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Published by tasch, 2020-01-27 06:57:47

Khuluma Mag Feb 2020

Keywords: Khuluma,Mag,Khuluma Mag,Feb,Travel

PICASSO HEADLINE take me home please February 2020


with Chomi Ya Jeso

FOR THE MENU see pages 4 & 5



E lon Musk is the epitome of an innovative ‘hooligan’. He keeps pushing the boundaries – and our conservative buttons – and
in the process is changing the future of global mobility. His reimagined – and seemingly futuristic – technologies will help
revolutionise not only how we get from point A to point B but also improve cityscapes, urban planning and land usage, while
positively impacting health and security.
More than ever before, we are equipped with the means to create cities in which it is pleasurable to live, work, travel and
play. Research shows that denser cities are actually greener, more cost effective and less impactful on the environment as
people can reach more places on foot. Low-density cities like Joburg and Los Angeles require people to drive longer distances
which encourages more private car ownership. This makes cities less liveable for older, poorer and differently abled residents
– and there’s a greater toll on the environment. Those living outside of the city core have reduced access, are more isolated,
have fewer amenities and experience reduced employment opportunities. Those without access to transport tend to be
constrained economically.

South Africa as a country suffers from poor mobility, especially in our low-density cities – a problem that emanates from our
unique geographical history. The reality is that most people commute long distances between home and their place of
employment. In South Africa, low-income families can spend between 43 and 60% of their salaries on transport alone.
Traffic jams, meanwhile, cost between 2 and 4% of GDP through lost time and wasted fuel. These transport-related
problems also contribute to health conditions such as stress and obesity, while road accident figures in South
Africa are some of the highest in the world – 1 million are reported each year. Many commuters, whether on the
road or using public transport, are exposed to crime – perpetuated by a different kind of hooligan.

What we need, though, are more of the Musk-minded disruptors. We need innovators who recognise
the direct link between mobility and issues such as health and safety, and that most precious
resource: time.

Digitalisation, electrification, automation and short-distance flights are revolutionising transport systems.
Car sharing, for example, has already disrupted the traditional taxi industry with apps like Uber, Bolt and
Lyft. Similarly, in-vehicle connectivity trends like Waze are improving traffic behaviour by directing cars away
from congestion, alerting drivers to hazards and analysing data from each car in the network to improve road
safety. Some countries have apps enabling one-click payment for all bus, train, taxi and bicycle fares.
As we know, Musk has helped greatly advanced vehicle electrification, which will ultimately shift the
automotive industry’s carbon footprint. Another new frontier for car technology was reached in 2019
when autonomous driving hailed the start of the driverless age.

Several companies are even unveiling small passenger drones and flying cars. At last
year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota trialled new types of transport – from electric scooters to
automated electric buses that will move athletes around at this year’s Olympics.

The future is here – the trick is to avoid getting left behind.

Wrenelle Stander, CEO: Comair Ltd FEBRUARY 2020 3


What urban transport needs is Bad characters make for OTHER DIABOLICAL
a burst of hooligan inventiveness. great entertainment. CONSEQUENCES OF
20 NATURAL-BORN HOOLIGAN 41 SUCKER PUNCH Swing your mood with food.
Differently wired, comedians are For the cinematic ride of the year,
meant to disrupt the status quo. get in the ring for a few rounds in EXPLORE
Knuckle City.
Don a pair of purple budgie
25 TRIPWORTHY smugglers and set off through
Witness high-flyers harnessing Joburg on foot.
nature’s hooligan forces.
27 ON OUR RADAR Six dastardly destinations that came
Go back in time at The Fugard, get back from the brink.
hit in the face with cake at Ultra,
sign up for an off-road triathlon, 73 THREE COMEDIANS WALK
or ride the Knysna Bull. INTO A SPA
Warning: manscaping in progress.


Take a hike, coffee! It’s time for tea.

The writing’s on the wall,
and that’s not all.

Step inside for a dose of
parliamentary disorder.

They’re making
art to change
the world.


Keep moving, humans.

When tattoos went mainstream.

From a rude album by a naughty
rapper to an iconoclastic red wine
and a hippie drink laced with CBD.

A fistful of high-flying entrepreneurs.

Taking out gangsters one museum at
a time.


10 FEBRUARY 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
Cover Photographer and Retouching Sven Kristian

Makeup Artist Nicole Grant

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, 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

Joint Chief Executive Comair Ltd Wrenelle Stander
Joint Chief Executive 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.



Virtual classes by qualified teachers for homeschooled learners

Many learners find that they do not fit into the current school curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African public
system. However, the 21st century has paved the way for an schools,) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) upon
alternative form of education that is facilitated by the latest successful completion of their matric exams, but the curriculum is
technology and offers a new and innovative option for learners of aligned to the superior standards of the IEB. At the helm of the
the digital age. Brainline Team is co-founder and CEO Coleen Cronje.

For more than 30 years, Brainline has been a leader in the area “Home education in South Africa has experienced significant
of home education, with a virtual school that offers virtual classes growth over the last few years. Several factors have driven
as well as assessment from Grade 1 to Grade 12. These classes this growth as an alternative option, ranging from increasingly
are presented by qualified teachers with all the elements of a sophisticated distance e-learning technology to an ever-growing
traditional school, but adapted to your own lifestyle. network of tutors. Because it’s based on individual needs, home
education can provide a safe space for children who may have found
Brainline is recognised by the Independent Examinations the traditional schooling environment challenging,” says Cronje.
Board, which means that learners follow the South African national


“Another aspect of Brainline that makes it possible to fit in
school and a very busy training and competition schedule is the
fact that the term planners and tasks, tests and exam rosters
are available long in advance. That way, Zoe can complete and
submit assignments ahead of due dates, so as not to interfere
with competitions. It is a tough curriculum, so she still has to
work very hard and diligently.” – Roelof Steyn, parent

Live your dream with Brainline!Enrol now for 2020!


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Sharing the love! Check out our social
pages for all things romantic and enter
our Valentine’s competition. #kululaLove



P ranksters? Perhaps. Tricksters? Maybe. I’m fortunate to have a comedically wired brain. Interview: Keith Bain, Picture: Sven Kristian
Naughty? Unruly? Troublemakers? Sure. But I can make virtually anything funny – it’s like I’m OlgaLIS/
for me hooligans are simply those people always a few seconds ahead of time, so before I get
who dare to go against the norm. Folks who to the end of a story I know how it must land in
prefer doing their own thing – forging their own path, order to evoke laughter.
rather than compromising themselves to fit into a box.
Hooligans are non-conformists; they go against the grain It’s been like this since childhood and I always
and sometimes they’re social misfits. Once upon a time loved making people laugh although I was a well-
they tended to go in for things like skateboarding and behaved boy. My father was a priest so there was no
graffiti. You might call them hooligans, but I call them way I was just going to be one of those disrespectful
disruptors. Just look how mainstream skateboards and children. My shirt was always tucked in and I was
tattoos have become. Hooligans challenge the status respectful towards elders. I did have a few naughty
quo – not necessarily by doing anything illegal or anti- moments, especially in Grade 7, though. My friends
social, but by deciding for themselves what is ‘normal’. and I were very into video games and in order to
They’ve somehow decided that they’re not going to be finance our habit, which cost 50 cents per game, we
like everyone else. stole empty bottles from people’s yards. We’d sell
them for a few coins so we could play games. One
South Africa is a hooligan country. You just have time, we got brave and stole some guy’s braai stand
to look at the stuff we do on social media. If there’s which we sold at the scrapyard. He knew it was us
load shedding, we make funny videos about it. We joke and ended up chasing us through the streets, which
about everything – it doesn’t seem to matter what the we thought was hilarious.
situation, we have a way of joking about it. We look at
things a bit differently. We are crazy here in South Africa. I’ve had a relatively incident-free adulthood – so
far. I did once go home with this lady, assuming
Which is possibly why comedy is so big here. she was single. But at four in the morning, some
Comedians, I think, are natural-born hooligans. We guy came knocking at the door and suddenly she
challenge the status quo because it’s our job to think threw a duvet over me and told me to keep very still
differently about things, to zoom in on issues and find the because it was her boyfriend. She opened the door
funny side. We see the craziness in what most people and he stormed inside which ended with me running
take for granted and then we take that crazy and give it home in my underwear. You see this stuff in movies,
new meaning in the form of a joke or a funny story. We but you never imagine it can happen to you. It’s a good
expose the madness in what everyone else presumes to thing I’m enough of a hooligan to be able to look back
be normal. and laugh.

20 FEBRUARY 2020


A childhood fan of
Def Comedy Jam, Limpopo-born
James Mahlokwane, aka Chomi Ya Jeso,
says he later fell in love with the pioneering
vernacular comedy of Mashabala Galane. Having
delayed his stand-up career in order to study
journalism, James won Newcomer of the Year at the
2019 Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards. His career was
kickstarted after covering a Blacks Only Comedy show
as a reporter in 2016. The urge to get on stage was so
strong that he started writing his first jokes when he got
home that night – by 2018, he was lighting up stages.
You can see him live at the Klaar Comedy Show in
Seshego, Limpopo on 28 February. And stay
abreast of his career on Facebook or by
following him on various platforms

@ChomiYaJeso. FEBRUARY 2020 21

Don’t get the wrong idea! It’s totally legit, but
this being The Hooligan Edition, we’re daring you to drink
something different… And while it’s called DOPE, it’s not
what you think. DOPE is a new kind of thirst quencher –
a naturally flavoured non-alcoholic sparkling beverage infused
with CBD. It does come with the added advantage that you
can order it using WhatsApp, making direct contact with your
DOPE dealer. For more information check out,
and – if you live in Joburg or Cape Town – enter our online
competition for a chance to have three packs of a dozen
drinks (that’s 12 of each of the three flavours – watermelon,
pineapple and grapefruit), plus a ‘Have a DOPE day’ T-shirt,
delivered to your door by your friendly neighbourhood DOPE seller.


Being humans, we’re all prone to perspiration – especially in the pits – but none of us
wants to be seen with sweat stains under our arms. Save yourself from looking like a bedraggled
hooligan with a Juvaa Sweat Shirt which is designed with built-in Hydro Guard technology in the
underarm area to prevent sweat from seeping through and creating a mess – not to mention those
hideous yellow stains that form as a result of roll-on products. They’re available for men and
women, and we have two of them to give away to one lucky reader.

For a chance to win any of these prizes, visit and hit the competitions tab


Durban-born Aussie-based Part of a series of parties held in cities all
comedian (and DJ) Kevin Fraser is coming across the globe, there’ll be three Corona Sunsets gatherings
to Cape Town, Durban and Joburg for in South Africa this year. The first happens in Cape Town
three live stand-up shows in March and on 28 March. There’ll be music to dance to, mandalas
to meditate with and a spectacular sunset at the crucial
April. On page 73 you can moment. It’s happening at The Bungalow and Oval Field in
read about his best, worst Clifton overlooking the ocean and headliners for this show
and self-inflicted are North London electro duo Gorgon City, DJ and record
coiffure moments. producer Black Coffee, and international DJ, producer and
And look out for remixer Purple Disco Machine. We have two sets of double
our interview with him tickets to give away.
in the March
khuluma Leading luggage manufacturer Travelite manufactures an
where he’ll ever-changing and expanding range of suitcases and bags designed for
include a the evolving requirements of the modern traveller. The range is available
few clues to from luggage stores such as Frasers as well as leading department
a social media stores around the country. This month, one reader can win this Travelite
competition that Commerce Backpack valued at R1 799.
could score you
free tickets to
see him (and his
hairdo) on stage.

For a chance to win any of these prizes, visit and hit the competitions tab



out & abo
Words: Keith Bain, Picture: Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool
Rather than avoiding the Cape Doctor’s summertime
shenanigans, savvy globetrotting kiteboarders flock to
Cape Town during this windblown spell to take advantage
of the elemental mayhem. The south-easterly’s persistent
hooliganism has made Bloubergstrand one of the most
sought-after destinations on earth for airborne athletes – it’s
the setting for the Red Bull King of the Air, a top kiting event
on the international calendar. ‘There’s no other competition
like it,’ says Oswald ‘Ozzie’ Smith (pictured), one of five South
Africans who’ll be joining the fray this month. ‘It’s special
because it’s a “go as high as you can event” – really extreme.’
‘We’re testing the limits of kiteboarding, showing where
the sport’s future lies,’ says competition director, Sergio

Cantagalli. ‘More than technique and precision, this
competition is also about height and extremity, style and
execution, variety and difficulty. Aside from extreme skill,
competitors go in anticipating a level of danger.’ This year’s
contest sees the return of Dutchman Kevin Langeree who
won in 2019 for the third time. He heads the contingent of six
seeded entrants who automatically qualify for round three
of the competition, while the rest of the field will first fight it
out for a chance to battle against the world’s most fearless
kiteboarders. You can catch the action on Blouberg’s Kite
Beach sometime between 1 and 16 February – provided the

wind’s acting up, of course. FEBRUARY 2020 25





Acting out

Actor Kai Luke Brummer has in the
last couple of years made considerable
impact with his quiet, intelligent
performances and gentle presence.
Following his astonishing stage
performance in The Curious Incident of
the Dog in the Night-Time, he last year
starred in Moffie, the hard-hitting gays-
in-the-military film directed by Oliver
Hermanus. The film premiered at the
Venice Film Festival last September
and will finally be released on local
screens next month – it promises to be
a soul-stirrer, albeit difficult to watch.
Brummer, meanwhile, can be seen in
the flesh this month in the masterful
Athol Fugard play, ‘Master Harold’…
and the Boys, which is being performed
on the occasion of The Fugard Theatre’s
tenth anniversary. Set in a Port
Elizabeth tea room in 1950, the play
explores the fragile friendship between
Hally, a white boy whose father is an
alcoholic, and two black men who
practise their moves for a ballroom
dancing competition while they clean
the tea-room floor. It’s directed by Greg
Karvellas and co-stars Desmond Dube
and Siya Mayola. FEBRUARY 2020 27

Rolex Arts Weekend, Cape Town.
The Baxter hosts a series of
talks, readings, exhibitions and
performances, including two world
premieres in a pairing of veterans with
emerging artists.

Let them eat cake 12–16 International Public
Art Festival, Cape Town.
If there’s one electronic dance music DJ who knows how to channel his Gone are the days when graffiti was left
hooligan instincts it’s Steve Aoki, who may be among the world’s most to hooligans and trouble-makers – now
creative artists according to some music critics. That may be a bit of an it’s legit. Read more about this festival
exaggeration – after all the DJ-producer is still probably best known for his that’s designed to uplift neighbourhoods
habit of throwing cakes at his fans. Some of them have sued. Nonetheless, on page 93.
Aoki is enormously loved for his virtuosity and seemingly boundless energy.
His social platforms receive over 100 million views each month, and as 14–16 Investec Cape Town Art Fair.
one of the most sought-after headliners of music festivals in the world, he Loads of work from contemporary
achieved the Guinness World Record for being the most travelled musician artists, whether well-known or emerging
in a calendar year. Appropriately, there’s a Netflix documentary about his – all under one roof at the CTICC.
life – it’s called I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – and he has penned
a memoir (Blue: The Color of Noise). He’s also an entrepreneur with a hand
in ventures ranging from fashion to gaming, plus there’s a pizza chain, 16 Cape Town Folk ’n
comic book series, podcast (Aoki ‘N Air, which is about Japanese food, Acoustic Music Festival.
culture and music), and a fitness app, Aoki Bootcamp, which provides It’s part of the line-up for the
workout regimens and features streaming videos of Aoki working out Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset
(which he often does after finishing a set, which can be at three in the Concerts, so bring blankets and
morning, or later). Mega-stardom didn’t happen overnight. Aoki started out nibbles.
in the Los Angeles underground music scene back in the 1990s; as a vegan
college student in Santa Barbara, he turned his tiny apartment into a quirky 22 Grande Provence Harvest
concert venue known as the ‘Pickle Patch’ which hosted some incredible Festival, Franschhoek.
musical talent. With four albums under his belt and around 200 shows Tractor rides, grape picking, wine
a year, he’ll be performing at Ultra South Africa for the first time. He’s tasting and a cellar tour. Plus, plenty for
part of a massive line-up that includes Afrojack, Black Coffee, Dash Berlin, children to do, and a harvest table laden
Jamie Jones and DJ Snake. Of course, the festival tends to cover most with delicious fare in the vineyards.
contemporary electronic music bases, and even if you’re not into the music, Booking is essential (021 876 8600) –
you can still get hypnotised by the lasers and sheer endlessness of the it’s R1 000 per couple.
crowds. The festival happens at the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch on
28 February and at Nasrec, Joburg on 29 February.

28 FEBRUARY 2020


22 Lighthouse Festival, Joburg. Acoustics in the park
A big, loud electronic dance music
party happening at And nightclub. This super-talented husband-and-wife duo
And it all goes down again in (Esté and Lourens Rabé) goes by the name
Cape Town – at Soetwater Bottomless Coffee Band. Between them
Resort (where there is actually they play a dozen instruments and make
a lighthouse) near Kommetjie – on enchanting acoustic folk-rock – the kind
29 February. that’s known to reduce audiences to tears.
You can catch them as part of Backsberg’s
29 Muratie Harvest Festival, 11th Annual Picnic Concert Series – five Sundays of outdoors music with lush
Stellenbosch. lawn seating shaded by ancient oak trees and the majestic Simonsberg Mountains as
All the usual harvest festival a backdrop. The Rabés will be headlining the show on 16 February. On 23 February,
activity, plus alfresco lunch and you can see the Blues Broers, and then there’s Arno Carstens on 1 March, Albert
an afternoon of music by the Frost on 8 March, and Easy Freak on 15 March (when the opening act is Bam Bam
Kitchen Jammin Blues Band. Best Brown). Doors open at 3pm, bands start at 4pm and the main acts finish at 7pm. Easy-
to book on 021 865 2330 or to-eat foods (wraps, burgers, fries) and drinks (estate wine, beer and cider) will be on
[email protected]. sale and picnic boxes can be pre-ordered online.,

29 Sexy Groovy Love, Franschhoek. Raga against the machine
Get down and dirty with French
DJ Sébastien Léger along with The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is joining forces
local heroes Bruno Morphet, with acclaimed santoor player Rahul Sharma for a world-
Chris de Vos and Paradise premiere collaborative performance – Symphony of
Citizens. It’s at the Rose Garden at Santoor – that will include Indian ragas, folk tunes, and
Boschendal (technically in Pniel, not light classical music. Sharma, who has been training on the
Franschhoek). trapezoidal 100-string wooden instrument since he was 13,
is known for his innovative and progressive performances,
March taking the santoor beyond its Kashmiri folk music roots
01–05 into the realm of rock, new age and world fusion. He’s
HotChillee Cape Rouleur, collaborated with pianist Richard Clayderman, psy-chillout
Franschhoek. outfit Deep Forest, and jazz saxophonist Kenny G. Along with the 46-piece orchestra,
A five-day cycling tour divided into Sharma will be accompanied by a team of Indian musicians. The one-off show happens
three speed groups and covering at Artscape Opera House on 21 February.
between 100 and 150km each day. Renegade royals

13 Ramfest, Cape Town. IsiXhosa-speaking hippie-Jew comedian Nik Rabinowitz always
Hard music for hardcore people has a lot to say – about life, the universe, fatherhood, gluten
by the likes of The Black Dahlia intolerance, and running rampage through his impending mid-
Murder (yes, it’s a band) and life crisis. On page 73 you can read all about his hooligan antics
Van Coke Kartel. From 6pm till during a visit to one of the country’s most prestigious spas, where
1am at the Hillcrest Quarry. he reportedly got naked for a full body massage. He’ll be fully- clothed, but promises very happy endings when
he joins fellow comedians Tumi Morake, Darren
Maule, Dillan Oliphant, Virgil Prins, Ebenhaezer
Dibakwane and others for Durban’s annual Kings
& Queens of Comedy, happening at the Durban ICC
on 14 February., FEBRUARY 2020 29


Raging bull

Rumour has it that a lone male elephant still
roams the forests around Knysna. He’s not been
seen – not for at least a decade – but there
are footprints and piles of dung, apparently,
to substantiate his existence. Honouring this
solitary pachyderm, the annual Knysna Bull
is a four-day, three-stage solo mountain bike
event notable not only for its stunning trails
and dizzying views but also for the imaginative
location of its race villages. For riders,
supporters and hangers-on, it’s a pretty great
excuse to spend time in an enchanted part of
the country. 19–22 February,

Three kinds of trouble Lest we forget Words: Keith Bain, Pictures: Portobello Productions, Mark Sampson, Deidre Cloete, Supplied

Filling the gap left by Xterra Grabouw which Join the half-marathon or either run
was widely touted as the most challenging or walk the 10km or 5km routes
triathlon around, punishment-seekers can through the streets of the Mother City,
now sign up for the Cross Tri Challenge, clocking poignant historic landmarks
also happening in the Elgin Valley and as you participate in the tenth annual
promising much of the same high-calibre Slave Route Challenge. Serving to
physical slog, gorgeous views and post- raise awareness about Cape Town’s
event satisfaction. It kicks off at the Grabouw often-overlooked connections with
Country Club on 22 February. slavery, the races start in front
of City Hall and take in places of
interest such as the old Whipping
Post (on the corner of Buitenkant
and Darling streets) where slaves
endured corporal punishment;
District Six’s oldest mosque (Al-
Azhar); the windowless Slave Lodge
(now a museum); Long Street’s
Palm Tree Mosque and the Auwal
Mosque (SA’s oldest) on Dorp Street;
the Bo-Kaap; Gallows Hill (where
slaves were executed); and the
Slave Tree Memorial on Spin Street,
commemorating the tree where
public slave auctions were held. It’s
happening on 23 February – with
loads of atmosphere and cheering
supporters to keep you motivated
along the way.

30 FEBRUARY 2020


not wh(It's
o you think it is)

You need a whole lot of twists and turns, convoluted plotlines, and hard-hitting dialogue – plus
some seriously messed-up characters – to create dramatic tension, drive the story forward and
make sparks fly on stage. We pick some of the histrionics, hooligan antics and bad boy (and girl)

action worth catching in local theatres over the next few weeks FEBRUARY 2020 33

Creatures of
the night and
other cross-

Its reputation precedes it. Perhaps the most
liberating musical ever devised, Richard O’Brien’s
The Rocky Horror Show has captured countless
imaginations with its taboo-breaking storyline,
amoral villainy, and ribald songs, not to mention
its cast of flaming-mad characters. From the
batty butler-cum-handyman Riff Raff to the titular
half-brain, all-brawn Rocky, the show’s packed with
the kind of naughtier-than-thou roles most fun-
loving thespians lust after. For Craig Urbani, who
plays the deranged pansexual alien transvestite,
Dr Frank-N-Furter, in the production currently
packing out Joburg’s Teatro at Montecasino, it’s
a dream come true. ‘It’s amazing how my energy
and persona change the minute I get into costume
– it’s a frightening transformation, and it brings
out my inner hooligan big-time,’ he says. ‘Every
night I get to put on women’s clothing, high-heel
shoes and excessive amounts of bad make-up.
And I get to say some very saucy things – naughty
things that are outrageous and outlandish and
that I would never get away with in normal life.
And I get to do this every night in front of people
who are willing me to be as outrageous and
naughty and sassy as I can possibly be! And this
is my job! Do I enjoy it? Yes. Am I loving being bad
and camp and crazy? Yes, I absolutely am. It’s
a gift of a role in a gift of a show and a dream come
true for me. I’m loving it. To quote my daughter,
“Dad, you are looking way too comfortable in those
heels!” What does it mean? I just don’t know!’

Even if you’ve seen the show a million times,
you won’t want to miss this latest – and greatest
– version, playing in Joburg until 1 March.

34 FEBRUARY 2020


The annihilation make light about Hitler, but he responded to criticism by saying
of Adolf that poking fun at the Nazis was his way of wreaking revenge on
them for what they did. Aside from its fearless tackling of 1960s
Mel Brooks is a comic genius, responsible for taboo subjects such as LSD and transvestitism, and its skilful
some of the most fantastically deranged big- character assassination of Adolf, the comedy has great fun
screen comedies ever to see the light of day. evoking a range of other deplorable characters. Brooks claims
His 1967 film, The Producers, is a satirical that Bialystock was partially based on a cash-strapped theatre
account of what it takes to make money in the theatre business. producer who funded his shows by sleeping with his investors,
It’s about a Broadway producer named Max Bialystok (played mostly elderly women.
by Zero Mostel) whose career
is waning and who is convinced Needless to say, The Producers has become something of
by an accountant named Leo a cult classic. In 2001, Brooks took the story full circle and
Bloom (Gene Wilder in a role that adapted it into a Broadway musical – it won 12 Tony awards,
launched his career) that the best including Best Musical, and gave us plenty of catchy show
way to get rich off a Broadway tunes, including ‘Keep It Gay’ and ‘Springtime for Hitler’. You can
show is by producing a big-budget see a brand-new production of the stage version at Cape Town’s
flop – the film in fact coined the Theatre on the Bay from 4 February, or at Pieter Toerien’s
term ‘creative accounting,’ which Montecasino Theatre from 3 April. Funnyman Alan Committie
is the crux of Bloom’s criminal plays Max Bialystok, with Richard White as the creative
scheme. And so the duo set out accountant, Leo Bloom.
to stage the worst show in theatre
history. They find a script for Showmen behaving badly:
a thoroughly distasteful musical From the original 1967 Mel Brooks
entitled Springtime for Hitler – movie which inspired the musical,
written by a former Nazi, few things Zero Mostel (left) and Gene Wilder
could be more inappropriate, they (right) as the theatre producers
presume, but the show turns into aiming to make money by staging
a runaway hit. a flop. Behind them is Kenneth Mars
Brooks, who won an Oscar for as the deranged Nazi playwright
the screenplay (beating, among Franz Liebkind.
others, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:
A Space Odyssey), took
considerable flack for daring to FEBRUARY 2020 35


Bad Bambi horizontals of the northern hemisphere, but also
a super-stripper in Vienna in the 1950s. But I was never
Across South Africa and beyond, Evita too naked! Because I always wore long false red nails,
Bezuidenhout is a superstar, often touted the high-heel shoes, Chanel No. 5 and sometimes – like
most famous white woman in South Africa. But Marilyn Monroe – I kept the radio on.’
there are skeletons in her closet, most notably
her sister, Bambi Kellermann, a dark horse if Every so often, though, Bambi gets a moment in
ever there was one. Lesser-known and seldom the spotlight. Her new show is Never Too Naked,
seen, Bambi never enjoyed the front pages nor in which the story of a sophisticated and powerful
did she ever serve as a diplomat nor work in the kitchen at Luthuli woman who took on her world with irony, humour
House where Evita oversees the supply of koeksisters to the ANC and truth is told. ‘As a boeremeisie from Bethlehem
elite. Bambi left the little town of Bethlehem in the Free State as in the Free State, it was a long walk to that freedom
a conservative, sweet and religious virgin to forge a career in the for me,’ Bambi told khuluma in a recent interview.
northern hemisphere. The career, of course, was as a stripper. ‘I’m ‘Everything I became was in contrast to what I was told
very honest about what I was,’ she says. ‘Not just one of the grand at school and in church. “Sies” was the password!
My cat is now called Siesa. I chose my career. No-
one forced me. And long before #MeToo, I knew how to protect
myself from the men who forced themselves on me. No matter
how big and strong they were, there was always one soft place
where I aimed my handbag with the brick inside. They all folded
up like old deckchairs.’
While Bambi says she’s a fighter for women’s rights and for
the rights of the sex-working community, she continues to be
marginalised and ignored by her sister, Evita Bezuidenhout. ‘I really
hope my sister reads this interview,’ she said. ‘Evita has often
answered questions about me – her own sister – by saying, “My
sister is dead!” Well, no, I am maybe 80 years old, but dead? Old
strippers never die; they just forget where they put their clothes!’
You can see Bambi in the, um, flesh, at The Fugard Theatre,
Cape Town from 24 March until 11 April.

By definition, ‘amateur hour’ refers to ‘a situation or activity
Cape Town’s small-but-impactful theatre above the Alexander
Bar on Strand Street has undergone a transformation and is now in which the participants show a lack of skill, sound judgment,
known as the Courtyard Playhouse. You can expect similar or professionalism’. In theatrical terms that means you get
levels of provocation and vice, though, including these two a bunch of lacklustre, untrained, half-skilled performers on
upcoming shows… stage and hope they won’t embarrass themselves in the
process of boring an audience to sleep. Of course, you put
WOOLWORTHS that concept in the hands of professional thespians like
A dark and outrageous choral satire that uses the Glen Biderman-Pam and Jemma Kahn, and you end up with
poetry of its words to take a long, hard look into the heart of a show that might be deliberately shambolic, but is somehow
what it means to be a white, middle-class South African. While utterly entertaining as it lovingly celebrates amateurism.
breathtakingly funny and smart, it’s also a shocking exposé of Just don’t ask us to explain what it’s about. 4–28 March,
what’s behind the masks of power, wealth and exclusivity that so
many of us cling to. 12–29 February,

36 FEBRUARY 2020


rBohahepmsoiadnyIn the tragic Puccini opera, La Bohème, ‘I don’t intentionally try to shock audiences,’ says Wild, ‘but Words: Keith Bain, Pictures: Supplied
I do try to stage things in a way that will wake people up a bit.’
4 a bunch of young, poor bohemians –
basically artistically inclined hooligans, Often the objections come from audience members with
hedonists and misfits – make art, quarrel, preconceived notions of how opera should look, says Wild.
make up, break up, and dream that there ‘People have these romantic illusions about what opera and
will always be another tomorrow. They are impetuous in love, classical works should look like. I think visual surprise is
spend their meagre rent money on partying, and occasionally part of keeping people invested in the story, keeping their
sing naughty songs. minds working. I love working with anachronism, putting
things together that don’t quite fit.’ His Don Giovanni featured
La Bohème was first performed on 1 February 1896 in Turin, a foam party rave scene, for example, where a couple of
Italy, and has since enjoyed breathtaking popularity – it was first chorus members stripped down to their underwear. ‘If you’ve
adapted into a movie in 1965 and inspired the 1996 Broadway got gorgeous young performers and a limited costume
musical, Rent. Local director Matthew Wild’s innovative budget, and the story calls for it, why not? I’m normally quite
production premiered to critical acclaim in Switzerland in 2018, squeamish about nudity, and it’s important to look at what
and is now coming to Cape Town to kick off the 2020 opera you have to start with. If you have a cast aged 18 to 26, it’s
season. Wild, who directed The Fugard’s recent hit musical, wonderful to have some flesh on stage. Quite a different story
Kinky Boots, has acquired a reputation for bringing an edge if you’re working with a chorus averaging 85 and performing in
to the local opera scene – even courting controversy with his the Brighton Town Hall.’
progressive staging.
Wild believes that certain predetermined ideas about opera
persist. ‘There seem to be people living today who look back
at these classical composers and assume they were like
Buddhist monks, that they had no naughtiness in them. The
reality is that these composers were very practical men of the
theatre, with real human interests. But people today want to
embalm their memory, give them saintly qualities that really
don’t necessarily reflect in their works.’

Considering the theme of impetuous youth in La Bohème,
some of that naughtiness is likely to play out in Wild’s
production. Be warned, though, that it will not end happily for
the young bohemians. Artscape Opera House, 14–22 February,

38 FEBRUARY 2020



Boxing film? Crime thriller? Gangster flick? You get a lot more
than you bargained for with Knuckle City, the fourth feature

from local director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. Keith Bain gets in the
ring for a few rounds with what’s surely the most exhilarating

film you’ll see this year FEBRUARY 2020 41


THE GOOD, THE BAD Christiaan Olwagen’s fourth feature Helmed by director Cathy Yan, this
AND THE MEH… film is based on Elsa Joubert’s Marvel Universe spin-off film follows
seminal novel Die Swerfjare van Harley Quinn – arguably the best thing
42 FEBRUARY 2020 Poppie Nongena (The Long Journey about Suicide Squad – after she splits
of Poppie Nongena), in which she with the Joker and teams up with a band
told the life story of the woman who of female superheroes (Black Canary,
worked in her own home. Olwagen’s Huntress and Renee Montoya, aka the
screen adaptation masterfully Birds of Prey) to save a young girl from
capture’s Poppie’s humanity – and another Gotham City baddie, Black
her strength. In cinemas now. Mask. Opens 7 February.


Every once in a while, Rider’ Nyakama (Bongile Mantsai, pictured
a film comes along that far left) who is at the tail-end of his career,
knocks you right off your on the verge of plunging into obscurity.
feet. This year, that movie While he has avoided a life of crime
is Knuckle City, South Africa’s first ever (pursued instead by his brother, Duke), he
has followed in his father’s footsteps by
boxing movie, and – be warned – it’s just stepping into the ring. Plus, he’s taken on
the role of womaniser, amassing a legion
as raw, unfiltered, and hard-hitting as of illegitimate children in the process.

a punch to the face. It’s seriously thrilling But how to escape this cycle of
frustrated, toxic masculinity where proper
entertainment, although maybe not role models are thin on the ground…
especially in a world where the long, dark,
for you if the sight of blood makes you dangerous shadows of thugs and crime
bosses hang over everything?
queasy or if watching someone having
As the stakes pile up, Dudu finds
their head repeatedly slammed in a car himself on a precipice – his career, his
life and his family all hang in the balance
door is likely to send you running for forcing him to make a potentially lethal
compact with the devil in order to avoid
the exit. Oh, and if you’re sensitive to losing everything. All of this comes
together in a riveting chase towards
swearwords, this probably isn’t your a dramatic finish that will pit Dudu against
a lot more than he bargained for.
cup of tea, either.
It makes for spellbinding cinema,
Knuckle City takes But – yoh! – if you love especially in the hands of a director
its cue from the likes of a movie that really gets under who can make us not only see – but
Snatch and Lock, Stock and your skin, then this one will truly feel – what’s happening on screen.
Two Smoking Barrels – oozing Director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka is a fearless,
testosterone and steeped in have you on the edge of your audacious storyteller who knows how
humour, it grapples with the familiar seat, occasionally gasping for to make cinema work because he was
cinematic intersection between oxygen as you witness that raised on movies, with Spielberg and
gangsterism and boxing. It vital cliffhanger moment right the like steering his creativity towards
opens in local cinemas on near the end when it all comes a place where it’s become second nature
to give visual form to his swashbuckling
28 February.

down to some insurmountable

goal, failing which it’ll all, literally, go

up in flames.

And, as with most boxing movies, what

that means is furious training for that

quintessential, seemingly impossible-

to-win fight – the one where everything

hangs in the balance with the odds

stacked against the hero.

Or, in the case of Knuckle City, stacked

against a tainted boxer named Dudu ‘Night


Naughty writer James Frey was widely criticised (and kicked Siv Ngesi, who plays a boxer in Knuckle
out of Oprah’s Book Club) for selling his semi-fictional City, also stars in this Bollywood-meets-
alcohol-and-drug-recovery story as a memoir. The literary Cape Town romantic comedy. A café
scandal has perhaps blown over, but that hasn’t lessened the owner rallies his community to stave
sense that the film based on his book is a bit of a dud. One off a ruthless property developer who
reviewer writes that ‘Frey's story is intended as a scared- threatens to destroy their neighbourhood.
straight awakening, but feels more like a series of slaps in At the same time, Bhai’s daughter is swept
the face.’ Another says, ‘The James we see is nothing but an off her feet by the magnate’s son, a role
addict – where is his personality apart from the drugs?’ Pity, for which Ngesi dances on the street and
because the book is actually quite good. Opens 7 February. even sings in Hindi. Opens 14 February. FEBRUARY 2020 43


BBOIGXSINCGREFEONR THE Qubeka uses everything in the
filmmaker’s arsenal to drag us kicking
Watching Knuckle City, you’d be forgiven and squirming into the fray
for assuming that Bongile Mantsai is
a boxer in real life. He confirms that he imagination. Qubeka uses everything ‘No matter how serious the subject
really isn’t, although he put in long hours in the filmmaker’s arsenal – including matter, there’s always a tinge of humour
getting himself fighting fit for his role as a heart-thumping soundtrack – to drag in my films,’ say Qubeka, describing
Dudu, a boxer at the end of his career. us kicking and squirming into the fray, this aspect of his work as a tribute to
so that for a couple of hours the entire his grandmother. ‘She had 12 children
‘It took me two months of hard – very universe exists up on that screen. and buried four of them – I don’t know
hard – training with a boxer in Joburg anybody who has had a harder life than
before we made the movie,’ he says. ‘I Fear not. Along with the squirming, her. Yet, through her entire life she
went to Mdantsane a couple of weeks there’s plenty of laughter. It is a very laughed at everything. So the film’s
before we started shooting only to funny film. The dialogue is as punchy humour is both a dedication to her and
discover from the local trainers that also to the spirit of what it is to be alive.
their boxers fight with a totally different as the bouts in the ring and You can define yourself by your trauma,
style. They told me that Mdantsane-style the characters are a real or you can learn from it and move on.
boxing involves a lot of footwork. So I treat. Often, in the way For me, that’s really fundamental: take
had to relearn everything to get my of Quentin Tarantino it, and move on. Don’t define yourself by
technique down. They also told or Guy Ritchie, even your trauma. Laugh at it.’
me I was too pretty to be the potentially
a boxer. So I had to train nasty moments are Much of the violence, though, is no
harder in order to cut my tinged with comedy, laughing matter. Sometimes it’s tough
weight – it was tough.’ the victims shown to watch. Some of the imaginative
as products of their punishments dreamed up by vengeful
Fellow actor Siv Ngesi own ineptitude as they gangsters will make you flinch – as
says his preparation for the will a scene of off-screen screaming
role of Goatee was cast about helplessly in a far insinuating some terrifying torture that
a lot less gruelling. ‘I’ve greater life-and-death narrative. The you’ll be only too glad you don’t have
been boxing for seven perpetrators, too, are sometimes the to witness.
years and have had five biggest bunglers, inept and improbable
fights. So as soon as Jahmil mischief-makers.
told me he was doing a boxing
film, I was all in – it’s been a
dream to do a film like this. I based
my character on Muhammad Ali who
is my biggest life influence. It was pretty
easy to get the character because I’ve
watched every single documentary, every
film about Ali. I just transferred him into
the township environment and channelled
him into Goatee.’


Just what we need for Valentine’s Day – If you watched Netflix’s cerebral sci-fi thriller Altered
a low-key schmaltzy romantic drama Carbon, then you’ll have some idea of what ripped
about a student from Potchefstroom who Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman brings to the
runs off to London in the aftermath of a screen. Not just muscles, but brooding intensity. In this
nasty break-up. And, as always happens British crime thriller, he plays an ex-con and former special
when South Africans go to Europe, she ops soldier recruited by the FBI to use his skills to take
falls for a guy from Namibia. Heartfelt as down the most powerful crime boss in New York. Things go
it may be, it’s hard to get over how insular wrong, of course, and he lands back in prison, on the wrong
the storyline is. Opens 14 February. side of both the law and the bad guys. Opens 21 February.

44 FEBRUARY 2020


In one scene that will make you want to ‘The best part of seeing this movie
look away, Dudu is half-blinded by a mob with my mother in the audience was
of assailants who pour salt into his eyes hearing her go “Ooooh!” after every
while they hold his lids open. The resulting swearword.’ – Siv Ngesi, Goatee
damage to Dudu’s eyes is frighteningly
realistic – a brilliant effect that the make- shot. It really comes alive as Qubeka a movie that looks at the roots and Pictures: Supplied
up department created by having contact unflinchingly digs into its underbelly. causes of ingrained misogyny and toxic
lenses specially designed. ‘Kudos to It’s where Qubeka grew up and he says masculinity, and the cycle of violence
Bongile,’ says Qubeka, ‘because halfway that much of what he experienced there that flows as a result. ‘I was always
through the scenes where we were inspired the film – he says he witnessed fascinated with the headspace of being
shooting him with those contacts in, they first-hand the gangster underworld, but a dinosaur in this modern world,’ says
tore. So he was wearing them while they he was also intrigued by the fact that the Qubeka. ‘I was interested in the idea of a
were really hurting his eyes and he refused township has produced an unprecedented character whose time has passed him by.’
to take them off. He’s one crazy actor.’ number of champion boxers. Qubeka
For many South Africans, Knuckle City
Mantsai’s portrayal of Dudu’s physical says Mdantsane’s residents will be an eye-opener, an insight into
and emotional anguish is among the really came out in support a world unknown and overlooked. But for
film’s many highlights – it’s a devastating of the film, participating many more, the film offers a glimpse at
performance that gets unnervingly close as extras or getting daily life – a mirror up to a society that’s
to the bone. And yet Mantsai says he got involved in the boxing steeped in something toxic.
nothing but joy out of making this training of the main
film. ‘It never felt like work,’ actors. They even Qubeka says he believes in making
he says, although he gave Dudu his films that matter. ‘I think it’s important
jokes that he got badly boxing nickname. to shine a light into the dark corners of
beaten in all his boxing The result of all of our social psyche because that creates
scenes with fellow this is a film that satisfies reflection,’ he says. ‘For any growing
actor Siv Ngesi. ‘Siv’s nation, images that make us reflect upon
a serious boxer and a as entertainment but is our own behaviour are vital. I say there’s
show-off,’ he laughs, also engaging at a deeper level too, enough entertainment that is frivolous –
‘so whenever they called questioning and exploring what it is that some entertainment needs to be poignant
“action” he would moer me makes us who we are, and what it is that and relevant to ourselves. Sometimes we
with everything he’s got. I kept turns ordinary humans into monsters. need to see our own reality reflected back
having to remind him that I’m an actor, For Qubeka, it was important to make to us.’
not a real boxer.’

Another vital character in the film is
Mdantsane, the East London township
where the film is set and where it was


There’s a local twist to this honest-to- Documentary filmmakers Diana Neille and Richard
the-original horror film retelling of the Poplak use interviews and archival footage to weave
well-known Grimm fairy tale. South African- together a thorough investigation into the presumably
born Alice Krige, who is well-schooled in evil hooligan antics of Bell Pottinger, the British public
portraying baddies, plays the evil witch relations firm that – among other despicable projects
Holda who captures teenaged Gretel and – incited racial division in South Africa. It was selected
her much younger brother when they for this year’s Sundance Film Festival (which ends 2
venture into the dark forest in search of food February) and should find its way to South Africa –
and work. Opens 21 February. hopefully – sometime this year. Coming soon.

46 FEBRUARY 2020

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