Poptartology: Don’t touch me on my Shaka

2013-04-14 06:00

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Poptarts of the week: Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole

Poor Shaka Zulu turned in his grave again this week, according to a concerned citizen from KwaZulu-Natal interviewed in the Daily Sun in response to the outrageous act of two men being in love in the province.

A simple Zulu outfit became a traditional weapon in the hands of Thabo Sithole and his activist husband, Tshepo Modisane, who dared to exercise their constitutional right to get married.

Tshepo and Thoba during the traditional part of their wedding ceremony in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Sephiwe Nxumalo

The image of a Zulu gay kiss went viral across the planet.

It’s been years since Shaka was a buzz word in popular culture.

Once upon a time he was every madam’s loincloth fantasy when he was the subject of Bill Faure’s Shaka Zulu, a TV series full of “witch doctors” and muscular, marauding impis.

So popular was the series in Germany that it spawned the name of a neo-Nazi gang, the Shaka Zulus.

This week E! Entertainment’s seriously unfunny comedy studio slot, Chelsea Lately, interviewed some breathless and morbidly obese American homosexuals about the wedding. “So-fari so good,” said one panellist, cunningly playing on the Africa-as-safari-destination theme.

Not to be outdone, Chelsea shared her own thoughts: “They say they want to have a surrogate. It’s a little stupid to have a surrogate in Africa. There’s like orphans growing on trees there.”

The thought hadn’t entered the mind of inkosi Bonga Mdletshe, interviewed in The New Age: “But how will they have children?”

“The two tied the knot in KwaDukuza, where a memorial of King Shaka kaSenzangakhona stands proudly,” wrote the paper.

They also quoted inkosi Mzokhulayo Mkhwanazi of the Mpukunyoni Tribal Authority in Mtubatuba: “I feel like shivering. I have never seen anything like that and I still can’t comprehend it. I have no words to express my disgust.”

It’s a good thing the two bewildered inkosis didn’t read Tshepo and Thoba’s blog, where they give a detailed account of selecting and slaughtering the “gay bull”.

Hash and tags

Spare a thought for the lonely dagga plant photographed along the boundary of the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria that would probably have gone viral this week if the homosexuals weren’t stealing all the attention.

Dagga plant. Picture: IOL

And while you’re at it, take a moment to reach out to Cher’s less bright fans.

They were sent reeling when Margaret Thatcher died, misreading the Twitter hashtag #nowthatchersdead...

Shack planet

In his runaway hit District 9, South African film director Neill Blomkamp parked a spaceship over Soweto and brought the aliens in to live as malnourished and desperate shack dwellers.

In his new Hollywood feature, he’s turned the whole planet into Soweto.

The trailer released this week has already been viewed over a million times. You should add to its clicks:


Elysium now also has a website with an Elysium Citizenship Initiative where you can try to gain entry to the land of privilege.

Not the Poptart of the Week: Madonna (and child)

In an epic assault on pop royalty, Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, finally let Madonna know who’s boss.

Flitting back into the country to play with the children, save the continent from despair and drop the prez a strange little handwritten note, Madonna set herself up for the scorn she deserves.

My best blog on the interwebs, Africa is a Country, laid out the pop war here in a post called Madonna vs Joyce Banda: Celebrity Deathmatch (Philanthropy Edition).

Here’s my favourite bit: “Finally, enraged by Madonna’s whining to the international press about having to check in on departure at the airport in Lilongwe, Africa’s second female president totally lost it and laid down the presidential smackdown with a furiously sarcastic tirade in which she lectured the would-be do-gooder on the meaning of kindness, accused her of blackmail and bullying, lamented her failure to perform “decent music”, and compared her unfavourably to Chuck Norris, Bono and a trio of English soccer players.”

The good pop intellectuals at @AfricasaCountry were outdone only by Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina, who proved that sarcasm is indeed an art form in his Open Letter to Madonna

“I would like to ask you a favour.Please forgive President Joyce Banda for all those nasty things somebody said on her behalf about you,” he writes. “If Malawi has been ungrateful and treated you badly, you must know my country Kenya has orphans too.”

Shall I compare thee to a vase?

We all know that Madonna’s star is on the wane and that Beyoncé is the new Madonna.

It’s because I love her, dear readers, that I make fun of her. I stumbled across the kind of gem that only happens because the internet can: Vases That Look Like Beyoncé.

Beyonce. Picture: Tumblr

Crazed fans and wacky dictators

Zimbabwe’s tabloids put South Africa’s to shame.

My favourite is Bulawayo24, who seem to have put aside their obsession with “goblins”, Satanists and female rapists to bring us a whole new meme: A woman, whose identity cannot be ascertained, has laid a chicken’s egg.

Speaking of which, The Sun has delivered my favourite headline of the week: You’re the Jong That I Want  for a story revealing that “wacky US-hating dictator” Kim Jong-un once performed in a school production of the all-American musical Grease.

In other mostly sickening and generally sensationalist news this week, the world’s fears about the vuvuzela finally came true when a fan attacked a referee with one.

Django Unchained was canned in China after screening for just one minute.

Charlize Theron may have a new boyfriend, or she may not. Either way, she’s made the round-up just for looking hot.

Psy has released the audio for Gentleman, his follow-up to Gangnam Style.

It’s same old, same old with one great line: I’m a mother, father, gentleman.


Return of the Ninja

We all know that Ninja is the zef star of Die Antwoord.

(And incidentally, the band that eats other cultures for breakfast is showing an installation in a Los Angeles art gallery soon with photographer Roger Ballen, who freakifies poverty for lunch,) but I bet you didn’t know there was a South African Ninja before him.

The delicious retro blog Afrosynth strolls down memory lane and returns with nuggets like this:

Read more about South Africa’s original Ninja here.

Epic low-budget video of the week

On a prettier note, two Joburg video directors – Oliver Chanarin and Laurence Hamburger – have come up with a video that is impossibly cheap to produce and spectacularly beautiful to watch.

It features two South African gymnasts and was made for a new UK band called Woman’s Hour.


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