No money is no joke as satirical site closes shop

2010-09-04 00:00

“FOR the first time in nearly three years, our headline is true: this is Hayibo’s last update,” the satirical website, Hayibo.com, announced yesterday.

In the site’s final post, it announced that “President Jacob Zuma said that he had never seen Hayibo, but had often said ‘Hayibo!’, usually after young women mentioned in passing that they were pregnant”.

It also took a dig at the ANC’s national executive committee, saying that that the committee “understood the site’s struggle to attract reliable sponsors”.

“‘It’s the same old story,’ said spokesman Spandex Xenge. ‘You make a gentleman’s agreement, shake hands over a deal involving a few bob, and suddenly it’s Arms Deal this and Oilgate that. Who needs that kind of hassle? Rather just use cash in brown paper bags.’”

Opposition leader Helen Zille was also in the firing line. She “said she would miss Hayibo’s snide remarks about her Botox injections. ‘At least they noticed,’ she murmured with the faintest flutter of her top lip. ‘I’d walk in to the office, nobody would even look up. I mean, what am I? Chopped liver?’”

In their final post, Hayibo’s owners said, “We’re deeply grateful to all of you who have flocked to the shop to show your support by buying some Hayibo what-whats.

“However, as we said in the newsletter, we have never been able to turn your passion and our sense of humour into advertising revenue: if we had a buck for every person in corporate South Africa who said, ‘Love the site, just don’t want to associate my brand with it,’ we’d have retired rich. But alas, we must unfortunately get back to paying jobs and long-neglected families.”

The website was launched in the public sphere on 14 January 2008, and so far this year has registered between 8 0000 to 100 000 unique users every month with its takes on the odder aspects of life in South Africa and abroad. The business model for the website was to have combined paid content syndication, an online retail shop and the elusive advertising revenue.

Hayibo’s final post yesterday typifies the website’s satire. “South Africa’s political leaders are officially the country’s most silly people after the previous record holders — the Hayibo.com team — stepped down today.”

Writer and co-founder Ant Pascoe said, “South Africans are crying out for relief from the doom and gloom of baby murders and husband-kills-wife stories. If people must cry, they must cry from laughter.”

Hayibo.com will be up for at least another fortnight, with all the satire to be published in a second book.

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