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Never speaking to township kids again

22 November 2012, 14:08

It was a Wednesday like any other. Wait, or was it a Monday? It was my uncle Shaun’s birthday. That was a Saturday. It was a Saturday like any other Wednesday - I was at home rapping my uncle’s present. I’m no Jay-Z, but neither is Proverb and he made it. He’s even hosting Idols. I’m hopeful. Please, who am I kidding? It’s clear from this last season of Idols that the Mnet execs don’t want anymore white sugar (that’s what my girlfriend calls me. She’s a diabetic) in their morning coffee.

While rapping my uncle’s present, I was rudely interrupted by my best friend who appeared to have something urgent to ask. I continued rapping. I had only managed to “beat up 3 hoes”, when my friend grabbed my arm and, in between heaving like Benni McCarthy after 5 minutes on the field, he managed to cough up a request: “Please come peak at my kid’s stool.” “I’ve told you a hundred times. I only wear that stethoscope to pick up chicks,” I reminded him.

My girlfriend blurted out something, but her mouth was full of Jelly Tots so I couldn’t make out what she said. “I won’t look at your kid’s poo.”So I did what any self-respecting African man would do and I picked up a stone and aimed it at him. “What? No, I said, ‘please, come speak at my kid’s school.’” That’s something I’m probably not qualified for either, but how could I turn down my best friend? What can I say? I’m a great friend.  “I’ll do it for R500.” He laughed. I slapped him. He paid up. I didn’t choose the thug life, it chose me.

My best friend is black. Helives with his son in a township, although he travels a lot, with his new, high-paying job. He’s going to BEE all he can be. We arrived at the schoolsituated in the middle of the township. I was afraid. Not of being mugged, or hijacked, or needing to go to the toilet. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to relate. What would I say to these children? I knew nothing of what life is like for them. I have DSTV’s premium package. They probably have to watch Etv. What could I tell them, other than the fact that there have been movies made after 2001 and that there are other actors besides Chuck Norris?

I stood there ready to deliver what I sensed was probably going to be a very long awkward silence, when a bird flew into the hall and landed right in front of me. I was startled. I screamed. I flapped my arms. That just encouraged it, obviously. It flew towards me. I swatted at it. For the first 25 years of my life, eye hand coordination eluded me like the correct pronunciation of “circumstance”eludes so many SABC news anchors. But on this fateful day my eyes and hands decided to coordinate in a treacherous attempt to make me the scourge of the earth. That bird never knew what hit it. The children screamed. Some even began to cry (sissies). The headmaster looked on in horror. My best friend began to back out of the hall subtly. I tried to recover by picking up the bird and moving its beak: “Hey kids, I’m ok. I’m still a happy bird.” They didn’t fall for it. Everyone knows birds are racist. They would never speak to a room filled with black kids.

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