Kgomotso Matsunyane

Boys and their toys

2008-02-21 09:30

Kgomotso Matsunyane

When I was growing up, biker gangs were the exclusive terrain of very frightening looking white dudes in mullets and their peroxide, very butch women holding tightly behind them. We called them "dark tails", and without your parents having to warn you, this kind was to be avoided at all cost.

Nine years ago my brother Neo and his two of his friends bought bikes and rode all over the country. Since then, Neo has crashed (and badly) two of those bikes, and as his credit limit increases, keeps upgrading to faster, slicker bikes. Not really something my mom is thrilled about, but at 41 there's little you can say to a man with early mid-life crisis.

Since then there has been an explosion of black motorcycle riders. Being ever the supportive tag-along little sister, I found myself at the launch of The Blacque Diamonds Motor Cycle Club (BDMCC) in Pimville, Soweto on Saturday.

Never having been to one of these dos before, my friend Thando and I were more than a little curious about what really goes down at these gigs, and the biggest carrot of course was the potential for eye candy. Outside of boardrooms, this must be the only other place in this country where men far outnumber women. We were very, happy campers.

Yes, size does matter

There is such a wide variety of class here its impossible to assume anything about these bikers. From the Bantu education survivors to the private school twangers. Some are Metro Cops, some are administrators in government, and some sit on JSE listed boards.

And then there's the alpha male TV figure for which this scene is tailor made because you see, there is a lot of posturing in biking. In fact showing off yourself, your bike and its prowess is obligatory, and size is everything. The larger the engine, the more obnoxious the noise, the cooler the dude. Testosterone rules, period.

One fellow with an unusually large girth demonstrated his impressive dance moves with a young weaved thang with a generous and jiggly bootay, much to the crowd's delight. The dude was wearing an impressive size 52 (I kid you not), custom made, pair of brown leather pants.

"Take me to your tailor" I think, most impressed.

Our new friend Sydney nicknames him the "love bubble - the more he loves, the bigger he gets! The dude turns out to be the founder and editor of the Black Bikers magazine, and apparently has three wives. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

It's a free country, bru!

In a tent next to us was a group of white bikers, both men and women. They didn't look much different from the dark tails, but they were right at home. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself that all these bikers would never get along if they ever discussed politics.

The only thing people care about here is to worship at the altar of the Bike God. Mbeki-Zuma, race, class and nationalism are completely immaterial.

Ahhh, maybe one day the rest of the country will get there. But I'm not holding my breath.

(The BDMCC is holding a fundraiser "Day Jol" on the 10th of May. Meeting place is at the beneficiary's location: the Takalani Home for the mentally disabled, opposite the Chris-Hani Baragwanath Nurses Home. Cars and spectators welcome.)

  • When she's not hanging out with dodgy but hot men wearing tight leather pants, Kgomotso Matsunyane is a partner at T.O.M. Pictures, an award winning TV & Film Company in Jo'burg.

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