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The little postcard that could

When I asked Books Live Editor, Jennifer Malec, for her postal address, so I could send her a Dutch Courage postcard, she told me she generally has good luck with the post office. I raised an eyebrow. You can’t blame me, I think we’re generally all still a little cynical when it comes to the skills of our postmen and women. That brief postal strike that lasted most of 2015 may have something to do with that.

Turns out she wasn’t kidding.

Yesterday (Sunday 24th April), as Jennifer headed through the streets of her neighbourhood to play a spot of tennis (not something she does regularly I’m told, although I believe she still won) she spotted something. It was her postcard. Addressed to her, lying there, in the gutter. Which is appropriate I suppose since Dutch Courage is a book set in a strip club.

Sure, it had been driven over a few times and was looking a little worse for wear. But it was still in one piece. And even though it got a little lost and sidetracked along the way, it still found its way to her! What are the freaking odds of that?

 

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So are you feeling as lucky as Jennifer Malec?

If so, and you’d like me to post you a good old-fashioned postcard, in the mail, to your postbox (or I can do gutter deliveries too), then simply email your physical address to amillionmilesfromnormal@gmail.com and I’ll pop one in the post to you immediately.

AND if you post a postie (postcard selfie) to social media with the hashtag #DutchCourage you could win a copy of the book too, nogal. Bonus.

Here are some of the #DutchCourage entries so far (the rest are here):

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'The black writer is the least marketable in this country' - Khaya Dlanga responds to Rod MacKenzie

To Quote MyselfKhaya Dlanga has written a response to a recent piece by Rod MacKenzie titled “Can a white man tell Khaya Dlanga how to write a memoir?”

The article, published on the Mail & Guardian Thought Leader website, refers to Dlanga’s To Quote Myself, which was released in a new, updated edition this year.

MacKenzie asks: “why should the rise of yet another young man in the advertising world that could be anywhere on the globe [...] be of any interest, indeed, be publishable? Is it simply because Khaya is ‘black’ and therefore more marketable? Should a whitey be suggesting how Khaya should write his own memoir?”

In his response, “Telling black people how to tell their stories is a way of gate-keeping storytelling”, Dlanga says MacKenzie wrote what he thought were “some good points here and there and some fair criticisms”.

“Yet,” he adds, “there is thinly veiled racism that he can’t even pick up in his commentary. It was polite racism. Which is the worst kind.”

Dlanga continues: “It was precisely because I am a black writer telling his own black experience that I am not marketable.”

Read on:

It is miraculous that [To Quote Myself] made it on the bestseller list to begin with. But guess what? It was the only book on that list by a living black writer. That is disgusting. We are in a majority black country yet there was only one book on the list. Just one. And worse, it was dead last on that list. I felt like the Some of My Best Friends Are Black of books. Look how generous and nice we are, we allowed a black, oops, a black person in the club.

Rod MacKenzie must tell us how that makes me or any black writer more marketable. I am very curious. The black writer is the least marketable in this country. The system is stacked against them. If black writers were more marketable, why aren’t they on bestseller lists? Why are there so few published? Rob forgets his privilege.

 
Related stories:

Book details

Enough white noise - Evita Bezuidenhout considers racism, inequality and privilege

Evita's BlackBessieEvita\'s Bossie SikelelaEvita se Bossie Sikelela

 
“Hi, my name is Evita and I’m a racist” – Evita Bezuidenhout has written an article for The Guardian about white privilege.

In the piece, an edited version of a speech given to the Cape Town Press Club, Evita asks whether white South Africans are prepared to take the back seat in South Africa.

Read the article:

The only way for an alcoholic to confront the disease of alcoholism is to admit it: I drink therefore I will not drink. Then surely one way for a racist to confront that disease is to be honest: I am a racist therefore I will not be a racist.

I will not judge people because of the colour of their skin, or how they dress, or what they eat. I will not be a racist in the city traffic when the township taxi cuts in front of me. I will not be a racist when politics passes me by. I will not believe in the innate superiority of my race.

I was born in South Africa in 1935 into a racist family. I went to a racist school and a racist church. My God was a racist and so was his Son. I married into a racist family. I became the wife of a racist member of a racist parliament who served in the racist cabinet of a racist prime minister and praised by a racist press.

My children were brought up as racists. In fact, till my 59th year and the country’s first democratic election, if I hadn’t been a racist I would have been locked up in jail as a communist or a terrorist.

Book details

A short A to Z idiot's guide to the Zulu psyche by Zulu Boy Gone Crazy author Fred Khumalo

Zulu Boy Gone CrazyResponses to a recent column by Fred Khumalo, author of Zulu Boy Gone Crazy: Hilarious Tales Post Polokwane, urged him to pen “an idiot’s guide” to the Zulu psyche.

Khumalo, who has just been announced as one of 11 Writing Fellows for 2016 at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, writes the article with his tongue firmly in his cheek – a style he is well known for. His book Zulu Boy Gone Crazy offers readers an extended sample of his enviable gift of being entertaining as he goes about disseminating these truths.

Read Khumalo’s article, entitled “The Zulu psyche — an idiot’s guide”:

Here, my friends, is a short A to Z idiot’s guide to the Zulu psyche.

A is for Asikhokhi — we are not paying! Everyone is talking about #FeesMustFall. How coy and apologetic. Are the fees going to fall by themselves? No, in my language we are direct: – asikhokhi.

B is for Bhaxabula — to beat a person vehemently, a favourite Zulu pastime. The synonyms are ukubhibiza, or ukudukluza, or ukubhonya. We might just bhaxabula those who want us to pay.

C is for (uku)Cula — singing. It’s a national pastime since the man from Nkandla came to power. He sings his troubles away.

Also read:

 

Book details

You'll cry when you find out how this one weird task force saved this velociraptor

History was made on Monday when South Africa’s new Verbal Offences Special Victims Task Force was deployed to a crime scene for the first time in the country’s history.

The unit was called to the scene of Smiley Acres Kindergarten, where one Janice Groenewald (5) was detained after referring to her victim, Jonathan Albright (4), as a ‘stinkypants’ and a ‘dirty’ ‘boy’.

Jonathan, who self-identifies as a velociraptor with built-in machine gun turrets, survived the brutal attack and immediately reported it to his teacher who called in the Verbal Offences Special Victims Task Force.

A SWAT team, accompanied by two crack forensic linguists, was on the scene within minutes. Ms. Groenewald was taken into custody while Jonathan was airlifted to an ER unit where he underwent an emergency self-esteem transplant and a tear transfusion.

As doctors battled against time to save Jonathan’s life, investigators in specially constructed soundproof EMO-HAZMAT suits with 99% tint visors combed the kindergarten crime scene for evidence. A cache of nano-aggressions was discovered in Ms. Groenewald’s personal effects, as well as a volume of linguistic contraband, marked as the property of one ‘Roald Dahl’.

The following day doctors reported that Jonathan’s surgery had been a success and that he’d since responded positively to an experimental treatment involving a large chocolate medal wrapped in gold foil and a small plastic stegosaurus.

Speaking to reporters from the Intensive Care ward, an exhausted Jonathan explained what had happened.

“I was in the sandpit putting my spade in the sand and then Janice said can I have that and I said no and she said yes and I said no and then she said YES and tooksed it from my claws and I told her STOPIT Janice and then she attacked me and then the sky went black and then I told Teacher Viljoen.”

The ‘stinkypants’ slur is believed to refer directly to a traumatic incident involving a tablespoon of prune juice and a broken diaper that had occurred in Jonathan’s home three years earlier.

Ms. Groenewald’s parents have been taken into custody until a clearer picture emerges of how Janice, who first made contact with her victim in 2015, came into possession of this sensitive information.

The attack on Mr. Albright immediately made national headlines, drawing condemnation from the South African Incontinence Foundation, Plastic Trousers. Shortly thereafter pressure from the media and the National Association of Plum Growers resulted in the firing of four celebrities, a sous chef and a statue of Queen Victoria for making reference to prunes in public.

Meanwhile, Fuckup & Usurious, the country’s largest divestment bank, pre-emptively fired half its staff and burned its headquarters to the ground to avoid becoming embroiled in the scandal.

Kalashnikov R. Komrad, president of the South African Union of Marxist-Stalinist Lightworkers also weighed in on the matter, interrupting a stirring rendition of the folk ditty ‘Purge the bourgeoisie! Dead! Fucking! Kill!’ in front of an assemblage of 50,000 members to express solidarity with Mr. Albright.

“We commend and congratulate the brave members of our special unit for their fast response to this politically improper infraction of the emotional wellbeing of the affected proletarian and for bringing the offender to heel in such short order. However, we believe that prompt action involving mass deployment of mechanical presses to reactionary skulls is required to prevent a repeat of this incident.”

At the urging of pundits and various amateur political and legal experts on Twitter and Facebook, Ms. Groenewald issued a tearful public apology on her Instagram account. This was promptly accepted as an admission of guilt and will be submitted as evidence against her in her trial.

Prosecutors are now pressing for a life sentence for Ms. Groenewald, who is facing charges of possession of contraband speech and two counts of grievous emotional harm.

Important notice: The above text is satire. It does not in any way represent an endorsement or encouragement of anything nasty or defamatory that any South African, or indeed any person, living, dead, real or fictional has said or will say, or write, about any person or group of persons who have ever, or will ever, inhabit South Africa, planet Earth, and/or any other life-supporting planet in the universe, not excluding residents of other dimensions that currently do not have access to life-supporting planets and are forced to bob on quantum foam until someone pings them on an Ouija board. Neither is it meant to call into question the good character of prunes, plums, purple fruit in general, divestment banks, diaper manufacturers, laxatives, or any other fictional entities or institutions represented in the piece. All characters with the exception of Roald Dahl are fictional and any similarity to real people is entirely co-incidental.

VIDEO & PRESS RELEASE: First ever Joburg surfing team scores at SA Interclub Championships

 

The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa's first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager) , Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).

The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa’s first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager), Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).

 

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Hailing from the “mining town” of Johannesburg, aka “the big smoke”, the Joburgboardriders Club became the first ever landlocked team in South Africa to compete in a national surfing event—the 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Surfing Championships—held this past weekend near Cape St. Francis, site of the legendary Bruce’s Beauties break.

The Joburg Boardriders Club is the brainchild of  pastor Nathan Gernetzky, who lead his team into surfing history when they placed a respectable joint ninth overall. The team’s number one seed is former WSL QS campaigner turned plumber, Shane Warren. Lifelong friends Kevin Trevaskis and Byron Loker—who learned to surf together in the waters of Muizenberg, Cape Town—fellow Capetonian Dominic Barnardt and SA Masters Champion Tasha Mentasti made up the balance of the team.

Hosts, Seal Point Boardriders Surf Club B Team won at their home break. The Seal Point team won the title in Jeffreys Bay last year, earning them the right to host the event and enter two teams this year. Guided once again by legendary coach Graham Hynes, the B Team made an impression throughout, and in the end the combination of Ricky Basnett, Dale Staples, Jonno Hill, Simon Fish and Crystal Hulett proved to be too strong for their opponents. The team posted a total of 161 points to take the title for the second year in a row.

2015 runners up, CYOH Surf Club of Port Elizabeth, made up of Grant Beck, Remi Petersen, Bruce Campbell, Alex Van Rijswijck and Kia Fenton scored 156,2 points to take second spot once again, while the Melkbos-based West Coast Boardriders team of Tristan Lev, Diran Zakarian, Ryan Payne, Gerrit Frylinck and Dorette Oosthuizen posted 138,3 points to take third place for the second year in a row.

The Port Elizabeth based Madibaz (NMMU) Surf Club, comprising Jean Du Plessis, Dane Cox, Brandon Stockwell, Kyle Rubin and Roxy Giles placed fourth.

Hosts Seal Point's Crystal Hulett made an impression throughout, and with team-mates Ricky Basnett, Dale Staples, Jonno Hill and Simon Fish, went on to take team  victory. Photo by Byron Loker.

Hosts Seal Point’s Crystal Hulett made an impression throughout, and with team-mates Ricky Basnett, Dale Staples, Jonno Hill and Simon Fish, went on to take team victory. Photo by Byron Loker.

A stand-out performance by the SWOT Surf Club from Muizenberg saw them finish joint 5th, with 2013 champions J-Bay Boardriders, while some inspired surfing by the Sisonke Surf Club from KwaZulu Natal saw them ending 7th alongside 2014 champions the JBU Surf Club of Jeffreys Bay.

The event saw excellent 3-4 foot, glassy conditions at the Seal Point beach break.

The full results of the tournament and pictures are available on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za

The South African Interclub Championships was a Surfing South Africa event made possible by the support received from Billabong and Sport and Recreation South Africa.

Surfing South Africa (SSA) is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). SSA is the governing body for all surf riding in South Africa and is recognized as such by Sport and Recreation South Africa.

The Joburgboardriders’s number one seed is former World Surf League pro tour campaigner turned plumber, Shane Warren. Photo by Byron Loker.

SANDTON, JOHANNESBURG: January 22, 2016 — Reflecting shades of the hit Disney movie “Cool Runnings” about a Jamaican bobsled team that made it to the Winter Olympics—for the first time in the history of the sport of surfing, the landlocked city of Johannesburg will “field” a team at the Billabong South African Interclub Surfing Championships, to be held at Seal Point near Cape St. Francis on the 13th and 14th of February.

The team of four men, one woman and a judge will take to the beach and brine under the banner of the Joburg Boardriders Club, the brainchild of Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky, who describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “husband, father, friend, creative, pastor, hopeful woodsman, concrete shredder and wannabe big wave surfer.”

“Surfing is our common ground, it’s what connects us—we’re all different in some ways—but it’s amazing, we now get to fulfil this dream. We’re actually sending a team to surf in a national event!” says Gernetzky. Founded just under a year ago, Joburg Boardriders has built up a loyal following in the concrete jungle, recruiting mostly former coastal dwellers who have made the career move inland to “the big smoke”.

The team’s number one seed, Fourways-based plumber Shane Warren, spent eight years campaigning on the World Surf League Qualifying Series circuit and, of all the Joburg Boardriders, could be in contention for a victory. While he never cracked the prestigious Championship Tour, he was a stand-out professional surfer who will show that the Joburg Boardriders mean business on the waves. As a KZN champion, Warren won the prestigious Rip Curl Tubemasters competition in 2002, ahead of Travis Logie, so far one of SA’s most successful world tour pros.

Friends since high school, team members Kevin Trevaskis and Byron Loker—who learned to surf together in the waters of Muizenberg, Cape Town, and work together as project managers for Design Partnership, a leading interior design agency in the retail and hospitality space, based in Sandton—are excited to have made the grade.

For Trevaskis, an accomplished surfer, such an outing has been an ambition of his ever since he “washed-up” to Johannesburg from Durban six years ago and found a new career path. As a former head judge of the World Surf League’s South African chapter, Trevaskis is pleased to be back in competition. “I just want to ride under the curl of the wave and get a long tube ride, my bru,” he says. Byron Loker has been in Johannesburg for the past two years, broadening his horizons and is the author of a surfing-themed collection of short stories, “New Swell“, now prescribed literature in the Ninth Grade in Gauteng and Western Cape. The team is rounded out by Dominic Barnardt, another Cape Town transplant who has established himself as a freelance commercial photographer in Jozi.

The club is bringing current SA Masters women’s champion Tasha Mentasi to St. Francis and she will no doubt prove to be a force to be reckoned with in the ladies division.

The event saw excellent 3-4 foot, glassy conditions at the Seal Point beach break. Photo Byron Loker.

Joburg Boardriders has found support from mainstream surf industry brands such as Nixon watches, Carver skateboards, Rip Curl SA clothing, Xcel wetsuits and Spider Surfboards, while “blue collar” supporters in the shape of Imperial Electrical & Plumbing, Bothma Branding Solutions and Fulcrum Flooring have also stumped up sponsorship to get the team to the beach.

Follow #joburgboardriders on all social media, hopefully all the way to the final event! The winning team will host 2017′s championships, which could potentially see a national surfing event held at The Lost City’s Valley of the Waves—another historic first.

The team is available for interviews and photographs. For more information, please contact Nathan Gernetzky, team manager on 083 798 8999 – info@joburgboardriders.co.za

https://www.facebook.com/joburgboardriders
http://www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za/2016-billabong-interclub-surfing-championships

Photographs available from Dominic Barnardt on 083 212 3479.

SIDEWALK SURFERS. Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky (front) is leading a team of Johannesburg-based surfers to a national event for the first time ever in the history of the sport.  Photo by Dominic Barnardt.

SIDEWALK SURFERS: Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky (front) is leading a team of Johannesburg-based surfers to a national event for the first time ever in the history of the sport. Photo by Dominic Barnardt.

"Surfing is our common ground, it’s what connects us—we’re all different in some ways—but it’s amazing, we now get to fulfill this dream." The Joburg Boardriders L to R Dominic Barnardt Nathan Gernetzky Byron Loker Kevin Trevaskis Shane Warren Photo by Dominic Barnardt

CITY SLICKERS: “Surfing is our common ground, it’s what connects us—we’re all different in some ways—but it’s amazing, we now get to fulfil this dream [of sending a Joburg-based team to a national surfing event].” The Joburg Boardriders L to R: Dominic Barnardt, Nathan Gernetzky, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Shane Warren. Photo by Dominic Barnardt.

Joburg Boardrider Byron Loker drops in to shoot a curl and hang a ten while on assignment for Design Partnership at an Eastern Cape surf break. Don't tell the boss. Photo by Clemance Val.

DAY JOB: Joburg Boardrider Byron Loker drops in to shoot a curl and hang a ten while on assignment for Design Partnership at an Eastern Cape surf break. Don’t tell the boss. Photo by Clemance Val.

Hanging ten in traffic

Shane Warren: Lost and found

Here’s the official press release:

Seal Point to host the 2016 Billabong South African Interclub Championships this weekend

Eighteen teams representing twelve surf clubs from all parts of South Africa will be in action at Seal Point in Cape St Francis this weekend at the fifth annual Billabong SA Interclub Championships and this year history will be made when a club based in Gauteng competes in the tournament for the very first time.

The Joburg Boardriders Club is the brainchild of Braamfontein pastor Nathan Gernetzky and he is excited to be creating surfing history. The team’s number one seed is Fourways-based plumber Shane Warren who spent eight years on the WSL World Qualifying Series Tour and was a top provincial surfer who represented KZN in a number of National Championships. Lifelong friends Kevin Trevaskis and Byron Loker—who learned to surf together in the waters of Muizenberg—fellow Capetonian Dominic Barnardt and SA Masters Champion Tasha Mentasti make up the balance of the team.

The Billabong SA Interclub Championships a national Surfing South Africa tournament which is supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and hosted for the first time by the Seal Point Boardriders Surf Club who won the tournament at Kitchen Windows in Jeffreys Bay last February.

In winning the 2015 Interclub the Seal Point Boardriders earned the right to not only chose their “stadium” for this year contest but were also entitled to enter two teams into the two day clash.

The Eastern Cape is well represented by a total of nine surf clubs. These are made up of 2016 hosts Seal Point Boardriders, last year’s hosts the JBU, the J Bay Boardriders, the 2013 champions, the J Bay Surf Club, the powerful CYOH Surf Club and fellow Port Elizabeth clubs Sunset, the oldest surf club in South Africa, Gravitas Surf Club and the Madibaz Surf Club from NMMU. The Kowie Boardriders Club from Port Alfred will be joining their Eastern Cape counterparts at the event.

2012 hosts, the well organized West Coast Boardriders Club will be joined by fellow Western Cape surf clubs SWOT, Share the Stoke, 9 Miles Surf Club and Maties from Stellenbosch University. The recently established Sisonke Surf Club will make the long journey to Seal Point to compete in the Interclub for the first time

The 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Championships will use the Aloha Cup “tag” format which sees teams of four men and one woman competing against each in a 50 minute heat. All the points scored by each of the surfers count towards the final team score.

Although competition will be fierce in the water, the annual Interclub Championships is an extremely social affair once the heats are over. With this in mind clubs will get together for an informal opening function at Stix in Cape St Francis at 7pm on Friday night. All participants at the event are welcome to enjoy the Billabong sponsored snacks and the live band at this popular venue

Grant Beck, the Billabong Team & Events Manager is looking forward to the tournament. “We are amped to support the 2016 Billabong Interclub Championships. This event offers surf clubs from all parts of South Africa the opportunity to get together with fellow competitors, friends and family. It is great to partner with Surfing South Africa and the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and we look forward to staying involved in club surfing well into the future.”

Teams will meet at Seal Point at 7.45 am on Saturday for the official briefing and the contest will start at 8.30am.

The heats and the format are available on the Surfing South Africa website www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za.

The 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Championships will be fueled by Red Bull.

Surfing South Africa is a member of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). SSA is the recognized governing body for all surf riding in South Africa and is recognized as such by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa.

2016 Billabong South African Interclub Championships supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa. Seal Point, Cape St Francis. Saturday & Sunday February 13th & 14th.

FIGHT CLUB: #joburgboardriders Kevin Trevaskis & Byron Loker limber up inland surf team to under training from Jamie Windell of Wellfit Lifestyle at The Bull Ring Fitness Center.

FIGHT CLUB: #Joburgboardriders & Design Partnership project managers Kevin Trevaskis & Byron Loker limber up for the Billabong SA Inter-club Champs under the training of Jamie Windell of Wellfit Lifestyle at The Bull Ring Fight & Fitness Club.