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Published by tasch, 2017-12-19 05:16:14

Khuluma January 2018

Keywords: Khuluma,Khuluma online,Kulula

PICASSO HEADLINE take me home please January 2018

déjà vu
with Alan Committie
FOR THE MENU see pages 4 & 5



A South African icon

the topVIEW FROM

W hile googling ‘déjà vu’ because I haven't researched this topic before (or
have I?), I was astonished to find that the third entry was for the Deja-vu
Guesthouse in Paternoster. Not that I think I have been there before, but
it is a little known fact that the street plan of Paternoster aligns exactly with the
constellation of Sirius, and it is located at the exact point of a quadrilateral polygon
that joins the great pyramid of Giza with Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. This is
definitely, absolutely true.

Psychologists have tried to prove that déjà vu arises from our association
with similar prior memories. However the inhabitants of the West Coast know
that time is a fifth dimension with all points in time occurring simultaneously,
like all the frames on a movie reel layered on top of each other. Déjà vu is
therefore simply the occurrence of living a moment in sequence that you
previously had a glimpse of out of the proper order – perhaps in that split-
second moment between sleeping and waking.

Although the good people of Paternoster will not openly admit to their
extraterrestrial knowledge of time, if you ask for a really high tech item
(like a 64GB flash drive) at the corner store, you might catch them off
guard and hear the response: ‘Are you Sirius?’.

Erik Venter, CEO: Comair Ltd JANUMARAY 20186 3

Contents 37

16 25 73

Our CEO says this is all starting to feel a book to guide you A festival for non-conformists.
awfully familiar. through the Kalahari, a ballet about
Mozart and Salieri, and a kiteboarder 47 READ BETWEEN THE LINES
16 REPEAT CYCLE who reaches heights that are scary. We Sisonke Msimang’s memoir probes
Cover star Alan Committie has a brain have folksy crooners from Australia, childhood nostalgia; and Claire Robertson’s
that never shuts down, even if the GPS a bride-to-be kugel from Sandton, a historical novel dips into Victorian-era
sometimes needs a reboot. record-breaking comedian from the UK, South Africa.
and the world’s greatest magicians flying
The Guide in from across the globe. Plus on-board 45
sweets, tanzanite-studded earrings and a
25 TRIPWORTHY gathering of classic cars.
Head Up the Creek where Bongeziwe
Mabandla’s voice will transport you across 31 CITY SLICKER
time and space. In Joburg, there’s plenty to do besides
settling back into your routine.
On our radar this month we have a 37 EPICUREAN TALES
foot-stomp festival for the rave crowd Nostalgia can taste bitter or sweet,
and a grape-stomp festival for the wine says Anna Trapido.

8 JANUARY 2018



Features 80

Explore time, space and an innings at Newlands with Alan
Committie; go time-travelling in Paris, Matjiesfontein and a
ghost town in the Namib desert; discover the merits of travelling
the old-fashioned way; and get lost in history across South
Africa. Justin Fox explains why he’ll never stop returning to the
Drakensberg; and Clifford Roberts says it’s time to stop buying
rubbish souvenirs and invest in mementos that mean something.

107 LOCAL HERO 107
It’s time to give back – here’s how a
few big-hitters are doing just that.

Déjà what?

Things to covet, crave & adore

A wise yogi explains how to get unstuck and open
your heart to possibility in 2018 - right here and
right now, on this very aeroplane.

A word from Shimansky about
diamonds and other sparkly things.

128 ROAD TRIP 119
Take a trip down memory lane in one of
Anthony Sharpe’s favourite motorised wagons.

Business is all about human connections.

Red Bull really does give you wings.
Now go fly a kite.

10 JANUARY 2018

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

Head of Design Studio Jayne Macé-Ferguson
Senior Designers Anja Hagenbuch, Mfundo Archie Ndzo

Advert Designer Nichole Liedeman
Production Editor Shamiela Brenner

Cover Photographer Sven Kristian
Make-up Artist Colleen van Rensburg

Project Manager Richard White
khlassifieds Project Manager Steve Norval
Sales Consultants Stephen Crawford, Jay Deary
Bonnie Eksteen, Randall Grace, Janine Hood, Sandile Kani, Nikita Moore, Roxanne Pijper,
Marc Plastow, Andre Potgieter, Roman Ross, Clint Smith, Zelda Stein
Advertising Co-ordinator Vanessa Payne

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
publishers. The publishers are not responsible for unsolicited material. khuluma is published monthly by
Picasso Headline Reg: 59/01754/07. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline,
kulula or Times Media. All advertisements/advertorials and promotions have been paid for and therefore
do not carry any endorsement by the publishers. 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.


A t it’s best, déjà vu brings back a to getting lost within
happy sensation – it’s good to its own compartments. sleep at night, one of the hardest things to Interview: Keith Bain, Pictures: Sven Kristian, MatiasDelCarmine/
know you can relive beautiful The brain stops following the do is shut down each little compartment.
moments over and over again. Equally, GPS and you find yourself back in I have to really work at it, slowly bring
déjà vu could be awful – like when you’re the same place and then you process that down each part of the brain until it’s
stuck in those terrible relationship as a memory. It’s great, because it reminds eventually just a gentle hum – the zzzzzzz
conversations where you’re thinking 'I us that as brilliant and as magnificent of the generator at the bottom, which
can’t believe we're having this discussion as our computerised brains are, they can never switches off. It’s the generator that,
again. And it’s going to have precisely the also stuff up and require rebooting once at three in the morning, will suddenly go
same outcome, which means we’re going in a while. The best place to do this is ‘Eureka! Here’s the punchline!’ So the brain
to have this discussion again.’ I wish those on an island with a warm beach, where is a wondrous and inexplicable thing.
moments on no-one. the sunshine and heat and sounds of the
ocean push you into a waking dream and The real problem with déjà vu, though,
Déjà Vu is actually the name of my you trip out of reality for a while… is that it’s always like a beautiful dream.
favourite character in a ridiculously You wake up and go ‘Ah, that was so...’ - but
funny 1984 movie, Top Secret. He’s this Frankly, though, I don’t need déjà vu as you try to remember it, it’s receding
Frenchman who keeps saying things that to get lost in my brain compartments. from you, like a tide ebbing away. And you
everyone thinks they’ve heard before. don’t even know what it was you dreamt.
As silly as déjà vu can make us feel, My brain never switches off. As That’s what makes déjà vu both a beautiful
it’s actually a useful reminder. It a comedian, you’re constantly and a frustrating sensation. As you try to
reminds us that as powerful as thinking. Over the years, I’ve capture that lovely moment, it’s gone, so
the human brain is, it’s also prone trained my brain to see the you never figure out precisely what it was
world in alternate ways. When about the déjà vu that felt so good. There’s
Catch I see or hear or experience probably a lesson in that. A reminder from
Alan again and something, my brain’s working our magnificent brains that we should
again and again… cross-longitudinally, upside-down live every moment to the full, in real time,
You can (and should ) see Alan parabolically, and in reverse while it’s happening. In real life, there are
Committie in the flesh in his 20th alphabetical order to try and no second chances, no repeats.
one-man show, Planet Mirth, which is come up with a completely
playing at Theatre on the Bay in Cape unobvious take on the
Town until 13 January. He moves situation – trying to find
to Montecasino in Joburg on 19 the unexpectedly funny
January and will be performing and insightful angle on
there until 25 February. it. Certainly, when I go to

16 JANUARY 2018

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Whenever visitors arrive in Yzerfontein, they are overwhelmed by the natural beauty that
surrounds this development, which includes 16 Mile Beach, one of South Africa’s most
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Homes from only

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Free stuff

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Win two sets of double tickets to see
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this month, the show features magic
could win tickets for yourself to see
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them live at the Ticketpro Dome,
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Johannesburg on 2 February or at
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on 14 February. Visit to enter.
Visit to enter.

pictures: xxxxxxx



Make Premier a stay to remember this year and win a two night
weekend away for two people at any Premier Hotels & Resorts
nationwide. Prize includes bed and breakfast and is valid for three
months. Visit our website to enter now.

Win a Glamour watch with a rose gold case, black dial and rose
gold elements from South Africa’s leading denim brand Sissy Win with Fry Group Foods this
Boy. The watch is valued R1695 and embodies Sissy Boy’s unique month. The family-run meat-free meal
styling with innovative materials, colours and finishes, ensuring makers have been going since 1991
ultimate wrist appeal. Visit to enter. and are offering a Fry’s hamper and
vouchers to the value R1 500 this
month. From our kitchen to yours.
With love from the Fry Family. Visit to enter.

20 OCTOBER 2017


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Share, like, love!
Follow us and share those travel selfies! JANUARY 2018 21

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Words: Keith Bain, Photograph: Kent AndreasenGtUheIDE TRIPWORTHY THE GUIDE

ling for worth travel ' M y voice is unconventional,’ says Afro-folk
musician Bongeziwe Mabandla, who is on the bill among the rock bands and riverside
crooners scheduled to enthral revellers at Up the Creek

this month. The singer-songwriter produces music that will
grab you by the seat of your soul and transport you across
time and space, and yet Mabandla, who grew up in the rural
Eastern Cape town of Tsolo, says he never imagined his was
the kind of voice people would want to listen to. Ironically,
it’s his vocal uniqueness that earmarked him for greatness,
and in 2013 earned him two SAMA nominations for his debut
album, Umlilo.
He’s been touring the world on and off ever since,
performing at festivals everywhere from Germany and
Barcelona to South Korea and Japan. And he’s had very
successful tours of Canada and Australia. ‘I guess I’m fortunate
to have the kind of sound that is uniquely African,’ he says,
‘because I perform mostly in isiXhosa and my music includes
quite traditional elements. And that’s precisely what appeals to
audiences overseas.’
Last year, Mabandla released his second album, Mangaliso, which
was produced by Tiago Correia-Paolo, guitarist for 340ml and Tumi
and the Volume, and features Zebra and Giraffe drummer Mike Wright.
The album reveals Mabandla’s evolution as an artist, laying bare his
astonishing sincerity as a storyteller. ‘I describe what I do as
“folk music” because it’s story-oriented. It’s about everyday

situations that everyone can relate to. My message is
always evolving as I grow older. I believe in freedom:
Freedom to be, freedom to speak your
mind, freedom to live your life, freedom
to dream. That’s what I want for my
own life – to be completely free.’
Up the Creek is held on the
banks of the Breede River, near
Swellendam, three hours from
Cape Town. Also performing
are Mango Groove, Mobbing
Bali, Southern Wild,
West Coast Wolves
and Native Young,
among others.
25–28 January,

JANUARY 2018 25



1 Billed as ‘The Best-Selling Magic Plumstead, Cape Town, 20–21 January,
Show in Broadway History’, The
4 Michael McIntyre is among the
2 Illusionists features the talents of seven biggest comedians in Great Britain where
he has his own BBC TV show and regularly
6 of the world’s greatest, well, illusionists. fills stadiums. He’s currently on a world
7 tour, and stopping in South Africa for one
Performers include ‘The Conjurist’, ‘The night only. Ticketpro Dome, Joburg, 20
Manipulator’, ‘The Escapist’ and the
5 Grape-picking and -stomping are part
aptly-named ‘Grand Illusionist’, Darcy of the fun at the Delheim Harvest
Festival, which kicks off the season’s
Oake, who is among the most harvest celebrations on 27 January. Aside
from wine and music, there are also 120
entertaining magicians ever to seats available at the festive harvest feast
table, with lunch at 1pm. Knorhoek Road,
walk the earth. GrandWest, Stellenbsoch,

Cape Town, 7–11 February, 6 Shimansky always has something
classic, something new, and something
3 4 Teatro at Montecasino, blue for you to wear or give as a well-
5 Joburg, 14 February–11 deserved gift to someone you love. If these
March, gorgeous Millennium tanzanite earrings
26 JANUARY 2018 give you pause, flip over to page 124 to
2 A highlight on the horse racing read more about what this South African
calendar, Sun Met returns to Kenilworth jewellery design firm has on offer.
racecourse on 27 January. It’s
considered a suitable time to haul out 7 Stuart Taylor – the comedian with a
your fanciest outfit and strut your stuff knack for interweaving magic into his
at the track. And if you’re keen to try standup routines – has a new one-man
your luck, you can place a bet at
For tickets, visit

3 Petrolheads keen to stroll down
memory lane can catch the 18th
Classic Car & Bike Show. The
fundraiser showcases the
most beautiful antique and
vintage cars around. There’s
more motor vehicle nostalgia on
page 129. Timour Hall Villa,


8 show, Funny You Should Say That, at the one of the greatest composers in history
Baxter, Cape Town, from 22 and his arch-nemesis, Marc Goldberg’s
9 January until 3 February. new ballet, Mozart and Salieri brings a
He’s also performing at contemporary aesthetic twist to the
Spier’s Comedy in the Vines familiar story of artistic rivalry at court in
on 27 January. The outdoor the 17th century. Sets are 3D digital
show is an opportunity projections, while costumes are true to
grab a picnic from the period and lavish. Artscape Opera, Cape
estate’s new deli-style Town, 7–17 February,
Spier Farm Kitchen., 12 Now available for purchase aboard kulula flights, these delicious snack bars
were specifically developed for Comair by
10 8 International EDM music festival healthy meal innovators, Eatrite.
11 Ultra returns to SA to enthral the YumStudio is the company’s ‘naughty’
untz-untz crowd with its mind-bending range and perfect as an on-board treat.
lasers, colourful whizzing lights and a New flavours are created every six months
chance to have your eardrums torn and include Choc-Mint Delight, their latest
asunder. Cape Town Stadium, 9 February, offering. And, of course, you can order
Expo Centre, Nasrec, Joburg, 10 February, from the larger catalogue on eatritefoods. if you wish to stock your cupboards
at home.
12 9 The ultimate guide to driving around Words: Keith Bain, Trevor Crighton, Pictures: Tyrone Bradley, Rukes, Danielle Baguley
the Kalahari has been published. The 13 Known for the timelessness of songs
13 book’s called Kgalagadi Self-drive – like ‘Big Jet Plane’ and ‘Paper Aeroplane’,
Routes, Roads and Ratings, and Australian duo Angus & Julia Stone
everything you need to know about it is in recently released their fourth album,
the title. Meticulous in its detail, it includes Snow, and will perform old and new
stunning wildlife photographs, clear maps, numbers on three dates in SA – at
and solid coverage of places to stay. It’s Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town, on 25
available now from HPH Publishing. January; at Joburg’s Parklife Festival at
Marks Park, Emmarentia, on 27 January;
10 Cape Town’s Oswald ‘Ozzie’ Smith is and at the Durban Botanic Gardens on 28
among the greatest kiteboarders this January.
country has yet produced – and he’s only
21, having achieved extraordinary heights 14 If you aren’t already binge-watching
as a junior on the world circuit. He’s also a the insanely funny Mzansi-made series,
regular at Red Bull King of the Air, Big Tali’s Wedding Diary, you’d better catch
Bay’s annual ‘go as high as you can go’ up. Starring Julia Anastasopoulos (the
event where the sport’s finest tricksters actress behind SuzelleDIY), the eight-part
will compete – read more about it on page show follows self-obsessed Sandton
princess, Tali Shapiro, as she documents
139. the build-up to her wedding – come hell or
high water, every moment will be
11 Based on Alexander Pushkin’s Instagram-worthy.
1830 story about the feud between
28 JANUARY 2018 14


Magic, mystery and a dash of history...
Comeback house
pictures: xxxxxxx
Built as a diamond polishing centre in the
1970s, Hallmark House is having a bit of
a reincarnation, albeit as a hotel that sits
in the heart of Maboneng, Jozi’s poster
child inner city gentrification precinct,
where creative types gather to polish
ideas and hipsters polish off craft beers
and turmeric lattes. Room decor is as cool
as the surrounding area, with pale-hued
wood and calming colours. Luke Dale-
Roberts’ hot ticket Pot Luck Club pop-up is
currently in residence at the Marabi Club
within the hotel – best to book in advance
for a visit. Step outside the confines of the
hotel, and you have an edgy neighbourhood
to explore: Maboneng is the home of cool,
with everything from graffiti to art centres
and photo walks, markets to yoga studios,
and new designer shops. From R1 550 per
night, 54 Siemert Road, New Doornfontein,
011 402 0220, JANUARY 2018 31


Plate after plate

Bringing a bit of inner-city hipster vibe to the leafy suburbs, the
Bolton Road Collection is a restaurant and cocktail bar with a
small menu of punchy, slickly-presented dishes, designer cocktails and unusual
(for Joburg, anyway) wines. Start your evening with an apple julep before tucking into
a quarry of assorted ‘small plates’ such as honey-smoked duck breast or slow roast
beef short rib, before moving onto ‘big plates’ like asparagus arancini, slow-cooked
pork belly or hay-baked cannon of lamb. For dessert, the aerated hazelnut cake is
hard to beat – then again, so is the tonka bean pannacotta. 2 Bolton Road, Rosebank,
011 327 6104,

Over a barrel Bachelors gone wild blades and decide in advance who you’re
going to gang up on to empty your
Whether you wish to teleport to Fancy participating in a ‘Black Ops’ 100-paintball allocation on. Mission
Stellenbosch via a taste of special reserve mission, swooping through Western accomplished, you’ll return to base
Waterford The Jem 2007 or time-travel Joburg in a battle-scarred Alouette and celebrate your successful pseudo-
with a few sips of Kopke Porto 1967, The Helicopter? The team at Helivate can military stint with a T-shirt – and perhaps
Nine Barrels Wine Bar has got you deliver – with an accompanying paintball a cold beverage or two. Krugersdorp
covered. Apart from serving every wine on game in the ‘Hot Zone’ you’ll be dropped Aerodrome, 7 Barta Street, Krugersdorp,
an ever-growing list by the glass, you can into. It’s a bit like playing soldiers when 072 219 3264,
expect rare vintages of popular options you were smaller – except you’ll have to
plus the chance to sample wines from remember to duck under the swooping
less-heralded regions like Lebanon and
Hungary. There’s tapas-style food to go

with the wines – small plates
(beef tataki with quail eggs),
or platters with charcuterie,
cheeses or assorted mezze to
share, and more substantial
meals such as their rosemary
lamb lollipop, which, so we’re
clear, is not for sucking on.
You could also opt for the full-
blown seven course tasting
menu, which comes with
paired vino, of course. Agog
Main Level, 12 Lower Ross
Street, Maboneng, 076 565

32 JANUARY 2018


Re-making Whoopi In and out, or stay awhile And while the hotel is in a low-key part of
the city, its grounds and interiors have been
If you’re old enough to remember the With less than three kilometres between enhanced with lots of greenery, a sparkling
1980s, you’ll probably recall a fondness for your bed and the airport runway, the slick, pool, a great restaurant (with a bustling
Whoopi Goldberg, one of the most admired switched-on Premier Hotel OR Tambo breakfast buffet), and regular shuttles to
and successful comedians of all time. Not is ultra-convenient for short layovers, get you to the airport at no extra cost. It’s
only has she long been a gifted purveyor of early departures and late arrivals. While a mere 500 metres from the Rhodesfield
most airport hotels tend to offer the bare Gautrain station, too, so the city centre,
comedy, but Goldberg minimum coupled with an inflated price Sandton and Rosebank are a quick train
also earned deep tag, this one bends the rules a bit by laying ride away. From R1 110 per room per night,
respect as a dramatic on pleasing extras – starting with the warm 73 Gladiator Street, Rhodesfield, (0)11 393
actress, winning a welcome and culminating with comfy beds 8000,
Golden Globe for her in handsome, unfettered bedrooms, each
role as Celie in the imbued with every modern convenience.
1985 Steven Spielberg
movie, The Color

Purple, based on
Alice Walker’s novel.
In it, Celie survives
incredible bigotry
and abuse in the
American South.
In 2005, the story was transformed into
an award-winning Broadway musical
produced by Oprah Winfrey and Quincy
Jones. Now a South African iteration of the
musical is coming to the Joburg Theatre
for its first major international production
since its 2015 Broadway revival. Directed
by Janice Honeyman, it stars Didintle
Khunou as Celie and Molebatsi Lekgetha
as archetypal blues songstress Shug
Avery. Don’t forget your tissues. The
Mandela, Joburg Theatre, 31 January–4

Taste nostalgia Words: Trevor Crighton, Keith Bain, Pictures: Supplied

Sandton’s Septimo may be the new kid on the block, but it has a seven-decade backstory that reaches
across the oceans. Restauranteering first crept into Paul Lycos’ DNA when his French grandparents
opened a pair of Parisian restaurants soon after WWII – both of which are still going today. Then, in
1980, his parents took over a popular Italian restaurant in Pennsylvania, running it until 2010. Continuing
the multigenerational food journey, Septimo’s focus is on farm-to-table dining, with ‘Italian American’
dishes from Paul’s childhood – aubergine parmigiana, homemade ravioli with Napoli sauce and good
old spaghetti and meatballs. Pastas and sauces are made fresh in-house each day, breads are baked
to order, and pizzas come out of a wood-burning oven. Monday–Friday 8am–10pm, Saturday–Sunday
10am–11pm, 31 Nelson Mandela Square, 139 West Street, Sandton, 011 077 7777,

34 JANUARY 2018


What’s up with old school eats
and treats? Anna Trapido
serves up a few tasteful and a
few not-so-tasteful ideas.

W hen the going is good, chefs
innovate and eaters are
adventurous. In troubled
times, cooks and diners seek solace in
the food of supposedly innocent eras,
which explains our current rash of
retro-recipes and restaurants. As South
Africa’s unemployment rate has risen JANUARY 2018 37


caused the foodie

fashionistas to
become bored

and our credit rating has fallen, those Culture Club Cheese (cultureclubcheese. to describe the irrational falling from
still lucky enough to be eating out have is a Camembert mac and cheese. favour of indisputably delicious dishes.
almost entirely abandoned futuristic and At Joburg’s DW11-13 ( During the 1960s and 70s, Brie cheese
fanciful food in favour of recession-induced courageous cooking has been replaced graced all elegant American events
comfort cuisine. by soothing roast chicken set atop and was considered to be the height
magnificent mashed potato. of sophistication. Then familiarity bred
Old school eats are apparent contempt. Overconsumption caused
everywhere. Where once there was If the revival of old school eating the foodie fashionistas to become bored
epicurean experimentation, there are means more mashed potatoes and less and abandon Brie in favour of what
now upmarket renditions of nostalgic molecular gastronomy I am all for it. they considered to be more exciting
nosh. Pretoria’s hipster hot and unusual offerings. The same thing
spot du jour, 1855 (facebook. Especially since foods often happened to white pepper. Any chef
com/1855) does a roaring lose popularity for reasons worth his salt will say that there are
trade in à la mode yet that have nothing to do with certain situations in which white is more
mommyish jaffles. The the way that they taste. appropriate than black pepper but try
signature dish at Cape A recent New York Times telling that to contemporary cooks. Tasty
Town’s super-stylish article coined the concept tomatoes are now almost impossible
of the ‘Brie Syndrome’ to buy because supermarkets select
fruit with thick skins and long shelf life
rather than flavour. (Incidentally, those
lusting after old school flavoursome-but-
fragile heritage tomatoes should go to and get their garden on).

The only thing sadder than good
food falling out of favour are the hipster
revivals of the aforementioned meals. I
recently wept bitter tears into a terribly
tidy Eton Mess made with macaroons
(kindness makes me keep the name of

38 JANUARY 2018


LET BYGONES Roma Revolving Those looking for
BE BYGONES Restaurant in old school eats should
Durban ( stay away from the
Food that wasn’t good the rst time
won't get better with age. Reviving revivalists
devilled eggs or whale blubber ice
cream will leave a bad taste in the started to spin in 1973
mouth – literally. Even when the old
school o ering tastes good it can be and is now one of only 36
bad. Almost all of us have an uncle
who died with a heart full of chicken circling eateries left in the
Kiev or fried polony. ose who
are willing to follow the fate of their world. Roma’s website says that it
forebears should know that the fried
polony sphatlo at Dollar’s Place on the is the only one of its kind in the Southern
corner of Mofola Street and Mofalu
Street in Atteridgeville, is a glorious Hemisphere. It’s not easy to understand (, there are plenty of innovative
and shining example of the food form.
Magni cent maotwana too. Great so why people wanted their restaurants offerings but Chef Fortunato Mazzone
serve sans blubber is available at Eish
Kream in Durban ( to rotate in the 1970s but one bite of keeps his plates of melon and Parma ham

the KZN chef who created this crime Roma’s superb Chateaubriand Béarnaise unadorned in superb simple abundance
against dessert to myself but suffice it
to say that he topped it with chocolate (brandy-flamed at the table) makes any thus proving that truly great tastes are
‘soil’). When I am made Queen of the
Universe, ironically deconstructing a prawn motion sickness associated with orbiting timeless not dated. At Nineteen - inside
cocktail will become a capital offence.
Those looking for old school eats should eThekwini worthwhile. Joburg’s space-age security complex
stay away from the revivalists and rather
frequent restaurants owned by those There is no need to be stuck spinning Steyn City (
delicious dinosaurs who didn’t change as
the gourmet globe turned. Cape Town’s in the land that time forgot. The best restaurant) - Chef Michel Mourand knows
Nelson’s Eye (
opened in 1962 and serves the contemporary cooks also understand that a Waldorf salad should be brought to
kind of enormous artery clogging
steaks and bouffant battered when to modernise and when to the table exactly as God and the Waldorf
onion rings that more modern
eateries are too timid to proffer. respect ancient edible pairings. Astoria intended but that there is plenty
They do a great, utterly old
school prawn cocktail too. Classic combinations are so of space to play with the Chocolate

named for a reason; updating ‘Aero’ (actually an exquisitely light puff

is neither necessary nor of mousse) served surrounded by spiced

advisable. At Forti Grill citrus gel, brunoised pear pate de fruits

and Bar in Pretoria and a walnut-crusted chocolate truffle. JANUARY 2018 41

THE GUIDE EPICUREAN TALES WHEN OLD SCHOOL Pictures: Brent Hofacker/, Yulia Grigoryeva/, Elena Shashkina/
AIN’T SO COOL, Aleksey Fefelov/, RetroClipArt/, supplied
Nostalgic nosh
only works for those Even if old school eats won’t cause
who view the past a coronary, are you sure you really
want them? South Africans have
without pain a complicated relationship with
nostalgia. Not all of us have positive
And then there are many who mourn associations with times past. Some
the highly-skilled fine dining chefs who of our great local ingredients, recipes
once cooked up a storm in the hotel and cooking methods have fallen out
restaurants in Joburg’s inner city. The of favour because of their connection
1970s saw examples of extraordinary to circumstances that cooks and
opulence – The Three Ships at the eaters would rather forget. e
Carlton Hotel had on its menu ‘Saddle of slow-cooked, caramelised-until-it-is-
Venison Oppenheimer Square’ (named almost-brown bliss of township style
for its meticulous butter-sculpture ‘John 14’ cabbage is o en rejected
replica of the fountain’s springboks). Let as ‘poverty food’ by a uent black
us not forget that the majority of such South Africans. Dieticians tell us that
restaurants adhered to legally-enforced sardines and sorghum (mabele) are
racial exclusion and had to apply for an protein-packed super-foods but their
‘international status’ permit to admit black constant consumption during less
diners. Those who insist on partying like economically-successful times has
it’s 1959 should at least do so with their made them distasteful to many.
cardiologist’s number to hand and their
rose-tinted spectacles off, since food from old issues (1940–1980) of the
nostalgic nosh only works for those now defunct magazine, Gourmet. One click
who view the past without pain. and the present is replaced with a world
where fashionable newlyweds were given
We are not alone in our pursuit fondue sets. And housewives went quietly
of the past. Trump’s America has crazy at the kitchen sink. Which is precisely
seen a significant increase in hits the point.
for New York-based blog The Way
We Ate ( In a country where 25 per cent of our
which serves up photos of children go to bed hungry on a regular
basis, a lack of South African restaurant
42 JANUARY 2018 innovation falls into the category of spoilt
people’s problems but it is not without
long term cultural consequences. The
tragic truth is that (as someone nameless
but wise once said) ‘nostalgia is the death
of hope’. And so it can be. Because the past
was not perfect. And so it is the rejection
of retro that will propel us into a delicious,
unique and successful political and
culinary future.


Interview: Anthony Sharpe, Pictures: Nu Abe I’ve played the big festivals, and Size you out. I think we’re still in the beginning
over the years I’ve watched them grow MATTERS stages, especially in terms of queer culture,
exponentially to the point where I feel a to really cultivate an artistic movement.
little overwhelmed being in a crowd of Siya Ngcobo – aka Umlilo On stage and off stage, you’re never
20 000 people. They’ve kind of lost that – is one part of the gender- really done. As you walk into the space
human touch and common interest – as bending electro rap outfit you’re already performing, because you’re
they grew, they did away with a lot of cool, engaging with people. The performance
experiential things. known as Stash Crew. starts way before you get on stage. We’ve
I really enjoy performing at smaller He and his cohorts will realised that people want that – they want
festivals that have a larger impact, be dropping beats and to be able to approach you, they want a bit
meeting like-minded people who enjoy the upending expectations of that on-stage persona to be off stage too.
same things, and being able to savour a at next month’s Littlegig At bigger festivals, you get off stage and
festival without this sense that you’re in festival in Stellenbosch. go into your anonymous self. Umlilo’s done
this massive city. Littlegig’s kind of like an and Siya comes out to blend into the crowd.
antidote to those mass market festivals. that simply offer ‘everything’ for ‘everyone’. I’ve always been a fan of parties that
This will be the first time I’ll be playing This year Stash Crew and I got to travel allow people to live in the fantasy
at a festival that caters to everything that – we did South America and Europe – and realm, because that’s what artists do
I’m about. I’m not just about music – I like by some miracle, wherever we played, almost every day. This is where Littlegig
to think of myself as a foodie, as someone the crowds that came to watch us were comes in – the fantastical aspect is
who’s into art and loves design. And I like-minded people. For us, it was one of the everywhere, and it creates the perfect
enjoy dressing up, of course. Plus, it’s all few experiences where we were performing space to cultivate fantastical interactions.
happening in a perfectly pretty location. to people who hadn’t seen our work before, People arrive ready to experience a
I think these niche events will be but definitely understood the vibe that we fantastical version of themselves, and
something people want a lot more of were giving off. In South Africa, that’s very I love that.
in the future. Increasingly,
folks are looking for a often the challenge: GET YOUR LITTLEGIG ON
carefully curated people spend the
experience rather first 30 minutes Littlegig is smaller than most festivals
than events trying to figure with only 1 500 people allowed
through the gates of Wiesenhof
Farm in Stellenbosch – it’s intended
as an antidote both to the real
world and to typical mass-market
festivals. Showcasing musicians, DJs,
winemakers, chefs, performers and
designers, it all happens in an intimate,
slightly surreal forest setting, and kicks
o at 10am on 17 February. Running
over just 26 hours, entry tickets
include booze and most of the food
(the six-course pairing meal is extra). JANUARY 2018 45


retuTHE rn Part of what
I wanted to
A daughter of exiles, Sisonke Msimang was raised talk about
in Zambia, Kenya and Canada. She tells us about her is that our
first book, Always Another Country, a memoir about sense of
her childhood, her yearning for South Africa, and the belonging as
sometimes confusing experience of ‘returning’ to a place South Africans
that had always loomed so large in her imagination. is not about
this geographic
There are certain archetypal notions where everything is just groovy. It was space, it’s about
of African achievement: You either connection to one
survived horrible trauma – or you were a sheltered environment where we another. In this
Nelson Mandela. I am not a president, time of turmoil
I was not a child soldier. So I wanted to represented the idea of freedom. It was a and bad leadership
write a book because, in part, I haven’t and terrible betrayal,
done anything special. I wanted to say wonderful way to grow up, but there’s a it’s the connections and
that all of our stories are important. That’s relationships between ordinary people that
why I stopped feeling self-conscious about point where you need to realise that you’re really matter – not whatever Jacob Zuma
writing a memoir – because I’m is getting up to.
in my forties, and what do you not that special. The memoir is about the question ‘How
do when you’re 43 and haven’t are we going to get on and do this thing
done anything extraordinary? Memoir writing for its own sake is self- called South Africa?’ South Africa is
It’s about the idea that every life is really about the relationships we have
worth examining. There’s something indulgent. I think if you write a memoir with each other. We belong to each other.
that all of us can teach the world. So, We simply need to make a decision to
I feel like if I can write a book, then as a form of therapy you will bore people. connect. That decision should supersede
anyone can write a book. all the political nonsense.
My sisters and I were very funny That’s a bad idea. So I hope my If you don’t have a sense of humour
kids. We were three little firecrackers about living in Africa, you’re not going
and you couldn’t tell us that we memoir is not self-therapy. to go very far, because there is a lot of
weren’t the most special things in horrible stuff going on here. And when life
the world. As the children of Part of what I wanted to think is messed up you’ve got to kind of laugh
exiles growing up in foreign about it.
lands, a lot was expected of aloud about was the idea of One thing I wish I could have been
us. We were in this kind in my life is cool. But I’m not. I’m
of whimsical space, belonging to place I’d never the most uncool person – I’m a very
a bit like a hippie excitable person, still full of wonder. I’m
commune been. When I was young very curious, and I refuse to be jaded. I
think scepticism is very important, but I
I pined for South Africa. delineate it from jadedness. When you’re
jaded, nothing’s going to convince you –
I built up this place in you’ve already made up your mind. South
Africa doesn’t need more people who have
my mind, and I began to already made up their minds.

think that what matters

in life is place. When I

Interview: Keith Bain, Pictures: Supplied did eventually ‘return’

to this place,

Sisonke I realised
Msimang’s that it isn’t
Always Another the place
Country is published that’s
by Jonathan Ball important.
and is available It’s the


relationships. JANUARY 2018 47



Claire Robertson tells us about her new novel,
Under Glass, in which a woman tests the limits of
her power on a sugar estate in 17th century Natal.

The title of Under Glass refers to the both more enterprising and more (160 years ago) Esbensen’s
great glass cases used by Victorian-
era botanists to send plants all over the ruthless. Just like the plants, the butter came in a tin; nowadays,
British Empire: plants that were new to
them, or particularly attractive, and most people who transplant themselves to a Lurpak uses a plastic tub. But we still
especially, plants you could grow for profit.
The colony of Natal sent its beautiful new land change it and are themselves think nothing of sending men in huge
flowers to Kew, and received plenty in
return – sugar cane, pineapples, monkey irrevocably changed. The story traces the ships to the other side of the world for
puzzle trees and bougainvillea, to name
only some of the alien plants that are so events set in motion when Mrs Chetwyn a tub of butter.
familiar to KwaZulu-Natal today.
The other import, of course, were tests – and, I’d say, also breaks – the limits It got me thinking that in many ways we
the British colonialists. They, in
a sense, also travelled under of her new power. are just Victorians, albeit with iPhones
glass, setting out to transplant
themselves and their worldview On the shelf in my local Woolies and WiFi and flying machines. For all the
intact. I was interested in the
story of the women is butter that has travelled passing years and tremendous changes,
who undertook this
endeavour, and one 13 000 km, from Denmark to South Africa still looks a lot like the
woman in particular.
She is Mrs Chetwyn, South Africa. It is packaged in blue Victorians wanted it to, in its private and
mistress of Missenden
sugar estate, chafing and silver, a fact that stopped me public institutions, its education system –
under the constraints
placed on women in her in my tracks one day about six and especially in the insane highs and lows
day, and exploring the new
freedoms that a frontier months into the writing of Under that embody Victorian capitalism.
home offers her.
Over the course of the novel Glass. In my research I had just One of the interesting things about
Mrs Chetwyn grows
come across butter historical fiction is that the reader

from Denmark, (and writer) knows much more than the

packaged in blue characters do about how things will turn

and silver, in Durban out, and how bad (or good) things will

in 1857. Then get. So the story has to be very careful to

stay in the era. Interview: Keith Bain, Photograph: Julia Sullivan

During the period covered in the novel,

photography was becoming more

Claire Robertson’s widely available. While researching,
first novel, The Spiral House I couldn’t help thinking how much
(2013), won the South African

Literary Awards Debut Prize and those Victorian settlers would

the Sunday Times Fiction Prize. Her have loved Instagram. Endlessly
second, The Magistrate of Gower (2015), self-regarding, they were very

was shortlisted for the University of

Johannesburg Literary Prize and the curious about the world, and they

Barry Ronge Fiction Prize. Her new wrote about themselves a lot – in
novel, Under Glass, is published letters home, in journals, in books.
by Umuzi this month.

48 JANUARY 2018

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