The tokkie: A Methamphetamine Induced State of Mind

In Cape Town’s street youth culture there is a word for a particular state of consciousness induced through methamphetamine or Tik. Tony defines the term tokkie as a mode of preoccupation: ‘You want to do something but you don’t know what you want to do.’ It has a double meaning of being completely absorbed mentally while . . . → Read More: The tokkie: A Methamphetamine Induced State of Mind

Love & Simulated Pregnancy

I give Juan a lift to his (ex)girlfriend. We ride on one of Cape Town’s highways to reach her workplace, a pub. They haven’t seen each other since she simulated a pregnancy. When we arrive Marika smiles. Both disappear. I sit at the bar and think of reasons why she could have simulated the pregnancy. ‘Men . . . → Read More: Love & Simulated Pregnancy

Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

‘He’s definitely not a man at this stage,’ Juan’s father Willem asserts. We sit in the lounge of his apartment in Paradise Park. His son told him lately that he might become a dad. ‘What? Dad?!’ was the seniors first response. Willem tried to be as composed as possible and immediately raised practical issues. He urged . . . → Read More: Male Mother Worried about Becoming (Grand)Father

Kickboxing: A Matter of Discipline?

Kickboxing, Chantell Kotze argues, is a way of life that might keep young people from a downward-spiral of drug abuse. Recently, the young woman identified a need in her community and established a kickboxing gym with the support of a Cape Townian club. Young people from Parow’s low-income families receive classes for free. However, people from . . . → Read More: Kickboxing: A Matter of Discipline?

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’?

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

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

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

Afrikaner Martial Arts: The Poesklap

Tonight, Koos tells me stories about his father’s commitment to protect him from harm inflicted by other people. The father, he remarks briefly, considered himself the only one entitled to discipline him. The first incident, he says, took place in a bar. When he wanted to meet his pa on the way to school he found . . . → Read More: Afrikaner Martial Arts: The Poesklap

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