Kgomotso Matsunyane

All coming back to me?

2007-12-06 09:10

Kgomotso Matsunyane

I don't know what it is about me this year, but I've been attracting some serious nutters who seem hell bent on unleashing very unwarranted injury to me.

If there's any truth to the principles of the book The Secret, and that is that we attract everything that happens in our lives, then I'm in serious trouble.

This morning at the airport I'm having a much-enjoyed but seriously-artery-clogging deep fried chicken lunch with my mother in the food court. An uncombed but clean and neatly dressed man in his early thirties, jacket and all, sits at the table across next to ours.

He waves to my mom, presumably in greeting. As is normal and decent, mom greets him back, albeit apprehensively. "Do you know him?" she asks me with a look that begs; "please tell me you didn't date him". I respond in the negative.

Two minutes later the guy starts pointing at my mom and making "cut your throat" signs across his neck with his finger! He then starts to verbally attack us: "I am going to kill you. I am going to shoot you. I'm going to cut your throat."

All-righty then

All-righty then, clearly, the man is mentally disturbed, I observe euphemistically. My mom and I try not to look too panicked as we look around for any kind of security to report our would-be assassin. We ask a waitress from the Spur to help us and point out our taunter: "Oh, that one? He works here, we know him. Don't worry, he's harmless."


Rewind this tape for just one minute. Are you kidding me? At a major international airport, in this day of "take your shoes off before you board the plane" kind of security, where my plastic nail file is considered a weapon so deadly I cannot board the flight with it in my purse, but you are happy to let a certifiable whack job to walk around undisturbed?

Not happy with this answer, we ask the waitress to call security, and a male and female police officer come to our table. Great. Fabulous. We're safe now. My mother tells them about our security risk, who is watching us menacingly from a distance, making a point to make eye contact with us.

To my horror the police call him to our table: "Philip, did you threaten these people"? I'm thinking, oh please tell me our esteemed officer did not just call him by his name! The man is so familiar he's living in his own episode of Cheers, you know, where everybody knows his bloody name!

To add insult to injury, she was actually questioning my 65-year-old very dignified mom's judgement! The gods must finally be crazy after all.

A wild guess

Take a wild guess: What do you think was Philip's response to this question? Give yourself a point if you said "No!" Duh! I mean, what else would we expect the brother to say?

By this stage my mother is almost hysterical with anger. I wish I could tell you that Philip was duly escorted off the airport property and told never to return his crazy behind or he'll be arrested kind of vibe. But no, that apparently would be too much to ask.

The cops just told ol' Phil to leave us alone, and walked away, presumably to much more important business like, I don't know, having magwinya and guava juice or something.

Seriously though, my mother and I felt extremely threatened by this man. He may not have harmed us, but he promised to, and I for one believed him.

Not knowing this man from Adam, or Thabo for that matter, and after being pelted by rocky missiles by another not so well sister about two months ago when I was jogging in Spruitview, I'm starting to wonder if I am the problem.

My calling attention to this is not to make light of mental illness, which is (clearly) a most serious concern and obviously warrants the state to afford due resources to it.

Call me superstitious, but the third nutter to attack me may just succeed, and that makes me very scared. Worse still, in an airport that processes so much human cargo on any given day, I definitely feel that the my security should be guaranteed from such people as Philip, who I sincerely wish will get the help he so desperately needs.

Surely that's not too much to ask from ACSA?

  • Kgomotso Matsunyane is a partner at T.O.M. Pictures, a Film & TV Production company in Jo'burg.

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