Sunday, April 29, 2018

Searching for Mara

My search for little Mara

Mara and I

I am sharing this again for my new friends.
I was but a boy it was around 1980 and I was in the Army for my compulsory two years Military Service. You will see from my photo I was a young  19 or 20 years old and I was simply doing my duty.
My job was to escort National and International female journalists to the operational area in Namibia. It was a daunting task for a shy young guy as I was under instruction to make certain their every wish was fulfilled during the tour. Before I left Military Head office I prepared personal files for them including Malaria medication and instructions on how to use it. I also visited One Military Hospital to obtain and inclusive medical aid bag of everything women may need on a trip in Africa.
That included sanitary pads and the like and boy I was so embarrassed when they made a point of asking me for this and that explaining in detail the item I was to supply. It also included special medication to cure hangovers, flu and anything in-between that could possibly be needed including snake bite kits etc.
I was a Lowly Serviceman and there were three officers in the group. One a female l
Lieutenant that easily could have looked after the ladies medical needs but I was tasked and had to
Mara and I

be on hand 24/7. She was a journalist for Paratus the official military magazine and I had to obey as an Infantry soldier. No other servicemen were allowed anywhere close to my charges and I was soon not very popular with Local soldiers who had to look at a distance at something they seldom encountered. A whole bunch of women.
We had a lot of protection our Military aircraft was escorted by fighter Jets and Gunships in the air and by armoured carriers and even tanks on the ground and of course there were whole platoons of armed soldiers posted everywhere we went. It was also my duty to show the ladies how to fire an AK 47 and RPG as I was a  fully trained infantryman and that type of task was beyond an officer.
I was a crack shot and took out a huge palm tree with a single shot from the RPG and of course I grew a little in the esteem of these VIP’s. I was not only a pretty face in charge of medical matters and of course there were plenty of medical personnel in the bases we visited but the ladies were off limits to all except the tour personnel.
At that stage I left my girlfriend behind in South Africa and she stopped communicating. Today I know she was pregnant and married another guy probably saying our child was his child. We reached Omega base that was also known as the Bushmen Battalion and there a little orphaned girl caused a stir.


taken 21/03/1980 at Sector 10 Oshakati Namibia

She was 100 % Khoe San and was tiny. See her little hand on my finger it looks the size of a ring. Military personnel were looking after her and a lady “adopted” her for the time being and dressed her up in doll clothes. This little person caught an immediate liking in me and literally jumped into my arks and the cameras clicked and clicked every woman journalist in that group wanted pictures of the White Soldier boy and the Khoe San girl child. Little did I know that my own girl child were born at approximately the same time as this little girl that would simply not let go of me. If I tried to put her down she would cry and eventually het caretaker had to coax her away as she would simply not let go of me


Mara is the older of the two.

 I am adding photos of her playing with her adopted family’s children and Incidentally she was older than the much bigger girl playing with her. She was named Mara meaning bitterness as her mother was killed and her father wounded during combat in Angola. She and her father were airlifted to Namibia by South African soldiers. The soldier that carried her carried her in his bush hat she was so tiny.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Africa my Africa


I live in a magical place at the tip of the great African continent. I love my birthplace with all my heart and would not like to live anywhere else in the world. I know there is talk of crime and there are images of protests.
I also know there are the same in every other country in the world. Yet visitors to our country discover something they find hard to describe. Our people are warm and caring and love sharing.
It is all contained in the word Ubuntu. It basically means a person is a person through another person indicating we are interdependent and our humanity is a shared one.
Through time I have toured this beautiful continent and have never set foot in a non-African land. I went to Namibia and Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. In all my travels I have never encountered trouble of any sort. I have not been robbed; I was not hurt in any way.
I did however meet people that are proud Africans that love to share their beautiful land and are helpful in every regard.  It has to do with mutual respect. I respect them and their culture and they reciprocate
We have world class cities with all the amenities you would find in Cities all across the globe but we have so much more. Just a few hours’ drive out of Johannesburg you can find yourself surrounded by wild animals in the bush and you are in another world altogether.
You will find Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhinoceros and Hippopotamus along with antelope baboons, snakes and a myriad of other free roaming creatures.
It is oly dangerous if you do not obey the rules of the bush. Stay in your vehicle the animals have the right  of way. Respect them and mostly they shall respect you. They are wild and roam wild and can be extremely dangerous if you are not treating them with respect and do not observe the etiquette of the bush.
I travelled these places with my family and some of them all on my own. Yes we experienced excitement and was rushed by a mamma Elephant protecting her young and got rushed by a Black Rhinoceros but in each instance I kept my distance and was alert and could relatively avoid a close up encounter that could have been disastrous, Your massive SUV is nothing to an elephant that would mash and through it around like a toy.
Experience the peace drive slowly take in the splendour of nature. Our sunrise and sunsets are spectacular. Our people are friendly and helpful and knowledgeable and could tell you all you need to know to keep safe and enjoy your stay.
There are custom and it helps if you know the local custom it will make you feel like you are among friends. When people talk  loud it is out of respect so that anyone can hear they are not gossiping about someone.
The bush absorbs and envelopes you and truly makes you feel like mother earth is cuddling you in her warm welcoming bosom. You will forget about all your stress and start slowing your tempo to be in tune with African time that is never hasty.
Having a braai(barbeque) at sunset sipping your favourite drink with the people you love is something to enjoy and remember and you can do it every day. The quiet of the bush accompanied by bird song and later on the call of  a lone jackal or the mighty roar of a lion will be your constant reminder of where you are.
In Zimbabwe we made friends with a family and visited at their home. At Victoria Falls a young couple shared their flat with us when all other accommodation was full.
In Malawi I stayed with a friend and shared accommodation without prior booking. I merely told the host I brought a friend along and he was accommodated.
In the Kgalagadi you can stay with Bushmen in their Huts like they have lived for thousands of years and they will teach you how they hunt and how they survive in the harsh climate in the desert.
We crossed Lake Kariba on a ferry and I waded into Lake Malawi and we enjoyed the local fish that are plentiful and relatively cheap. Or  you can eat dried Mopane worms in the bush with the locals.
You can visit local market places where every shop sells everything and every stall has a speciality that is most delicious and healthy.
The people selling curios at the market places and next to the roads will barter with you for things like T-shirts and even shoe laces or batteries and soap.
African music is rhythmic and you shall experience the ancient rhythm of Mother Africa when they play their natural musical instruments and dance dressed in traditional attire.
You can walk in the footsteps of the great Madiba, Nelson Mandela that are revered across the globe as one of the greatest Freedom Fighters and African Leaders of his time and all time. You can visit Townships and historical places like Robben Island. Vilikazi Street is the only street where two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates lived in the same street.
Where else in the world can you swim with dolphins and dive with sharks than the coastline of Africa.
I Lived here for more than half a century and have not seen and experienced it all yet and I have no desire to travel anywhere else in the world but my beloved Africa.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The hunt

I trained our home helper's son to shoot my air gun I am 57 and still have one.

They followed me home after finding me hunting in the veldt (grassland or open spaces) with my Airgun. I was staying in a hut in my Stepfathers, building camp in Rural Kwa Zulu Natal. He built police stations in far flung places where there were little infrastructure, these areas were also scarcely populated and indigenous people lived like they lived for hundreds of years in clusters of mud huts with grass thatch roofs.
My daily routine started very early every morning. I would get up and shower under the outside shower brushing my teeth under the shower. I would then get dressed, just shorts and takkies,(sneakers) I took a plastic bag with matches and salt and knotted to keep out moisture. I had a pen knife and an army water bottle with a fire bucket attached that I carried on a sling over my shoulder.
Then I dusted my Airgun off and oiled it and took a tin full of pellets for the day’s hunt and I would be off into the wide open spaces. I never ate breakfast as I wanted to prove that I could live off the outdoors. I wanted to prove this solely to myself and sometimes my mother told me to at least it breakfast before I leave.
Because of my outdoor wanderings I was tanned and I was fit from all the exercise walking for kilometres  every day. I saw these boys form a local clan at the river were they were bathing and they watched me hunt at a distance. I ignored them but gave a wave out of respect as a greeting and just carried on my way.
I could not speak Zulu I was Afrikaans and I spoke English well. The next day on waking up they sat a few feet from my hut at Sunrise and I merely carried on with my daily routine. As customary I greeted them by raising my hand.
Like all small Zulu boys they were basically naked just wearing an animal skin around the waist and bare feet. They must have been close to my age of fourteen years but I was taller than them. Some of them had knob kieries(a club mad from dry tree roots.)
Others had just a piece of hard wire with a hook bent on one side and a loop on the other side. They kept on showing me I must come with their hands and I showed them to wait with mine. We spoke not a single word to each other just using hand gestures and the universal body language of little boys.
My mother wanted me to wear a hat against the fierce sun but I always left it behind as my blonde curls were ample protection against the African sun in my opinion. So it happened that they joined me for my hunt the first time. They were eager to show met their skills with their handmade weapons and in turn I showed my marksmanship with my Airgun.
They were to be my Impi(Zulu platoon of soldiers) I was In my mind the leader as I had a superior weapon and considerable outdoor skills. I was impressed with these  boys and their knowledge of their territory. They knew where to find field mice nests and bird nests and they had keen eyes. Several times they would point out a snake long before II spotted it. Some of the snakes in the vicinity were highly poisonous and well camouflaged.
On finding a field mouse nest they would use the hard wire down the hole to pull the little rodents out one by one. They would kill them with a rock or knob kierie and skin them. This was a bit gruesome as they merely put a finger up the mouse’s anus and tear it open with it. They then removed the skin and strung the bodies on their wire to eat later. When we passed clean water they would wash their mice and gesture me to make a little fire so they could fry their mice kebabs.
I did not eat the mice I showed them with my gun and arms I am going to shoot at birds. I saw a cluster of trees earlier and saw pigeons settling in there. I walked slowly and took cover and soon I bagged two pigeons and took them where the boys were still gnawing on mice. They were very happy for the pigeons, cleaned them and soon they were frying also.
I took o0nly half of one, cut it with my pen knife and they ate the rest. In that region there were also wild banana trees and berry trees in the veldt so we need not depend on meat alone for a meal. Some days later we followed some guinea fowl and I wounded one on a wing so that it could not fly further. My hunting companions were fleet footed and they threw their knob kieries at it and killed it in no time.
They wanted to clean it and fry it immediately; I showed them with my hands and head later. I lead them to a fountain where they rinsed their mice as I saw there was caly and I dug up some clay with my hands. I gutted the Guinea and washed it in the fountain. They lay claim to the innards as they ate it. I had some berries in my fire bucket that we picked earlier earlier and some banana leaves I meant to put my food on when needed. I shredded the banana leaves and stuffed it and the berries in the guinea’s emptied gut and I added a little salt from my plastic bag.
We were going to have a feast. Out of experience I know fried Guinea meat can be tough so I wanted to bake it covered in clay. First I dug a hole in the sand close by and put some rocks in it. Then I made a fire on top of it and waited for coals to form. I put some banana leaves on top with the clay covered guinea on top of that then I covered it with sand. I made another fire on top and put rocks around the fire so it could not spread and we left.
We were off once more to hunt and gather and we were the happiest kids in the world. We bathed in streams and drank ice cold clear water from fountains. I live in a beautiful country and nature was abundant. There was a camaraderie building up between us. We communicated without words and we all laughed in the same language.
I spent some time with them to teach them how to shoot the air gun. They loved it and understandably they were poor shots and in their eyes that made me more important as I was a crack shot. They taught me to throw a knob kierie accurately and I was not nearly as accurate as them so things evened out.
I few hours later I motioned them and we moved back to the fountain. I scratched away the coals on top and dug out the sand with a Log. That guinea was still steaming and I took it out covering my hands with banana leaves so I do not burn. I put it down on a banana leave and used a small rock to crack the backed clay further and removed it with my pen knife. The feathers came off with the clay and underneath were a perfectly baked guinea fowl.
It smelled heavenly and my friends were hugely exited to dig in. It tasted absolutely delicious and the meat was tender and cooked through. We dipped the meat in the berry juices from the body cavity and feasted away. It was a proper meal. One afternoon at returning to my hut I motioned them to wait. I was leaving that evening to go back home. I went to the building site and asked one of the Zulu guys to explain to my friends I was going back to the big city. They were visibly upset and one boy had tears running down his cheeks. We all hugged and I went to my mother’s huts to pack my clothes.
It was one of the best school holidays I ever experienced and I would miss my Impi.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Moon fever

Mental health in my country South Africa is a huge issue at the moment with more than 140 patients being killed through neglect.
They were basically murdered and some starved to death because the Health Department removed them from a Health Care facility into NGO’s that were not suited to deal with special care patients.
It creeps on you slowly stealthily and barely being noticeable. At first you forget things and you write it off then you start panicking without any apparent reason. You write it off the normal way of life and you are not adequately coping with stress.
Bingo! you hit it on the head, you are not adequately coping with stress and people around you start drifting away because of your sometimes unexplainable behaviour. It is not like a train smash more like and irritant.
Then 9it start dawning on you speaking to therapists. All the things in your life that slowly but surely were creeping up on you. The stress of two years of compulsory Military service. The stress of journalism, having to face the harsh and sometimes horrid realities of life and being exposed to it. Mangled people brutality murdered and disfigured and some dissected. You cannot ever forget the smell of rotting corpses and mortuaries. You cannot forget the images of people being dissected in post mortems and you have to face it all and you are but 20 years old.
The stress of fighting a Union for two excruciating years. Having to live and work with body guards, having armed guards at your home.
The stress of being attacked by a racist mob because you dared to marry a person of different skin colour and need to be punished by being beaten brutally.
The stress of seeing people gunned down in cold blood right in front of you. By being shot at when you tried to save a woman from an attack.
The stress of being attacked in a police station and men trying to rape you .  The stress of suffering a stroke that left you deaf because of it. Then being fired in ICU because you cannot fulfil your contact.
The Psychologist tells you you are being treated for PTSD. Fancy word that. All you tried was looking after your family and making a life.
Do not let it go as far as I did before you look for help. There is no shame in it to say. “I can no longer cope.” There is help and it is effective.
Get help do not let it linger and creep up to you. You are a human that needs love and care and it is available.
Do not wait as long as I did before you reach out.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Syndicate

red car brigade. Colleagues and I attending a Conference in the Drakensberg Mountains many moons ago. My company car far left

Prolecon battle
I worked for a Courier company that was based on the model of Federal Express in America. The directors of that company sold everything they owned including homes and cars to start the company from scratch. I knew all of them well.
It went well for many years in the company I was working as a Supervisor at The George Branch on the Southern Coastline of the Cape Province in South Africa, During that time I noticed a lot of irregularities with the manager of the branch running it as if it was her own business. She bargained on her sister high up in the Company In Johannesburg to protect her,
The end of that story was I became the manager of the branch as she was removed after it was found that she transgressed a lot of company policy and has been doing so long before I joined.
The branch was performing poorly and staff morale was at an ebb. That resulted in numerous vehicle accidents caused by arrant staff taking “revenge”. I turned the branch around and was summoned to Head Office. I was going to be given a larger branch to manage as an Operations manager in Pretoria(Now Tshwane)
During all of this the company signed a recognition agreement with an Union and was subsequently unionised. I remember distinctly during strike action some Shop stewards visiting my branch to garner support for their planned actions. I welcomed them letting HQ know about their presence without them knowing.
I had my ups and downs in the company and started working in the Parts O.E.M. sector. We distributed parts for major Car manufacturers in South Africa. I was promoted to account Executive in the sector.
I did well and brought on board several companies and during all of this the Directors noticed how my Human Recourses skills have grown as I chaired many disciplinary hearings on the company’s behalf. So much so I was utilised for this countrywide and got known as the Hangman by the Union as my cases were always successful right up to Arbitration level.
I knew well about the Unions tactics in all of this and encountered it face on at the largest branch of the Company in Johannesburg. This branch was brought to its knees and manager after manager failed to turn it around and then I was called in again to see if I could save the Company as this branches’ failure impacted negatively on the entire Company.
There was a lady in charge when I arrived there the first time. The National Operations manager visited and asked me about my observations. I told him she failed to control the place as she buckled under Union pressure and was basically turned into a switch board operator as all queries were channelled directly to her and all she did all day long was killing fires.
This was a deliberate Union ploy as there were Radio Room operators and a call centre that was responsible for queries. This manager could not manage because they used her to answer queries the entire day.
I was asked to manage the branch as a matter of urgency and was promised support from Head Office in doing so. There was a plan to infiltrate the branch with undercover workers that would feed me with information. I shall never forget me instructing the Operations manager to choose staff he trusted as we had to make changes and he hired my two undercover operatives doing me a huge favour without knowing it.
Those two guys did an excellent job and was trusted to such an extent they were present at Union Meetings. I received all the evidence I needed and in the mean time I had staff trained elsewhere to fill key positions as soon as I got rid of the main culprits.
I source this staff from the multi-racial communities far away from the branch. I only chose the best I could trust and knew would be loyal. My investigations lasted three months and  a lot of the time I worked from home with two hired secretaries to keep my investigation a secret as I was told I am be followed all over by union members through our radio rooms.
I uncovered a large theft syndicate and as soon as I completed a presentation for the directors on what was happening and told them how I thought the process should be handled as my life could well be in danger. Our Regional Operations Manager supported me and we worked on an exit plan for the people identified of being syndicate members and benefitting from it by selling customers products on the streets in Johannesburg directly from our company vehicles.
I had taped telephone conversations and undercover evidence from the two agents as well as video footage taken by their handler. It was time to act and I knew there was going to be hell to play from Union ranks.
I had all key personnel including myself do lie detector tests to boost our chances of successful labour action.
The day arrived to fire the main suspects and they were called into my office one by one with CCTV footage running of every conversation and personal body guards placed in key positions. There were also armed security personnel outside.
That day I fired 43 staff and each was escorted off the premises by armed guards. As soon as the last one left their replacements was bussed in and we used the ploy to say they were recruited from other courier companies and were familiar with the industry.
I could now turn the branch around and did so successfully over a three month period.
The two secretaries at home were working over time preparing evidence for the hearings of theses dismissed personnel and there was a mountain of evidence to filter through. First we had a mass Conciliation hearing with me representing the company and our HR manager on the premises to guide me when needed.
Then followed hearings for each and every person involved and afterwards they all appealed so there were appeal hearings. It went right up to Arbitration at the (CCMA) The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. The complete process lasted a full two hears.
Death threats against me was delivered to our Head Office and I was permanently guarded by body guards and that included my family and our home were armed security was deployed 24/7
This was a massive undertaking taking its toll on my health as it was stressful to the supreme and all Union accused attended each and every hearing being aggressive and threatening towards me and my armed body guards. The Evidence pile had to be carted along with physical evidence of stolen goods being bought back by the company.
By now the Agents cover was blown and they also needed protection. It was the most stressful and draining period of my life but I persevered.
In the end we successfully ended the Arbitration hearings by winning every single case. I was the sole company representative during all of this facing the Union Advocates without being allowed company support during these proceedings.
I had help preparing the agents and witnesses. Human Resources gave me full support during this but that was it they were not allowed into the hearings themselves and was up to me.
In the end I received a cash bonus and a letter from the then CEO, Alan Howie saluting me for doing something never achieved  in the history of the Transport Industry in South Africa.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Baiting The Bully.

My life strategy was necessitated outside my sphere of control. It was visited upon me when a bully cornered and humiliated me in front of my mother. I started boxing. Morning routine get up early and put a pot of water on the stove. Go jogging and on my return my breakfast pap for my mother and sister and me. Mealie pap, oats or Matabela.
Then after breakfast, off to the school. Late afternoon jog to the Boxing club and train and train and train some more before you are allowed in the ring. You shadow box or tackle a punching bag and skip to get your footwork in order.
It is sweaty and noisy and dusty and you train and train and train some more getting your body into shape. You start developing a six pack and strong arms and legs and you shadow box with second hand gloves and you burn to get into the ring.
Sweat and dust and grunts for at least three months. Jogging doing push up and sit ups in my room. Running and squatting,  shadow boxing on the run, sweating profusely.
You tap and punch and jab and upper cut the shadow into submission and sweat some more. You imagine that bully eating the dust and your sweat dripping on his bloodied face where you bend over him just to help him up because you are not a ducktail or a hooligan.
 Your strategy is developed as a natural extension of your being. Soft hearted dreamer in a man’s world of blood and guts. So you remain a gentleman with a vicious punch and an iron jaw and concrete gut. A gentle demolisher that uses brains and brawn evenly to outmanoeuvre waiting for an opening and then the killer instinct sets in and wham!
Finally you are allowed into the ring against fellow boxers and schoolmates and friends alike. Your strategy develops further and you start advancing. The trainer allows older and heavier boys in the ring against you and the worn gloves sting your face and your nose bleeds soon stop and you learn to handle pain and dish it out as well.
Pear ball pumpkin ball one for your fists and speed the other for your gut and strength. I have big forearms, hard fists and a strong gut as a result of this. Strong broad shoulders and upper body Strong legs but agile even now that I’m in my middle age I walk with a soft tread. Stealthy quiet.
It came about through sports like boxing, Judo and rugby. I am still a dreamer and a reader and lover of books. It does not change me into a raving lunatic but it makes me a dangerous opponent.
At last the first tournament is looming. I have shorts, a jock strap and ball box, I have black ankle boots and a club vest but have to wear my school socks. Money is scarce and do not come cheaply. We go to the venue in the Springs(neighbouring town) Town hall and help the trainers to erect the ring. There is resin next to the steps to make your boxing boots less slippery and give you traction.
I hate the black boxing boots I wanted shiny white ones with smooth soles like the professionals wear.
There is a green and red corners. There are boxing stools for rest periods in between bouts for contestants to sit one. There are towels and balms to soothe cuts and bruises and stuff to stop bleeding.
The hall is filling up and smells of smoke and sweaty bodies and your trainer takes you one side you must spit and pee, spit and pit and pee to get your weight down to required weight for your age group and built.
You get your hands wrapped and strapped and you are given brand new boxing gloves for the very first time. Shiny red ones and a ribbon is bound around your waist a red one as our club fights from the red corner.
The waiting is killing you with all the smoking and shouting after fight after fight continues until you are called.It is an amateur event three rounds per fight each lasting three minutes and believe me those will feel like the longest three minutes in your life and it is exhausting and energy tapping.
Before the tournament at home mom prepared me a drink to boost my energy. A glass of milk and honey with raw egg and cinnamon.
It was my first tournament and my opponent was apparently a champion in his club. My trainer helped me to enter the ring. First grinding my boots in resin then tidying me up making everything is in place and I am ready talking softly in my ear giving instructions.
The match referee announces the two corners and opponents and calls us to the centre of the ring for instructions and warnings and rules about fair fighting. At last I am ready waiting in my corner for the first round my opponent rushing me to surprise me and catch me off guard.
He did not get a right I was prepared and fleet footed and gives him a body punch in the passing. I dance and watch and he fights an attacks me avoiding him and then getting in close to throw body punches to sap his energy.
The bell goes and I go to my corner and sit on the boxing stool put in by my trainer. He wipes my sweat with a towel and continuously gives instruction, “watch out for his left jab up close he likes using it”.etc. I am breathing heavily and am given a sip of water to rinse out my mouth.
In the second round I change my tactics slightly jabbing and tapping and keeping him at arms length when he tries to muscle in I keep on giving him body punches before I back up against the rope bobbing and ducking watching his every move like a hawk. I watch his feet that tell me what he is about to do and then I watch his eyes fearlessly and direct in his face.
I am playing with this boy encouraging him by feinting defeat while I am judging his rhythm and planning my attack and the bell goes. This time, more out of breath. The trainer does his duty towelling, watering and instructing. “You are wearing him down and he is getting reckless on attack watch him sharply and watch him closely.”
The match goes the entire three rounds and in the final round I start attacking. Letting him in close and then darting out, all the time punching, jabbing and tapping at arm’s length. In between I pummel him with body punches and just before the bell goes I land an uppercut that had him dizzy. He was literary saved by the bell.
I am announced the winner and go back to my seating the audience watching the more senior bouts until it is trophy time. I win a trophy for winning my match and a trophy for the most scientific junior boxer of the tournament. Me, little lightweight Fransie, that got bullied in front of his mother.
Thus my dear friends, do not judge me on appearance. When I feint defeat I am at my most dangerous and that has become my life strategy. Beware the bell might not save you from me.
Thus the commander in chief in our school and a more senior boxer than me as well as club champion had to find out to dismay when he tried his luck against me in the park next to the swimming pool. I outfought him with bare hands and rubbed his face in the dust surrounded by jeering school kids who all hated his bully guts and hooligan manners.
By this time I was doing Judo as well and I outwitted him totally throwing him off balance and then relentlessly attacking with my fists.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


Heaven and Hell in Hilbrow

Hilbrow Tower JHB

The ghosts of the past from the Hell hole in Dunottar to a piece of heaven in the shadow of the Hilbrow tower.
It is a long haul from a  holely(spelling intentional) Dorp let to a Towering   long drop, a shot left from the” Hossietaal.”( Clinic spelling intentional)
“Klein Fransie” had his head slightly stressfully shrunk. He spent most of his time in the H.N.E. Hilbrow Nicotine Exchange a.k.a. the smoking Garden at this esteemed facility, where one cuckoo flew out.
I considered starting a smokes – stokvell(Informal saving scheme unique to S.A.), Kasi(Township)-style. These Oakes where bietjie “getik in die dop”( slightly off colour).
They were lunar tuned so to speak and all that matters was something you could legally get addicted to like nicotine.
I had some heavenly advice at hand courtesy of my brand, my less intellectual property like ek sĂȘ.
So we traded all brands anything that gives a lungful even from dung full. To mindful.
It happened that Virginia crossed my path. She had a skin ailment that left her with unsightly spots and I gave her the advice to use Moringa and oil and glycerine as a paste at the same taking Moringa powder orally.
She came into my one man bachelor suite room beaming. “Sir Look just look!” showing me her hands and arms. “Look at the colour also it is coming back.” She was ecstatic I was elated she had a personal medicine man. I had a one girl fan club.
I was sent to Alberton but saved my own life by escaping promptly. I rejected it before it could destroy me. Former inmates arrived with weird and wonderful stories most consisting of drugs trading among patients.


I found a piece of heaven in Hillbrow where professionals treated me with empathy and care. That goes for all and sundry from workers to Specialists in their respective fields of medicine.
A place you get pricked by vampires. “For your blood, you dick.”
A place where some are millionaires and others serenade and others are romancing Don Juan’s. Ordinary people all, with psychedelic psychosis.
My elder daughter arrived at my doorstep and transported me there.
It was excruciatingly painful when I finally eavesdropped on Google the hell hole mine while searching for Gold mines in and around Dunottar. It was close to Grandma’s house where we used to board in a red brick semi as children.

I differ from some holy men on the biggest sin of all that cannot be forgiven; they want to couple it to the unseen I want to couple it to love. I believe robbing a child of security and love is the biggest sin that cannot be forgiven.
We shall be arrogant in the extreme of our own importance by suggesting we can insult a creator. We are seven billion specs of stardust settled on a spinning rock hurtling through space .

A bird in the hand and a bird on my shirt. Rhe bird on my shirt is my branded Sparrow Intaka notice the Moringa leaves on its head.

A security and I saved a pigeon in the H.N.E. Both of its feet entwined so severely it suffered painful extraction. Don Juan supplied a pen knife. I held the dove and the Security guy did the surgery to remove the string, I set it and myself free. One escaped the cuckoo’s nest the other returned to the sky.
I found out exactly how chronically I am deprived of love when an Angel in white nurse’s uniform entered my room to charge her phone. On exciting she gently touched my bare foot where I was lying on my bed. Something stirred in me and literally rose to the occasion.
I could feel sorry for myself but instead I started writing as writing is my self-medicated therapy. It has been most my life. I write myself out of the doldrums, out of danger out of depression.

All wired up to have the skull shrunk.Do not know
If they found nothing there because I still have not
received a report of this scan

It also stopped me from throwing myself down the long drop. After all I found out I am still alive whem I was touched by an Angel. Now it is time to get my head out of my ass.
One evening I was looking for Gogo(grandmother) that served refreshments and was told she was off duty. “Baby girl” was her replacement and was not heavy on the eye and she shared a little secret with me. I would have blushed if I was younger but instead endeavoured to find her a young white male that she could share thoughts with. I was a “madala”(grandfather) after all albeit one that was still alive.
A lady approached me to ask that I would look after a young female acquaintance as she was discharged and she was concerned about the beautiful bubbly young girl’s safety with so many men around. I adopted the young girl as my grandchild and she 

Sugar Plum and Oupa in Pink.
promptly called me “Oupa”(Afrikaans for grandpa)
One evening my grandchild gave me a juicy shiny plum as a gift and shall henceforth be known as Sugar Plum.
It was twilight when a bouncer type and his trophy wife was busy at reception getting him admitted. I dubbed him “Die Breker from Brakpan”Bruiser from Brakpan Town), as he immediately strutted around showing off his physique and informing all and sundry he is a professional fighter.
I suspected he was more embarrassed than frightened when six black security guards constrained him after he tried getting to grips with another patient. They strapped him up and I listened to his moans from the H.N.E. I suspect embarrassment as he was white and this is Racist South Africa after all and Brakpan in the East Rand of Gauteng province is mainly an Afrikaner enclave. Not that all Brakpanners are bruisers or racists. I know a lot of talented and gifted individuals from there.
Now I must recall the big bad wolf or maybe the witch from my encounter at Alberton, now my former Therapist. I christened her thus after three guys from there appeared at Hilbrow and I was thinking about the three little piggy’s and the wolf from childhood memory
I am as Afrikaans as her but not nearly as biased and self-important as she is. I am also much more professional and shall not reveal names as I do not want to be liable for crimen injuria law suites. The soonest I want to lay eyes on her would be at the pearly gates although I suspect she might be at a warmer place.
I shall bless her as Terror the Therapist from hell and she nearly drove me to the brink of suicide with her condescending remarks and attempts to put me on a guilt trip due to her own incompetence. Thankfully my psychiatrist introduced me to a young savvy black female psychologist.
Well if it ever gets to that I shall reveal all the WhatsApp messages in court as evidence as I saved them to my computer. She is most welcome to do the same. I have plenty of experience with courts as my first real job was as a Supreme Court Reporter and late I fired 43 gentlemen in one day and spent two years fighting the Union in hearings an labour courts.” I therefore am confident that I have my facts straight madam.”
I know I may sound condescending but that is not my aim my tongue is firmly in my cheek as I write this bit of satire of my trip to Hilbrow that lasted a full 21 days.
 It was 21 days that included the Entire Easter Week end. It took a lot of me trying to contain myself amidst misery being shared about like Easter eggs by unfortunate souls on the troubled waters of life.