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

Becoming a father: News from George

I meet George on a parking in front of a supermarket. He is happy to see me and so am I. The young man and his wife Tiffany moved into a new home a couple of weeks ago, since we haven’t met. Tiffany doesn’t feel well. “She is vomiting and does not want you to see . . . → Read More: Becoming a father: News from George

‘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

Mandela’s Birthday: Where have the leaders gone?

Robert is a long-standing political activist and teacher in Mitchells Plain. He wants to introduce me to his ANC comrades, particularly an old friend who used to be a minister in the South African government for many years. I have seen him on TV before. Today, he looks different. The senior man wears a white-washed Mandela . . . → Read More: Mandela’s Birthday: Where have the leaders gone?

Men’s Work Ethic

I sit in my car with David. It is his last day before he is about to leave to Eastern Cape to work with his brother. He says “I am ashamed of not being able to provide a home for my kids. Sometimes I think I must just start to rob again. But on the other . . . → Read More: Men’s Work Ethic

War, Drugs, and Strip Clubs: An Ex-Combatant Speaks

Patiently I wait for almost one hour until Amy approaches the gate in her mother’s car. The English pasture shines green behind the wall that encloses the one storied suburban family home. A White man in his fourties gets out of the car, followed by a young woman I havn’t met before. He identifies as English . . . → Read More: War, Drugs, and Strip Clubs: An Ex-Combatant Speaks

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’

Intimate Friendship? A Man’s Relation with a Drug Lord

David calls his deceased ex-boss the ‘lanie of the site’. The term lanie, in this case, designates the power and status of the head of the drug house. The term was once predominantly used for white males and has shifted its meaning to encompass people who can afford an upper-class livestyle. Lanie has a somehow negative . . . → Read More: Intimate Friendship? A Man’s Relation with a Drug Lord

Tik Bail Out: A Risky Endeavor

Since my last visit David moved into another hokkie, this is how wooden sheds are called in the Cape Flats. It is located in a backyard behind a narrow gate. The place seems to be secured like a fortress. A dog is barking and must be locked in first. The landlady living in the main house . . . → Read More: Tik Bail Out: A Risky Endeavor

Shosholoza to the World Cup 2010: A Song Transformed

Today Shosholoza is one of South African soccer fans’ most popular songs. It was originally sung by African male migrants who were forced to leave their homes to work in the mines and industrial centers of South Africa. Under Apartheid it was impossible for Blacks to legally settle down in cities. Shosholoza alludes to the sound . . . → Read More: Shosholoza to the World Cup 2010: A Song Transformed