Tik, Tik, Tik: Methamphetamine Rage in Cape Town’s Suburbs

‘I will kill you,’ somebody yells outside. I’m sitting on a chair and look through the open door into the stairway hall on what seemed to be a peaceful morning. Juan gets up hastily and runs out to see what’s going on. Then a young woman runs up the stairs and hides on the first floor. . . . → Read More: Tik, Tik, Tik: Methamphetamine Rage in Cape Town’s Suburbs

Deep Play! Drifting Mesmerizes Men

The air is loaded with a thick smell of burned rubber. Motors are droning and men stand around a circuit secured through concrete blocks and old tires. I have to blink when the cars swish. Rubber particles enter my eyes. This is the first official drifting race that takes place on the parking around a . . . → Read More: Deep Play! Drifting Mesmerizes Men

Black Entrepreneurship: Out of the township into the township

We spend the entire Friday afternoon on the balcony drinking Dutch beer while loud house music vibrates through the speakers. The neighbors don’t complain.  Last year, John moved into the flat toghether with his fiancé, a young professional. When I first met him he was staying in a structure made out of corrugated iron that was . . . → Read More: Black Entrepreneurship: Out of the township into the township

Cape Town’s “White” Squatter Camp

‘Have you seen white people who are worse off than we?’ Ronald asked me before he pointed out the existence of a White squatter camp. Struck by the question I was reluctant to tell him that I haven’t. He shares a wooden shed or hokkie with his fiancé and his two children. They don’t have access . . . → Read More: Cape Town’s “White” Squatter Camp

Contested Spaces: Whose the Boss of Paradise Park?

A man in his 50ies passes on the street below the veranda in a public housing complex somewhere in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. His stature is sturdy and he wears a full mustache. ‘This guy thinks he is something like the boss of this place,’ the 22-year old Juan asserts. The man was one of the . . . → Read More: Contested Spaces: Whose the Boss of Paradise Park?

The Muslim brother

‘Heil Hitler’ yells the lady and raises her arm. Then Dudrik blasts in to tell her that I am not fond of ‘him’. I hate when people respond like this because I’m from Germany but this time it is rather comical. The grey haired woman looks at me with her eyes wide opened while cowing on . . . → Read More: The Muslim brother

‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

For the first time the soft-spoken man reveals that the marriage, he so far presented as the corner stone of his life, lies actually in ruins. The matraze on which I was sitting last time is gone. “On Thursday she came home and was mad at me. I don’t know but I think it was because . . . → Read More: ‘I’m so cross that I smack her’: Domestic Violence from the Perspective of a Perpetrator

A Man Bewitched: Relationship Problems Reconsidered

“Each and every day we had problems. We fought about little things. Then I wasn’t even able to get a job. Things were not going the way they are supposed to be. You know I have some qualifications. I tried to sell my CV but there was no response. Then we went to an older woman . . . → Read More: A Man Bewitched: Relationship Problems Reconsidered

Mixed Feelings: ‘My wife’s boss is a lesbian’

Today is Tiffany’s first day at her new workplace. “You must see Tiffany. She’s so happy and I’m happy for her,” George says on our way to the mall. The new coffee shop hasn’t opened yet. She has merely to watch the laborers who are still busy with painting. Tiffany is supposed to keep the “darkies”, . . . → Read More: Mixed Feelings: ‘My wife’s boss is a lesbian’

Out of the Womb into the Womb: A Xhosa Initiation Ritual Transformed

Mcendisi receives a call. His ex-girlfriend informs him that today there will be his son’s imbeleko – a Xhosa ritual performed to introduce a child to his or her ancestors. “How can she expect me to be there on such a short notice?” Mcendisi says disturbed. The relationship with the mother of his son and her . . . → Read More: Out of the Womb into the Womb: A Xhosa Initiation Ritual Transformed