gala at Cape Town’s Artscape Opera
in Pniel, not Franschhoek). House on 24 March. They’ll be accompanied by members of Joburg Ballet in excerpts from various classical and neo-classical works, including the Don
Quixote pas de deux. Tickets for the Joburg performances are available from
April, and for Cape Town’s one-night show via
01–05 Two Oceans Marathon,
13 Road trip
Cape Town.
Suffer, baby, suffer! It’s the Mother City’s ode to Rio,
and although it’s
Galileo Easter Open Air nowhere in the
same league, it
Cinema, Cape Town. has grown
Family fun under the stars at substantially since
Meerendal Wine Estate with the first Cape
a screening of Wonder Park. Town Carnival, which happened
on Long Street
25–27 SA Cheese Festival, during the 2010
FIFA World Cup festivities. Back then, some 11 000 people watched the
Stellenbosch. unfolding spectacle. Now, with the parade passing along Green Point’s Main
Happening over the Freedom Road, it’s believed that around 50 000 spectators turn up to see the floats and
Day long weekend, this is the formation dancers, the costumed performers and gigantic puppets.
country’s ultimate dairy mixer, There are special effects and LED-illuminated characters, Chinese dragons
with lots of wine and other edible and drum majorettes. A highlight is a bit of a muscle show by the city’s
goodies to fuel a delicious day firefighters, but there’s something for the whole family. 21 March,
out. MARCH 2020 33


Best in show PAW Patrol Live! ‘The Great Pirate
Adventure’ is a live musical stage
Supporting all kinds of canine show based on the preschool TV series
charities, Muddy Puppy is a series bringing its beloved characters to life.
of fun days out for pooches and their When Cap’n Turbot falls into a dark
humans. Each event comprises an and mysterious cavern, it’s up to Chase,
obstacle course (of around 2.4km) Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky, Zuma
– which can either be a fun run or a and newest pup Tracker to save the
walk for you and your four-legged day. They discover a pirate treasure
companion. The course lives up to map that sparks an adventure and a
its name, with crawling, climbing, race against Mayor Humdinger who
jumping, slipping, sliding, wagging, also wants to get his, um, paws on the
barking and lots and lots of mud. treasure. Catch the action at Ticketpro
There’s one at Smoking Pistons in Dome in Joburg on 4 and 5 April; at
Joburg South on 15 March; one at Sun Arena, Time Square, Tshwane
Boksburg Stadium on 29 March; and on 7 and 8 April; at the Grand Arena,
another in KZN, at Ballito’s Sugar GrandWest in Cape Town on 11 and
Rush Park on 5 April. Tickets cost 12 April; or The Globe at Suncoast in
R160 per team (comprising one Durban from 17 to 19 April. 
human and one dog) and a portion of,  
proceeds will be donated to a chosen
dog charity.,

34 MARCH 2020


Word: Keith Bain, Pictures: Andrej Uspenski, Supplied Family affair Dynamite diva

Since combining their talents at Northumbria ‘A comic firecracker with a pyrotechnic voice, [she] drives the audience
University in the early 1990s, Tunde Baiyewu and Paul wild,’ wrote Time Out of New York singer, actress and impressionist,
Tucker have sold 10 million records, their quarter- Christina Bianco, who will be making a two-show appearance in Joburg
century in the music business having produced many next month. Dubbed ‘the girl of a thousand voices,’ Bianco went viral as
era-defining songs since the release of their 1995 a YouTube sensation with her ‘diva’ impression videos, raking over
debut album, Ocean Drive. And now the musical duo 25 million views. Me, Myself & Everyone Else features great songs,
known as Lighthouse Family is touring South Africa musical comedy and impressions of pop culture personalities and iconic
for the first time, having reunited to produce their vocalists such as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton and Britney
fourth album – Blue Sky In Your Head – after a hiatus Spears. Her show will feature local star Craig Urbani (who recently
during which they went their separate ways. They’ll be played Dr Frank-N-Furter in the Rocky Horror Show) as well as a nine-
at Joburg’s Teatro, Montecasino from 20 to 22 March, piece band. She’ll be at Montecasino’s Teatro on 11 April at 3pm and
and at the Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town on 8pm.,
24 March.

The other Corona gathering

Although they sound more like the title of a sci-fi horror film, Gorgon City is

actually a North London electro-house duo (Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-

Scott) who’ve gained acclaim for their bass-driven beats and addictive vocals.
They’ve attained legendary status for their extended DJ sets that capture the
energy of the British underground house and techno scene. If you don’t already
know them, then it’d be worth your while catching them live when they headline
the first of three Corona Sunsets Festival events happening in SA this year.
It’s at The Bungalow Clifton and Oval Field Cape Town on 28 March, and the
line-up includes Black Coffee, international DJ, producer and remixer Purple
Disco Machine, Shimza, DJ Maphorisa, GoodLuck, Dean Fuel, Bantwanas, Abby
Nurock, Strange Loving and Pierre Johnson. Plus, there’s destined to be one
helluva sunset. MARCH 2020 37


All the feels Changing the lives of many across Joburg, Night of
a 1000 Drawings was born in 2006 as a fundraising
This cheeky number is entitled Group Chat and it’s by Dada Khanyisa initiative – anyone can donate a self-made artwork
whose work is currently being exhibited at Stevenson – it’s part of their that is sold for R100 apiece and proceeds help
first solo exhibition in Joburg and is a real treat. Entitled Good Feelings, provide support to homeless and impoverished
the show’s artworks depict a variety of characters in everyday situations people. Continuing in this vein, organisers are bringing
the renowned global live art tournament, Art Battle
– taking showers, posing for selfies, sending voice notes, sitting in – first held in New York in 2001 – to South Africa.
upmarket restaurants, or – as in Group Chat – waging social war across The first instalment – Art Battle Johannesburg
bar counters. While there’s this focus on typical modern-day situations, – happens at the opening of the Night of a 1000
Drawings Festival of Art at Victoria Yards on 27 March.
Khanyisa adds complexity and multidimensionality by working with Some 16 Gauteng artists will step up to the easel to
a range of mediums – various kinds of wood, from masonite to walnut, compete by transforming blank canvases into finished
works with the added pressure of doing so in front
are layered with textiles and acrylic paint. The effect is to create of a voting audience. After three 20-minute rounds,
something that’s between painting and sculpture and which somehow the evening’s winner will go forward to compete in
underscores the levity and irony in the works. Essentially, they question the national championship in October. Other battles
the nature of the relationship between individuals and the social realm. leading up to the final will happen in Soweto, Tshwane,
Durban, Bloem, Hoedspruit, Potchefstroom, PE,
‘With this show, I am focusing on the abstract, the emotional aspect Stellenbosch and Cape Town. The weekend’s festivities
of people and how they relate, not just depicting pretty people,’ says include art, poetry, fashion, entertainment and good
food, but the real aim, of course, is to raise much-needed
Khanyisa. Until 13 March, funds. 27–29 March,,,
38 MARCH 2020



Five reasons you should watch Moffie,
the powerful new film by South African

director Oliver Hermanus

Kai Luke Brümmer as
Nicholas van der Swart
(standing) is watched by Ryan
de Villiers as Dylan Stassen
in a moment of solidarity in
a scene from Moffie,
releasing in South African
cinemas on 13 March MARCH 2020 41

Witness a journey into hell THE INNOCENTS
Actors Jan Combrink (below left),
Based on the autobiographical novel by André Carl van der Merwe, Moffie is Matthew Vey (centre) and Kai
a harrowing coming-of-age film that opens some raw wounds by sending its gay Luke Brümmer (far right, framed
protagonist into the hell of the South African Defence Force – during the so-called by other conscripts) play some of
Border War with Angola. There he experiences a kind of full-body brainwashing the young men conscripted by the
designed to dehumanise soldiers before going to the border to kill enemies of the state. army to be trained as soldiers in
‘The first hour or so of Moffie is very much a journey of seeing teenage boys being a Bush War that was sold to South
turned into soldiers,’ says director Oliver Hermanus. ‘So there’s a relentlessness Africans as essential to stop the
of scenes where you’re seeing them submerged deeper and deeper into these ‘communist threat’
completely unforgiving situations.’ He says that he consciously set about constructing
the first 20 minutes of the film to make it feel like a journey into the centre of hell –
there are beautiful drone shots of a train snaking through the countryside, transporting
young men to the army base where they’ll suffer all kinds of abuses at the hands of
foul-mouthed officers. There, they are repeatedly referred to as ‘moffies’ (faggots),
a slur used as a general threat that’s also weaponised and targeted at anyone deemed
effeminate or a nuisance because it is a reminder of what these ‘men’ are taught

to see as the most dangerous crime of all: being gay.

Film fix Bloodshot Singleholic

New movies to catch The big screen is overrun with Unlikely to be the best film you
for different moods superheroes these days. But this ever see, this romcom tells the
year, a ghostly white super soldier cliché story of a woman who –
42 MARCH 2020 from a different universe enters the after a painful breakup – moves
fray – Bloodshot stars Vin Diesel to Mauritius to complete her PhD.
in the first Hollywood adaptation It takes a series of dodgy dating
of a Valiant Comics character and experiences to discover where the
the filmmakers insist he’s unlike true source of happiness resides.
anything we’ve seen wearing Releases 27 March.
a cape and pair of tights.
Releases 6 March.


Its star is a powerful presence

Hermanus is no stranger to making audiences feel the agony that burns within his
characters. With Moffie, he says he also wanted the physical hardships to burn
through the screen. To achieve this, actors playing new recruits were intentionally
treated pretty much as though they were undergoing the training that’s depicted
in the film. ‘To get them to physically experience the joy of going to the army, we
set up a kind of boot camp and treated the process
like a miniature operation,’ Hermanus explains. ‘It
was practical, too. On any given day, we had maybe
16 or 17 actors in front of a camera, so it was very
useful to have a military adviser on set all the
time – he trained them in a military fashion and
terrorised them sufficiently so that they were afraid
of him and so when he gave a command to get them
to stand in formation, it happened pretty quickly.’

At the heart of Moffie is a stirring performance
by Kai Luke Brümmer as the protagonist Nicholas
van der Swart who observes and experiences what
happens in basic training and on the border with
a kind of restrained horror. A young actor with
a quiet intensity, Brümmer draws us in, letting us
feel his inner angst and the mounting terror as
he witnesses the army’s attempt to strip away its
soldiers’ humanity. Plus, we experience the slow
burn of anguish as he is forced to conceal his
attraction for men, lest he fall victim to even worse
punishments. To get physically into character,
Brümmer adopted a rigorous exercise regime and
put himself through a weight-loss programme,
but his real preparation lay in trying to understand
the headspace of the men who went through what
his character experiences. To do this, he says he
looked at real people rather than movie characters.
‘There’s a huge amount of repression in the older
generation and that’s what I really wanted to
capture in this role,’ he says.

Emma No Time To Die

Jane Austen’s beloved comedy Apart from all the usual excitement
about finding your equal and that inevitably comes with the
earning your happy ending, is release of a new 007 movie, for this
reimagined in this delicious new Bond extravaganza it’s the villain
film adaptation starring Anya we’re excited about. Prior to release,
Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse. the super-villain’s exact identity has
It offers astute satire of social remained a closely guarded secret,
hierarchy coupled with the but he’s played by 2019 Best Actor
sometimes heartbreaking reality of Oscar winner, Rami Malek, who
growing up. Releases 6 March. shot to renown in the TV series,
Mr Robot. From 3 April. MARCH 2020 43

EXPERIENCE SOMEWHERE ON THE BORDER It addresses toxic masculinity Words: Keith Bain, Pictures: Daniel Rutland Manners, Supplied

Lest we forget Hermanus says Moffie is an exploration of how men are
made. ‘It’s a conversation about masculinity – and toxic
Moffie is strident in its remembering of the horrors of masculinity, specifically. We have a system in this world
apartheid – much of the racism happens in plain sight where men are still being programmed to behave in certain
as the film opens a window onto a bygone era bereft of ways that aren’t helpful.
humanity. Hermanus says it was essential to get the young
actors playing the ‘innocent boys’ of that era into the right ‘If telling stories about white men seems a bit tone-deaf
headspace. ‘We were taking the actors not only to the army today, it’s because I wanted to look at how these men
but to another time and place. The film is set in 1981 and were made, what the systems were that made them,
most of the actors were born post-1994 so they have no and demonstrate through that that there is always
personal memory of apartheid, no personal memory of the a reason behind how we become who we are. The film is an
time before cellphones or internet. To help the cast travel exploration of how this generation of boys – innocent boys to
back in time, Hermanus created a ‘headspace book’ for a degree – were militarised and racialised and programmed
them, with pictures. ‘On one page it said, for example, to hate. They were damaged and traumatised in ways that
“this is an attractive woman right now” with a picture of forced them to become adults in a particular way.’
Anneline Kriel, and on the last page it said, “this is what
a terrorist looks like,” and there’s a photograph of Nelson The New Mutants
Mandela. It was about programming their brains, to take
them back to that time so they could see that world.’ This teen horror focuses on the
first graduates from Charles
The Invisible Man Xavier’s school for mutants. It
features a number of familiar faces
Elizabeth Moss has exchanged the – such as Maisie Williams (Arya Stark
horrors of Gilead for the terrors of in Game of Thrones) as Wolfsbane
a remake of an iconic 1933 monster and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers
flick. In it, a woman named Cecilia in Stranger Things) as Cannonball.
becomes the subject of a series of Releases 3 April.
increasingly troubling occurrences –
visitations, perhaps – that seem to be the
work of her abusive ex-boyfriend who is
supposedly dead. Releases 13 March.

44 MARCH 2020


ABOVE: Jamie Ramsey has worked as
cinematographer on three Oliver Hermanus
feature films

RIGHT: Hermanus and Ramsey discuss
framing a shot featuring Kai Luke Brümmer
at the train station

BELOW: Actors playing trainee troops take
direction from Hermanus about how to hold
their rifles

It was relentless behind the scenes, too

Hermanus says he needs full commitment from cast and crew in

order to get the job done properly. ‘I really can't make the film if

I don't kind of submerge into it in a very physical sense,’ he says.

‘One thing that often breaks that reality is the fact that there

are 150 people on set just going about their job. So it’s not only

about how I create the right psychological headspace but also

a working environment that allows me to concentrate and stay

within that headspace. One of the things I can’t handle on a set

is someone with a big voice or loud personality. I prefer everyone

to be kind of mute. There must be a kind of unified vision

pumping through the team. It makes a huge difference if you find

a group of people who have the same kind of energy because it

can get very stressful because of all the elements that come with

making a film – weather, late nights, early mornings. We were

fortunate because everyone was onboard, pulling together. It

wasn’t just the actors – there was a military precision on set.’

Sticks and stones

Moffie’s look at the barbarism of the apartheid-era treatment of gays in the military finds parallels
in the novel, You Will Be Safe Here, authored by UK writer Damian Barr and published last year.
Described as a painful read that will leave you ‘bruised’, it is both brutal and redemptive – it draws
interesting analogies between life in a concentration camp during the Boer War in 1901 and
a contemporary ‘camp’ in South Africa where teenage boys are sent away to be turned into men.
Barr’s story is based on true accounts of youngsters being abused and cruelly treated – and even
dying – in the hands of bullies and staunch homophobes in many of the camps that inspired his
book’s New Dawn Safari Training Camp where promises are made to parents to ‘make men out of
boys’. Barr will be in South Africa this month to talk about his book at the Toyota US Woordfees
happening from 6 to 15 March in Stellenbosch. MARCH 2020 47

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