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

The World Cup in Town: Sick of Soccer!

George’s foster mother laments that the children will have longer holidays due to the Soccer World Cup. “We have a lot of Coloured people here in Cape Town. The youngsters will gang up! Gang – do you understand?” She gesticulates with her hands as if holding an imaginary ball. “They are like a pack of dogs, . . . → Read More: The World Cup in Town: Sick of Soccer!

How to become racist?

The young man asserts that in the past under Apartheid life in South Africa was more “peaceful” and “healthier.” The rise of murder, robbery, and rape that the country has seen in the last decade he takes as a proof of the failure of democracy. “Look how many blacks are in jail… If you look at . . . → Read More: How to become racist?

“I knocked him out!”

“I hit one of them at my mothers house, just one punch and I knocked him out.” George reveals an incident that happened three years ago while sitting on the sofa forming a fist. Then he reluctantly adds “He was drunk.”

“Why did you do that?” I want to know.

“He knocked on the door and asked for . . . → Read More: “I knocked him out!”

Can South Africans think beyond ‘race’?

Tonight the eTV channel is switched on. George wants me to choose a movie at the same time 3rd Degree, a show of investigative journalism, starts. It’s titeled “The tricky issue of race.“ The focus is on white South Africans and the extent they are stuck in a racist past. I urge my hosts to watch . . . → Read More: Can South Africans think beyond ‘race’?

Public Urination: A Matter of Concern

After a TV show about racist White South Africans my host George spiraled into a state of annoyance. Crime bothers him very much but there is another issue that distresses him more, namely, public urination and defecation. While he addressed the threat of robbery and rape only four a couple of minutes, he can talk about . . . → Read More: Public Urination: A Matter of Concern

Apartheid Reloaded

This morning George was cleaning the backyard. He likes to keep things clean he asserted and made clear that the inside of the house is his wife’s job while he cares for the garden and the garage. He said he spent a whole week fixing the garden after they moved in. He got rid of all . . . → Read More: Apartheid Reloaded

My new suburban home

It was a sunny morning in autumn when I arrived in the mother city. The airport had changed significantly. It seemed that everybody was training for the world cup that was about to start in 26 days. The rental car area became almost as big as the old arrival hall. After a failed attempt to pick . . . → Read More: My new suburban home

Into the Field! Searching for the Real Afrikaner

I’m sitting at my desk at in Berlin. Next time I go to South Africa I want to learn more about the people who were privileged under Apartheid: White South Africans and particularly Afrikaners. I posted a request for a room in an Afrikaner family home or flat share on a popular online platform. Now I . . . → Read More: Into the Field! Searching for the Real Afrikaner