Rough diamond (1/5)

By Drum Digital
13 April 2015

A boy who thinks he’s smart may have a lot to learn.

Mahikeng people knew Elvis Serwalo as DJ Es, which the DJ said stood for Extinct Species. He was an aspirant DJ, learning the ropes from his friend DJ Magic Feet. But when Es was mentioned people said, “Oh-oh! That ugly boy!” His features resembled those of a Stone-Age man: dark and short, with crooked legs. There was a forward slope to his front teeth, making them protrude through the lips. And as if that wasn’t enough, he walked with a shambling, stooping gait, with limbs that seemed too huge and ill-assorted to fit his short frame well.

The 27-year-old was a character and snobbishly self-assured. His father was a circuit manager of Rekopantswe District schools and his mother a director at the Department of Public Works. They lived in the affluent Unit 6 of Mahikeng.

Es didn’t care whether people called him ugly or not. He was living large and was simply finding it hard to learn restraint. No one was safe from his insensitive tongue. He was doing a communication science degree at the University of the North West. Besides deejaying, his other dream was to branch out into comedy. He was prepared to keep his big buck teeth as they were, convinced that they would be his gateway into showbiz.

Listening to him making silly jokes about village life, one couldn’t imagine that his grandparents were in Tlhabologo Village. As a teenager, he’d lived with them and struggled through high school at Barolong High. Back then he’d been in a Grade 10 class notoriously known as Ramatlabama, the Setswana word for “not willing to go anywhere.”

His classmates clearly remember the day he stood in front during a history lesson and entertained the class with what he termed the lighter side of the apartheid era. The class, under the hawk-like watch of the history teacher, had been discussing the impact of colonialism.

To be continued...

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