Ptown Plekke, Jozi Jols

There is a stink of Kurt Darren outside Loftus’ beloved walls. The sizzling boerewors en tjops. Lynwood Road traps four schools in proud blazers as the purple pavements stand proud and steady.  O, Liefling! Union.

There is a lady that wears a leopard. Proud, too. Her eyes hidden behind Italian shades. A pendulum that sways with the equal distribution of boutique bags. Reptiles that hold Madibas in their bottomless jaws. Bottomless mocha-frotho-latte contraptions.

 Skinny jeans between okes with sharp khaki. Manicured politician gardens and Jaguars that dodge fevered taxis with the hoot-hoot ego that comes with the ‘GP’ design. A slow grapple on tar towards the neighbours forty clicks away. A promise of the N1 chaos and turnoffs that host skeletal boys who point to their mouths with promising eyes. A minute away, Waterkloof’s gates hold their heads high.


Houghton – said with an accent that needs practice.
Sandton –said with an accent that needs a stiff upper lip.
There is choreography of models that sweat.
If your pecks ain’t big enough, get out bru.

If you don’t play rugby, get out.
There’s an art class for you.
If you don’t sokkie, if you don’t braai
Then the Capital will skop you out
School bag over the shoulders, barefoot break-time

And the Rolex is pulled back, glanced over
The train silent in its approach
The business deals between business deals
and the media that cracks the stories
of Africa’s mighty Big Apple
the high-rise secrets
Big City Life


As jy mooi luister, kan jy dit hoor
Hatfield se studente wat stumble
soos masjiene wat drink nodig het
Oiling of the cog
Arcade se rockers
Presley’s se Jackie Louw

Monster hats
and the zooted rims
that need a little shine
The South rises
and there is hurry of fists
dancing to the rhythm of summer


Oppi Koppi: the dusty otherworld

 When we die one day, hopefully everyone would have had the taste of an Oppi Koppi weekend. It was my first and while I’ve gone to a few local festivals, I didn’t quite feel like I had roped in enough knowledge about how to prepare myself for Oppi. I figured that no one can really prepare. All you need to do is embrace the unpredictability of dust-covered blankets, buckets full of ill-prepared vodka mixes and the characters we meet along the way. And there are definitely characters that will stand out in their entire hippie, boertjie, poppie, festival junkie state. I didn’t know where I quite fitted in – I was the first-timer with all the excitement I could hold. From Boom Street to Foktrappies, I encountered people who hung on people, the exposed backs and bums of tall dancers who wanted to share their history, music, cigarettes or whatever dear potions they mumbled off. From pyjama outfits to animal suits, the festival allows for a balls-to-the-wall sense of being – anything goes, anyone goes.


 And I kept thinking “Why haven’t I done this sooner?”

There might be a cloud of dust in your throat (the dust was not an understatement that’s for sure) and hard ‘beds’ to go home to (if you happen to remember where your camp is) but there will be an emotion that will trump it all – that you’re in a congregation that adores music and the coming-together of fans or people who just want to break free from the mindless, day-to-day tik-tik-tiking on their keyboards. Perhaps, Oppi is an annual bite of heaven; or something that everyone aspires to after they turn 21: an ever-present youth.


From Jeremy Loops’ seductive, crowd-pleasing antics to the drawl of Mr. Folk in Matthew Mole, the congregation moved like everyone knew everyone. From new experiences in Bye Beneco and the chilled vibes in Al Bairre and Beatenberg, Oppi seemed to churn out musicians in their element. From the absolute mastery of Bittereinder on stage to Crash Car Burn’s old favourites, it seemed that everything that reminded people of work and life and bills and comfort disappeared. And for now we were all experiencing Oppi 2013 in all its glory – and my first one. With the “awe ma se kinders” from Jack Parow to Yellowcard’s flashback to our teenage angst, there was no better way to spend a weekend.


And with the Redbull Stage demonstrating the liberty of dance while the rock stages attracted oldies with ‘Oppi ‘92’ t-shirts, there was an acceptance of all. And yes, we’re all somewhat segregated with our different likes and dislikes but there is no hostility. A music festival is so different and maybe we can all act like perfect friends in that environment because it seems other-worldly; like we’re spending a weekend in an un-burstable bubble away from daily news reports.


The chit-chattering of 4am teeth when the winter seems too long

Deep-dark thumbles and chapped lips

The knocking of portaloo friends and the stink of

wine, smoke, dust

as the sun sets and we order our desserts

The round glasses, the cowboy hats and penguin hats

Coats and jeans and underwear mismatched

And we’re all out of place

The dying, cold fires and tornados of air

The bounce of half n’ half

The colours that make us

All the same but entirely different

The hipster cools

The local wanderers

The zebra pack and whistles late at night

The scream and crackle of the braai


And the ‘good morning, round three’ calls

Couches that are planted in tradition

And flags like pirates after the bounty

The promise of a one-day shower


Why thank you Oppi…