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Published by tasch, 2018-10-31 03:20:35

Khuluma November 2018

Keywords: Khuluma,Khuluma online,online magazine,travel magaine,Kulula,Kulula magazine,online travel magazine


the topFROM

fter 4 billion years of evolution, you would think that we humans would know who we
are. I was about 18 months old when I realised that the person in the mirror was not
my imaginary friend. Yet sooner or later almost everyone is off on a journey to find

themselves. Often to Ibiza or Mumbai, where they are more likely to find millions of other

lost people.

Perhaps it is more important for you to find the insanity of life. It was best when you

were a baby – you could sleep all day and everyone was still proud of you. But since

then, have you simply complied with the madness of what was expected of you? Who

was the mastermind behind the concept that you need money for education, you need an

education for a job, and you need a job for money? Only dead fish go with the flow.

So now you question whether the lifetime accumulation of your millions of decisions really

created the version of life that you wanted, or is there a better version, and is that version

simply what society says you are missing out on? Have you realised that life is soup and you are

worried that perhaps you are a fork? And what is wrong with a fork? You could have been

a single chopstick.

So be yourself. At worst, the mosquitoes will still appreciate you and you

will be unique like everyone else.

And if that is not good enough, then my imaginary friend can refer you to

a good psychologist or a quiet patch of sand in the Karoo.

Erik Venter, CEO: Comair Ltd NOVEMBER 2018 3

Contents 7067



3 VIEW FROM THE TOP big summer pantomime, it’s neither John Explore
Our CEO explains how he found himself Robbie nor Desmond Dube. But the real
when he was just 18 months old. question, of course, is who the funniest is. 67 COME TO BELLVILLE AND CY
We go beyond the boerewors curtain and
16 SILENCE OF THE MONKEY MIND 39 FOOTLOOSE discover some real characters.
How Irit Noble learnt to make the There’ll be some classy rug-cutting in
voices stop. David Kramer’s latest musical. 76 LOST AND FOUND

Experience 45 THERE’S A POACHER ON Irit Noble’s been here, there and everywhere, 95
24 TRIPWORTHY Here’s what happens when Leon Schuster picking up life lessons along the way.
It’s almost 2019 and here’s where you’ll tackles conservation.
find us on New Year’s Eve. 85 ISLAND OF EVERLASTING LIFE
53 FINDING CITO Darrel Bristow-Bovey gets beaten up by an
27 ON OUR RADAR Just in case you were wondering, the lads ancient man on a Greek island where people
There’s a lot going on, and not a moment from Wonderboom are right where we seem to live forever.
to lose. need them.
Some have scales, some have big eyes and
Who’s the prettiest of them all? In Joburg’s A trio of deals on a good night’s sleep. some urinate on one another. We think they’re
all pretty special.



Mpumalanga’s Lowveld has plenty going
on outside Kruger National Park.


How stretches of tar in Cape Town have

become pedestrian playgrounds.


When you’ve been away from Africa

for half your life, returning can get


Discover 137

Find out what horrors prompted comedian Tumi
Morake to fast track the purchase of her first car.

Our cover star finds her mojo in Paarl.

A happy tummy is a tummy filled with
well-nourished good bacteria.

These might be the fastest racing cars you see all year.

From Crocs getting their sexy back to whisky by the wine-making
cousins, here’s the stuff to spend your pocket money on.

163 SAPIENS 2.0
The algorithms are coming.

It’s not a magic castle but there’ll be fun and games inside.

10 NOVEMBER 2018

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 Nichole Liedeman
Production Editor Shamiela Brenner

Cover Photographer Sven Kristian
Makeup Artist Colleen van Rensburg

Project Manager Richard White
khlassifieds Project Manager Steve Norval
Sales Consultants Stephen Crawford, Bright Dunbar, Jay Deary, Bonnie Eksteen,
Randall Grace, Nazeem Hoosen, Nikita Moore, Gavin Payne,
Andre Potgieter, Roman Ross, Clint Smith, Zelda Stein
Advertising Co-ordinators Johan Labuschagne, Peace Guga (Intern)
Advanced retouching Sven Kristian

Paarl Media Gauteng

Business Manager Lodewyk van der Walt – [email protected]

Senior Bookkeeper Deidre Musha
General Manager, Magazines Jocelyne Bayer

CEO Comair Limited Erik Venter
Head of Marketing, Loyalty and Customer Experience, 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 the Tiso
Blackstar Group. 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.



R ecently I was very sick and in bed for about
seven months. I lost everything. I mean,
I even lost my looks. To be honest that was
the biggest blow. And then, just a short while ago,
I lost my mind. I went into such a heavy menopause

without realising what was happening. It was really tough

to be gracious about these changes. I got incredibly foggy;

I just couldn’t think, I couldn’t put two and two together.

It’s sorted now; I have a nice hormone patch on my tummy.

But yes, I had all these thoughts whirling around my mind, they

were eating me alive. All the things I’ve thrown away: jobs, men,

people. I regretted not taking my opportunities further, and not

understanding that time is fleeting and that people get old.

However, gradually, in this time of losing everything, I realised

how little one actually needs. The epiphany came slowly.

I started to realise that it was only my mind saying things like:

‘What about your career, why didn’t you do better?’ Or, ‘You

should have done this, you should have done that.’

I realised, when I don’t think about all this stuff all of the

time, I feel a lot better.

Then one morning at 3am while lying in my bed WHERE’S IRIT? Interview: Biénne Huisman, Picture: Sven Kristian
with my heart beating in my throat, my stomach in
a knot, my brain going mad, I kind of downloaded Comedienne, singer, MC, and all-round
this way to just stop thinking. It was such entertainer, Irit Noble has been a recipient of
a moment of change. To stop overthinking the Mbokodo Award for her contribution to
the past and the future. It has helped me be South African comedy, and is well-known for her
more focused on the now; when I eat it’s more outspoken frankness. You can read about more of
delicious, when I speak to someone I pay better Irit’s adventures – and her poignant discoveries
attention, when I do a task there’s a better about life, the universe and everything – on
chance of finishing it well.
page 76, and clock her recent indulgent
Learning to still my monkey mind, that has been trip to a spa in Paarl on page 137.

my saving grace.

16 NOVEMBER 2018


Win tickets to see Matilda in Those who wear them will testify that they’re the world’s
Cape Town most comfortable shoes. Those who hate them have
probably never put them on their feet. Now’s the time,
Based on Roald Dahl’s fantabulous tale of a though, to get with the programme. Crocs has launched a
fast-witted girl, the local production of Matilda swish new campaign highlighting the snazzy possibilities
the Musical continues in Joburg at Montecasino for their often misunderstood shoes. We have three pairs
until 2 December; then it moves to Cape Town, up for grabs. All you need to do is visit,
where it opens at Artscape on 11 December. click the competitions tab, and tell us the colour of the
To win one of five pairs of tickets for a Crocs worn by the model on page 157.
performance on 12 December, simply click on
the competitions tab at and Score a pair of tickets to a
tell us who plays Miss Trunchbull (the answer is Barnyard Theatre show
on page 28).
There’s a brand-new Barnyard Theatre
opening at Suncoast Casino in Durban on
12 December. For a chance to win a pair
of tickets to any participating Barnyard
Theatre production, all you need to do is
guess the name of the show that will launch
the new venue. Send your answer, along with
your name and contact details to competitions@ The winner will receive two show
tickets, a pizza, a bottle of wine, plus two R150 Taxify trips.
Entries close on 4 December.


Win seats at a DINE4SIX table Win a Ucook Festive Feast

Dine4Six is a social dining app that brings people together Take the slog and bother out of festive meals this season by investing
at exceptional restaurants in order to enjoy special meals in South Africa’s most stress-free home dining solution. Ucook
prepared by world-class chefs. The app is designed to take curates entire meals and packages all the ingredients in a tidy box
the apprehension and admin out of meeting new people by that’s delivered to your door. They’re extremely useful during the busy
making the venue and the meal a common focus. Sign up holidays when planning for extended families and large groups can
at, and you’ll enjoy great food, fine company turn into stressful time in the kitchen. To counteract the potential
and the chance to meet incredible chefs. Dine4Six has two panic, Ucook has created a Festive Feast box,
free seats at one of this summer’s stellar dining experiences available for groups of four, eight or 12 people. It
up for grabs. For a chance to occupy those seats, visit contains everything needed for a perfect Christmas, hit the competitions tab, and name any lunch or dinner, including hassle-free instructions.
Dine4Six event you wish you had attended. Orders must be placed at before 13
December for delivery on 24 December. One reader
can win a Ucook Festive Feast box for four people;
visit, hit the competitions tab
and fill in your details.

Win a flip in a chopper with BAC Helicopters

The ultimate way to toast the new day… An exhilarating half-hour flight from Durban, across and over the

valley, with bubbly and orange juice on the mountain, surreal views stretched out in front of you. You can win

one of these helicopter flips for two people, departing from Virginia Airport in Durban North, simply by filling
in your details on our competitions page at If you aren’t this month’s winner, you can
also book your flight with BAC Helicopters at

pictures: xxxxxxx



Tsogo Sun is the leading hotels, gaming and
entertainment company in South Africa,

providing a variety of hospitality, entertain-
ment and leisure experiences. Combining an
established heritage with an energised ap-
proach, the group proudly includes 14 casinos
and over 100 hotels in Africa and Seychelles.

If you are looking for a holiday in a great loca-
tion, Tsogo Sun has the perfect getaway for
you. Our association with Kulula allows you to
travel throughout South Africa to the widest
selection of hotels. Our joint holiday pack-
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two kids under 18 sharing a room, plus free

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Dear customers:
check in now closes 45 minutes

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Choose your favourite Protea Hotel by
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Join Avios, link it to your kulula ID profile
and collect three Avios for every R10
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Have you heard about our year end
giveaways? Head to our social pages
for all the info!

20 MAY 2018

24 NOVEMBER 2018


We’re already counting down…
Not because we’re even nearly
done with 2018, but because
we can’t wait to find ourselves
on a big, stomping dancefloor in
the bush for another Vic Falls
Carnival. This year’s epic bash is
being headlined by Freshlyground,
ever the life and soul of the party
– and if previous celebrations
in and around the Zimbabwe
border town are anything to go
by, festival-goers are in for a
super-celebratory party-to-end-

On the three-day bill, along
with Zolani and her crew, are
BCUC, Prince Kaybee and chart-
topping, award-winning house
songstress Lady Zamar. Many
more live acts, too, and quality
electro DJs as well.

It’s not only the music and
dancing, though, that make this
festival special, but also the
chance to experience a wild and
adventurous part of Africa – aside
from scoping the Falls, there
are safaris and bungee-jumping
and white-water rafting on the
Zambezi. And there’s the much-
loved steam train fiesta that takes
revellers to the Carnival’s secret
bush party.

If you want to find yourself living
it up at Africa’s top NYE party
next month, start planning your
travels now. kulula holidays has a
bunch of sweet deals on packages
that include return flights, airport
transfers, accommodation in Vic
Falls, sunset cruises and your
three-day Vic Falls Carnival pass.
29–31 December,,

NOVEMBER 2018 25


2 45
Get out & about
1 Adding to the thrills and spills of the throat and a tear in your eye. It all started
annual Origin of Trails MTB races that happen with a spot on the final of Britain’s Got Talent 7
in Stellenbosch on 24 and 25 November, this in 2015, since which his debut album has
year’s event sees the introduction of trail taken the world by storm. Tickets for the
running. Distance options are 5km or 15km and Cape Town leg of his Only Human Tour
the foot races happen on the Sunday. Bikers have been sold out for months; he’s also
can choose between one-day or two-day rides performing at the Durban Botanic Gardens
with routes ranging from 10km upwards. on 9 November, and at Marks Park, Joburg
Races start and end at the Coetzenburg Sports on 11 November.
5 The emotional journey of a tightfisted
2 They made their name with such huge old Scrooge forced to confront his demons,
songs as ‘Indigo Girl’ and ‘Letters’ and this Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has
month Watershed will open for James, been turned into a gorgeous two-hand stage
performing in SA for the first time in 18 years. production that includes wonderful
The multi-platinum Manchester band has two animation by Naret Loots. The show opens
shows here as part of its Living in ahead of the summer holiday season at
Extraordinary Times Tour. They’ll be in Cape Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Studio Theatre,
Town at Kirstenbosch on 24 November, and at Joburg. 28 November–6 January,
the National Botanical Garden in Tshwane on
25 November.
6 Darren King and Bryan Hiles are the
3 The Never Ending Comedy Train with Ugly Sisters in a toe-tapping version of
Darren Maule will be setting off again on 24 Cinderella, Durban’s end-of-year
November, taking 400 passengers on a journey pantomime. It’s packed with pop songs,
between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and fantastic sets and utterly outrageous
back accompanied by 10 of the country’s finest costumes, plus up-to-date jokes and lots of
comedians. The round trip includes 10 opportunities for audiences to participate
back-to-back gigs happening in each of the and boo the baddies. Elizabeth Sneddon
10 carriages. It’s also massively unapologetic Theatre, 6 December–6 January,
and completely uncensored, so strictly for
adults only.
7 You can expect gin on the menu at all
4 He sings about coming out to his dad, sorts of events this summer, including
about his love for his sister, and about the Joburg’s annual Gin & Tonic Festival being
desperation of adolescent longing… Yup, held at 1 Fox Junction in Newtown on
Calum Scott knows how to put a lump in your 1 December. Over 50 gins from around NOVEMBER 2018 27


8 the world will be showcased so definitely Française’s Cyrano de Bergerac (in the original Words: Keith Bain, Pictures: Tobias Ginsberg, Manuel Harlan, Nardus Engelbrecht, Jesse Kramer, supplied
9 arrange a designated driver. Multiple music French with English subtitles) is on 16
10 stages and plenty of delicious food, too. December.
11 Yes, there will be cider at The Cape
12 8 On page 132 you can read an excerpt Town Festival of Beer. Loads of craft cider, in
from a new autobiography by Mzansi’s queen fact. Plus blondes, IPAs, amber ales, crisp
14 of comedy, Tumi Morake. You can also see her Pilsners, and an array of supposedly trending
13 live this month in her show with comedy’s ‘sour beers’ such as the Wild Raspberry from
modern traditionalist Ndumiso Lindi (aka Fraser’s Folly and the Devil’s Peak It Takes
28 NOVEMBER 2018 Roosta). It’s called Married…But Not To Each Two to Mango. Over 60 breweries will be in
Other and it’s at the Baxter Theatre, Cape attendance with more than 200 different
Town on 16 November. beers to sample, so don’t forget to eat – and
leave your car at home in favour of public
9 This five-piece indie band is Sunset transport. Or make use of the massively
Sweatshop and they hail from Bellville. They discounted rate being offered for rides on
make really intriguing music that brings Taxify. Hamilton’s Rugby Club, Green Point,
together goema, reggae, traditional 30 November–2 December,
boeremusiek and marabi. On page 69 you can
find out what makes Bellville tick, and on
17 November you can catch these guys – 12 It pays to be a local this summer. South
along with other Bellville stalwarts like Africans (with valid ID) can head up Table
Francois van Coke – at Liefde by die Dam Mountain for half price after 6pm. The
which happens at Meerendal in Durbanville Cableway’s Sunset Special runs from
(also north of Cape Town). Also lined up are 1 November until 20 December, and again
Die Heuwels Fantasties, Koos Kombuis, from 3 January until 28 February.
Valiant Swart, Spoegwolf, Tarryn Lamb and
amazing Port Elizabeth rapper, Early B. The
whole shindig is being MCed by comedian 13 Cape Town’s annual Wavescape Surf &
Schalk Bezuidenhout (don’t miss his movie, Ocean Festival runs for three weeks from
Kanarie, currently in cinemas). Festival 19 November, kicking off with an exhibition of
organisers will be collecting blankets for surfboards decorated by artists and designers.
needy people – simply bring your picnic The boards will be auctioned for charity at the
blanket and leave it behind after the concert. Jack Black Brewery in Diep River on 28 November. The festival includes film
screenings at the Labia (and on Clifton beach
10 Ah, young love… that ends in tragedy! On on 1 December), plus a beach clean-up and
2 December you can catch the filmed version other events.
of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s
production of Romeo and Juliet as part of the 14 Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved tale about
Fugard Bioscope’s World Arts Cinema a girl who loves books and runs rings around
Season programme. Theatre, opera and all the awful adults in her life, Matilda the
ballet performances filmed on stages in the Musical was commissioned by the Royal
UK will be screened on various Sundays Shakespeare Company in 2010 and has been
throughout summer. The Royal Ballet’s a huge hit in London and New York. It’s finally
Mayerling is on 9 December and Comédie- here, too, with Stephen Jubber and Claire


Taylor as Matilda’s cretinous parents, Ryan 18 A founding member of a cappella group 15 16
de Villiers as the murky Miss Trunchbull, and The Soil, Samthing Soweto is among the 17
Nompumelelo Mayiyane as Mrs Phelps, the artists who will perform at The Strongbow 19 18
loveable librarian. The show’s in Joburg at Big Picnic happening at The Station in 21
The Teatro at Montecasino until 2 December, Newtown, Joburg on 24 November. The
after which it goes to Cape Town until award-winning artist will share the limelight
mid-January. with the likes of Tresor and Kid Fonque for an
enormous party being co-hosted by MTV.
15 A variety of singers, dancers, clowns,
mimes and illusionists will gather at the
V&A Waterfront for the Cape Town 19 He’s had a comedy career spanning over
Buskers Festival from 1 to 11 November. three decades and made his big-screen
Performers can be seen in action between debut in the outrageous Mel Brooks spoof
noon and 7pm at the Amphitheatre, on Robin Hood: Men in Tights when he was just
Nobel Square, at the Clock Tower, around 19. Dave Chappelle is a mega-comedian
the NSRI tree and in the Silo District. and he’s finally coming to Mzansi for his first ever performances in Africa. He’ll be at the
Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town on 27
16 These four beefy lads are collectively November, at the Durban ICC on 4
known as Dirty Moonshine and they’re December, and at the Teatro at Montecasino
performing at Beefstock, a three-day rock in Joburg on 5 December.
festival happening at Bosheuvel Country
Estate in Nooitgedacht near Joburg. The 20 Kick-ass gqom duo, Distruction Boyz, are
venue is in fact a cattle stud farm and there’ll among the headliners at One Source Live
be lots of beef steaks being consumed 2.0, Absolut Vodka’s festival dedicated to
alongside performances by Francois Van music, art, fashion and photography. There’ll
Coke, CrashCarBurn, Hellcats, Springbok be performances and installations and
Nude Girls, Wonderboom, The Black Cat exciting collaborations by the likes of Khuli
Bones and many more. 23–25 November, Chana, Sho Madjozi, Sjava, Trevor Stuurman and Osborne Macharia. Plus hip-hop
maverick Shane Eagle, Nigerian superstar,
17 Following a run in Cape Town, the stage D’banj (aka Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo) and
adaptation of Mark Haddon’s incredibly legendary kwaito act, Trompies. 1 Fox Street,
moving novel, The Curious Incident of the Joburg, 17 November,
Dog in the Night-Time transfers to Pieter
Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre in Joburg. It 21 In Life Begins, Riaad Moosa – South
stars Kai Brummer as Christopher Boone, Africa’s funniest qualified non-practising
a 15-year-old who describes himself as medical doctor – tackles the age-old theory
‘a mathematician with some behavioural that life only really gets going once you’ve
difficulties’ – whether he has Asperger’s hit the 40-year-old mark. He has two
syndrome or is a savant is never clear, nor is shows in Durban – at Stanmore
it the point. The play is wondrous and Regional Hall, Phoenix on
includes incredible lighting and digital effects 16 November, and at Rajput Hall
to illuminate the boy’s interior world. Arena Park, Chatsworth on
7 November–2 December, 17 November. 20 NOVEMBER 2018 31


Janice Honeyman’s
Snow White at The

Mandela Stage, Joburg

Theatre, 3 November–

23 December.

’Tis the season to be jolly – and silly, ridiculous and just
plain over the top. Trevor Crighton goes behind the curtain

of Snow White, this year’s beloved Jozi pantomime NOVEMBER 2018 33

he only thing more outrageously silly, a man), a despicably villainous villain, he’s spent in many a Dame’s
utterly far-fetched and completely and an officious bumbling fool – who bloomers on stage – that
over the top than the annual end up stealing the show. This time the gap between the children’s
Christmas pantomime at the Joburg round, it’s panto regular Desmond humour and the jokes pitched at the
Theatre is the reality of everyday events Dube playing the implausibly-named adults has narrowed. ‘Kids are getting
in topsy-turvy South Africa. That’s worth Dame Dolla Diddledaddledoodledragon, more sophisticated and worldly, so we
remembering, since most of the madder comedian Ben Voss as a particularly have to work hard to keep things smart,
moments in Janice Honeyman’s script for pernicious Wicked Queen Hildegonda without going over the edge.’
this year’s festive blast are drawn from Hoggenham, and talk radio legend John That said, Dube admits that ‘the edge’
this reality. From camera-phone wielding, Robbie as The Major-Dumb-Ou of the is pretty slippery. ‘Listen,’ he says,
racist-level stupidity to fire-pool-grade Royal Palace of Cool Cornucopia. ‘I’m a guy, playing a black woman, with
absurdity, the equal opportunity offenders blonde hair – she’s ludicrous. She doesn’t
in this year’s farce – Snow White – spare Dube has come a fair way since playing have a real world to root herself in, so
nobody, all while operating at a level a mouse in his first panto, after the show’s she dips into everyone else’s. Imagine
of slapstick that’ll keep youngsters executive producer Bernard Jay spotted the weirdest mother figures you know –
enthralled. him in the not-even-remotely-similar role and that’s who she is.’
And while everyone will have their of ‘young Octavius’ in Shakespeare’s Julius While Dube had already been plotting
eye on the character-building romantic Caesar at the Joburg Theatre. ‘It’s great his character’s quirks and building
relationship between the Princess and her to play a completely OTT character,’ he her personality for over a year before
hunky Prince Chuck B Charming (played says. ‘Pantos are fantastic for the audience rehearsals began, panto greenhorn Robbie
by rising theatre stars Kiruna-Lind Devar because of the amazing stage mechanics knew very little about his character
and Tshepo Ncokoane), it’s usually panto’s and the sheer spectacle of it all.’ until he started working with the rest of
larger-than-life stock characters – such as the cast. ‘Not knowing was part of the
the Dame (who is always played by The other thing that Honeyman’s mystique,’ he says. ‘Janice Honeyman
pantomimes are renowned for is their writes these great characters into the
real-world take-downs. ‘The social and script and there’s a certain evolution
political commentary are some of my during the rehearsal process – but I was
favourite parts of the panto,’ says Dube. in the total opposite position to Desmond
‘We always try to add new lines to reflect in that I didn’t have a clue what to expect
goings-on in the world as the run goes on, until I walked in!’
which is a great exercise for the actors in Robbie was a keen amateur actor as
staying sharp. It’s the end of the year and a child, and his mother used to stage
people want to laugh at themselves, so the pantomime in the Irish village where
you can really push the envelope and help he grew up. The small matter of an
them see the ridiculousness. I learn better international rugby career got in the way
when somebody tells me the truth, laced of a life in the glare of the footlights,
with funny.’

Dube says he’s noticed – over the time


Desmond Dube likens the pantomime to the Comrades Marathon and says that just like the fabled race, every actor should test
themselves on the panto stage once in their career. ‘Like the Comrades, panto is very addictive – if you do it once, you’ll want to do it
again. John Robbie told me he was terri ed, but I think he’s a really smart guy and he has the perfect energy for the show.’ Dube says
one of the most challenging parts of the show is the relentless performance schedule: nine shows a week (three on a Saturday!) for seven
weeks, with over 70 000 people expected to turn up to watch.

34 NOVEMBER 2018


Clockwise from
above: John Robbie as the
beleaguered Major-Dumb-Ou,
taunted by Ben Voss’s Wicked
Queen; Kiruna-Lind Devar and
Tshepo Ncokoane as the Princess
and her Prince Charming;
Desmond Dube’s Dame throws a
skeef look over her shoulder NOVEMBER 2018 35


and though he’s played two stage cameos eternity away – but you turn around BERNARD JAY TALKS ALL
– as part of the general chorus in Aida in twice and it’s on the doorstep! If I give you THINGS PANTOMIME
front of 40 000 people at Loftus Versfeld R10 000, can you get me out of it?’ he
and a one-off appearance as Sir Not- jokes, nervously. Snow White is a 19th-century
Appearing-In-This-Show in Monty Python’s German fairy tale, originally
Spamalot – Snow White will be his first Robbie says he’s already made every published by The Brothers Grimm in
recurring role, having being tied to daily mistake in the book on both radio and the 1812 as Sneewittchen in the first edition
radio for 30 years. ‘The second phone call rugby field, so he’s intrigued to take up of their collection Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Its
I got after 702 announced my retirement the challenge of righting the ship when stage history stretches back to 1912 when
was from Bernard Jay. He said I had no things go awry on stage. ‘Listen, we’re not it debuted on Broadway, and then on the
excuse now and that I had to be involved performing Othello here – my biggest fear silver screen, as a silent film in 1916.
in the pantomime,’ says Robbie, who is just remembering lines. As you’ll find Walt Disney is responsible for the
admitted during the show’s first costume when you hit 60, your memory can start tale’s global popularity. The
photo shoot that he was pretty scared to go. Hopefully everything is ingrained animated Disney film, Snow White and
to be appearing on stage. ‘That call was after a month of rehearsals and it’ll the Seven Dwarfs, was released at
nearly two years ago and it seemed an all come to me like my favourite rugby Christmas in 1937. It was the first feature
stories do!’ length ‘cartoon’ ever and premiered at
Radio City Music Hall in New York,
becoming one of the biggest box office
successes of the era and giving the Disney
studio the basis to become what it is
today. To date, the lifetime global box
office takings for the animated movie
stand at around $418 million, unadjusted
for inflation – and that’s despite Disney’s
wife warning him that ‘No one’s ever
gonna pay a dime to see a dwarf picture.’
Shortly after the film was released
in the UK, the first stage
productions of Snow White appeared,
with the licence of Walt Disney. They
were faithful reproductions of the Disney
film, but soon took on a more
pantomime flavour, with specially-
written plots and characters included to
fit in with the genre.
Janice Honeyman first wrote and
directed her pantomime Snow
White and the Seven Dwarfs at the
Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein in
1987, featuring Dorothy Ann Gould and
James Borthwick. The production was
revived in 1991 at the Alexander Theatre,
and appeared for the first time on stage at
The Johannesburg Civic Theatre as Sno
White and The 7 Dofs in 1998 and then as
Snow White in 2008, starring Tobie
Cronjé and Bianca Le Grange.

36 NOVEMBER 2018



CAPE TOWN - 16,17 & 18 APRIL




A new David Kramer t wasn’t memories of rustling
musical is afoot. fabric, the gentle breeze of
Maryke Roberts dance couples brushing past or
puts on her a woman’s lingering perfume that
ballroom shoes first inspired David Kramer’s new musical.
It was the rubber filings.
NOVEMBER 2018 39


‘I wonder to this day why they put I meet the legendary musician, together MAKING MUSICALS
filings on the cement floor of the with Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, the
Worcester Yacht Club clubhouse. theatre’s resident musical director, to Kramer says that for him, a story
I suppose it was so couples could talk about their latest collaboration. It’s begins when something ‘demands to
glide better.’ a story of love and intrigue set in Cape be dealt with.’ ‘The idea comes out of
Town’s ballroom dance culture in the nowhere and it hangs at the back of
Kramer’s parents were club members 1960s. Like all things of that era, there's a my mind for a long time. Before
and he recalls that after a whole hard edge too and that is the bigger tale: I embark on the writing, the idea
Saturday of sailing, the braai fires were how, with the threat of the new apartheid must live in a “story world” that lends
lit, and the clubhouse was transformed laws hanging over their heads, people did itself to a musical. I don’t know what
into a dance hall. ‘Then a trio or quartet almost anything to survive. the story is when I start. For this
like the Johnny Lyners Blue Moon Jazz show, I wanted a story set in the world
In their show, ‘langarm isn’t the sokkie- of langarm with a cross appeal and
Band or Willie’s Starlite Orchestra sokkie dancing that many Afrikaans- a theatricality to it. Then I choose the
would be set up in the corner. speakers might assume,' says Kramer. period. I have done musicals around
The children would sit quietly in ‘The play is set in District Six in the 1960s District Six and wanted something
awe of the musical instruments where a big Latin influence was present with a more Jewish influence. The
while the musicians played in the music of the Cape. It tells the story best way to describe the process is
foxtrots and waltzes. That around those kinds of dance bands with that it’s like a crossword puzzle. You
romantic notion struck me brass arrangements.’ write a broad outline and then
as a young boy.’ the pieces start to fall into
It’s in the foyer of the ‘I’m no playwright,’ says Kramer. ‘I’m place after various re-writes.
Fugard Theatre that a storyteller.’ After my initial isolation for
writing, we workshop with the
choreographer, musical director
and others. Then the re-writes
and refinement start. This process
can take anything from a year
to much longer before the
audience gets to see it.’

Kramer comes from a songwriting
background and always sang his own
songs. ‘It was not until Barney Simon
from the Market Theatre made me
understand that I’m a storyteller and
suggested other people sing my songs,
that I started writing in the first instead of
the third person. I loved the challenge and
it led to District Six. Musicals are populist
works – all about storytelling. That is
what I do.’

40 NOVEMBER 2018


And they’ve allowed Written and directed by ‘When I first heard the with those kinds of moves in mind;
him to explore deep David Kramer, and starring music of the Bueno Vista songs with a variety in tempo.’
issues. ‘In the 1930s, Rushney Ferguson and Cameron Social Club, it reminded
Botha, Langarm plays at The As for the performers,
Fugard Theatre, Cape Town, Lingenfelder says the most
important part of the job is
from 20 November. communicating the meaning of the lyrics to the audience. ‘We
don’t want them to just sing the
Rodgers and Hammerstein me so much of the music song; but rather to let the audience feel
the subtext. At the end of the day, I don’t
changed the idea that of District Six. I was not part believe in the superficiality of musical
theatre – the technique, the training, the
musicals are frivolous and we of that world, but Taliep, a great presentation – I’m interested in something
deeper, something beyond the obvious.
saw that political and social subjects in raconteur, made that time come alive in We know you can sing, but we need you
to drop that act and focus on the story of
musicals could be tackled. The advantage my memory. Were he still alive, I am sure the song.’

is that the songs create an emotional we would have done this musical.’ Kramer says this focus on story is
why he and Lingenfelder gel so well.
space where the character can express Lingenfelder (pictured above) says ‘I love working with Charl-Johan because
not only is he wonderfully musical with
feelings in an internal monologue and it he is grateful for the eight years before the ability to take the simplicity of my
songs and arrange them into something
is totally acceptable. It allows you to deal TV came to South Africa. That was amazing, but he views musicals the same
way I do.’
with gut-wrenching issues.’ ‘an analogue time where music was
Kramer says musicals have also
Langarm is no different. In it, we travel important,’ he says. ‘My father – a huge allowed him to interrogate his own
personal awakening. ‘The story in the
back to 1965, to when this country boeremusiek fan and especially musical creates the opportunity to
re-investigate the lies of the past and re-
deemed it unlawful for a man who was a Japie Laubscher fan – always had music discover the hidden history. We were lied
to and indoctrinated and this was a strong
white to dance with a woman who was playing somewhere in the house. I grew motivation for me; that what we knew,
was not the truth. Forgotten, unspoken
not. Such historical reality provides the up in Villiersdorp and Friday night dances history becomes a hot topic again. It
affected so many families; a devastating
sustained tension against which the more on farms were the thing in those days. impact we knew nothing about.’

intimate, personal dramas play out – and And when I lived in Belhar on the Cape Langarm is topical, he says, because
these stories are part of who we are. ‘We
an emotionally charged environment in Flats for a couple of months later in my may have had separate facilities during
apartheid, but we shared the experience.’
which the music and dancing takes place. life, the music of Bobby Hendricks and If only the shared experience of history
was as easy to glide over as a concrete
Pictures: Daniel Rutland Manners Neither Kramer nor Lingenfelder Judy Boucher was the soundtrack of the ballroom floor smoothed over with
rubber filings…
have personal experience of the dance neighbourhood.’

halls. Aside from childhood memories of Further research was left to Grant van

Saturday nights at the Worcester Ster, the show’s choreographer who is a

Yacht Club, much of Kramer’s competitive ballroom dancer.

inspiration derives from the ‘I told him that we need waltzes,

stories shared by his late friend foxtrots, rambas and vastrap in the

and colleague Taliep Petersen. musical,’ says Kramer. ‘I wrote songs NOVEMBER 2018 43


South Africa’s most bankable
film star, Leon Schuster, is
back with another roll-in-the-
aisles comedy. This time, he
and director Gray Hofmeyer
have rhino poachers in their
crosshairs. We asked the man
synonymous with rainbow
nation slapslick to take us
behind the scenes – of the

movie and his life

poacherTHERE’SA NOVEMBER 2018 45


When we shared a draft of the Leon Schuster’s because I play a chef and
screenplay with tjommies in the latest collaboration with Gray said: ‘a thin chef is
industry, most okes said, ‘ja, this can writer-director Gray Hofmeyer a kak chef’, so I went on
work, but it’s totally different from what is an adventure pairing a loveable an eating spree months
you’ve done before.’ That motivated old man named Sonny Frank with before the shoot.
me ’cause I purposefully set out to a 10-year-old boy named Fearless I guess I overcame my fear of
make something ‘different’. I’m gatvol on a quest to teach rhino poachers a playing naked – even though I
of getting snotklaps and annoying the lesson. It’s called Frank & Fearless was doing this with a crew of 50 people
public to get a laugh. I don’t want my and opens in cinemas across around me. It was inevitable that they’d
epitaph to read ‘Leon couldn’t take the see me starkers as I made my way to the
last klap’. the country on river, covering the old crown jewels with
I was extremely nervous on the 23 November. my hands. That’s the kind of sacrifice
first day of shoot. Probably you make for the movies.
because I was performing little actor. I didn’t want to come out I think it’s the first movie I ever made
alongside Themba Ntuli, looking like a poepol playing opposite where you’ll need a tissue to wipe a
such a brilliant, natural him. But his talent really inspired tear. The scene where the mother of
me, made me determined to pull my Fearless’s little friend, a baby rhino,
weight, and that’s when you start is killed by poachers, is obviously
feeling confident. It ended up being an extremely emotional. So it’s not your
effortless role, except for some visual normal run-of-the-mill Schuster movie
stunts that caused a lot of damage to where there’s candid laughs all over
my 67-year-old bones! the show. It’s a mixture of drama and
The opening scene, where I’m naked comedy, and there’s something for
everyone from eight to 80.
on a bicycle and end up ruining My taste for comedy came from
a bush wedding, counts among growing up in a laughter-filled
my favourites. That’s despite household. My mom, now 96, is a
the fact that I hate playing prankster, and my brother Johann has
naked, especially when I’m a great instinct for pranking, too. Once,
overweight. I had to be when I was in Standard Five, he threw a
live snake on me while I was sitting on

46 NOVEMBER 2018

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