George must be turning in his grave

2013-07-22 13:06

Sunday night. I’m stuck in Eshowe. I’m sober.

It’s my own fault. I’m nursemaiding this Aussie TV crew around Zululand.

A far cry from my standard Sunday evening football and beer ritual. Not bad work though.

Tour guide meets shepherd. It’s like herding cats. Or small children.

Without the cattle prod. Just when you’ve got everybody together, some muppet wanders off.

We land at the George Hotel. Our home for the night.

The George is this old school colonial country hotel. It’s named after one of those layabout English royals.

His name was George. The walls are covered with pictures of Zulus killed and enslaved by George’s henchmen.

The Brits had to offset the costs of colonising the planet somehow.

I wander off in search of the bar. I find it. Within seconds I’m belly up to the counter with a Zulu Blonde in my hand.

The Blonde is a goodie. It’s this slightly fruity beer brewed on the premises in a tiny brewhouse next to the hotel swimming pool.

The Blonde has been making a name for itself in the UK and elsewhere.

After the first two gulps I look up. I see this head that I recognise. Turns out it’s the legendary artist, photoshop god and general nutter Peter Engblom.

Engblom now runs the George and has set up gallery there. The bar’s covered in his work.

Pete has this thing where he creates worlds and history by using old pictures and artefacts and photoshopping his tales into them.

Pete’s a genius who lives his life between Goa and Eshowe. He’s crazy as a snake. He’s a bullshit artist and historian of note.

His great granddad used to forcibly baptise Zulus.

A good few Blondes later and Pete’s in full cry.

The Aussies are loving him. Pete’s loving having a non-agricultural audience for a change. He’s sparking.

Pete has his own private bar. It’s called the Pablo Escobar Bar. I kid you not.

The Escobar is Pete’s personal homage to Latin America’s finest – Che Guevara and Pablo Escobar.

It’s tiny. It’s a beautiful, insane space. Every inch is alive with images of the two and Pete’s interpretations of their role in history.

There’s a wire version of Che’s motorbike.

There’s irregular lights everywhere. There’s adverts for Fair Trade Cocaine.

Moving chandeliers cast light in circles catching the glint in Pablo’s eye.

George must be turning in his grave.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.