How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

‘Steek hom!’ Roland suddenly yells. Jimmy, a man in his 40ies, quivers as if he was hit by a lightning. ‘Aaahh, fuck!’ he swears and bows down quickly while burying his head in his arms. Then he comes up again. ‘Mommy!’ one of the young men adds sarcastically in a shrill tone. The others . . . → Read More: How to Bully a War ‘Veteran’?

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

MXit Relationship Problems

Juan met Martina in a chatroom on MXit, a free instant messaging application which runs on mobile phones. They had already agreed upon that they would take an HIV test to be able to keep it ‘romantic’. Artificial barriers, Juan holds, should not spoil the first date. After a week of one-on-one messaging they met for . . . → Read More: MXit Relationship Problems

Condoms, Men & ‘Burned Rubber’

It is only five minutes by car to the bottle store. On our way back we stop at another shop to buy a Coke to mix with the Kipfontein brandy we just procured. It is cheaper there. I enter together with Tony, a young man who goes out with Karol’s cousin. The young female cashier looks . . . → Read More: Condoms, Men & ‘Burned Rubber’

The Pressure to Indulge: Cape Town’s legal smoking and drinking cultures

‘What is this?’ Roland asks me when I pull out a little envelope with a single cigarette in it. I do so to curb the habit I developed anew through research on men and masculinities. But here people who buy single cigarettes are seen with suspicion. He shakes his head and smiles. In contrast to the . . . → Read More: The Pressure to Indulge: Cape Town’s legal smoking and drinking cultures

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?

‘I’m a player’: Sexual Conquest Stinson Style

Jako sits on the table and scribbles a cross on a piece of paper while looking at his cell phone. The cross looks like the zef tattoo inked into the white skin of his upper arm. It bears the initials of the US rapper Tupac Shakur. Yesterday, he went to the jol, he says. His girlfriend . . . → Read More: ‘I’m a player’: Sexual Conquest Stinson Style