Kgomotso Matsunyane

Running for dear life

2007-10-11 08:55

Kgomotso Matsunyane

Jogging in Sea Point and jogging in Spruitview could not be more different. Obviously, the sea and the mountain win hands down in this round as far as scenery is concerned. No wonder Jan van Riebeck didn't want to go back home, Cape Town is bloody gorgeous.

The people of Cape Town, however, are a strange and fascinating lot who see no irony in taking personal credit for an ocean and a mountain they did not create.

While there are beautiful houses in Spruitview, there is zero natural beauty, and you can count the number of trees with one hand. Okay with both hands, but you get the picture. There is a smelly, mosquito-breeding marsh where the actual spruit is, and the sewerage from all the surrounding white suburbs for some reason is dumped right here.

So obviously, I prefer running in Sea Point, even if I have to evade huge piles of dog shit that pet owners feel too privileged to clean up. I've noticed though that in both places I'm always greeted with curious stares. What's so surprising about a black woman jogging anyway?

Fat of phat?

I've convinced myself that the people in Sea Point think: "I wonder what shul she goes to?" And in Spruitview it's more like: "She's kind of short, but nice ass." In both suburbs, I'm dismayed to report that the only times I'm harassed, it is by a group of black construction workers at the back of a bakkie who feel obliged to call me "dudlu" - a Zulu term for "fat" which is supposed to be a compliment like "phat", but never quite feels as such.

To avoid such dispiriting remarks I never run without my trusted iPod shuffle. Light as a feather, I crank up the volume and keep up a stiff neck (ke tisa molala).

The last straw came last Saturday morning when a crazy woman ensured that running in Spruitview is not something I'll be doing too soon. One minute I see a little girl cleaning a stoep, next thing a tall skinny woman with flailing relaxed hair picks up rocks from the ground and starts throwing them at me! "Voetsek, njandini!" She screamed.

I stood there, bewildered, wondering if I was really the target. When the little girl cleaning the stoep bolted to the safety of her yard, I took that as a sign and retreated backwards but still facing my assailant, because she was really flinging those rocks and her aim was uncomfortably accurate.


Finally I turned a corner and a sympathetic brother told me that the woman went crazy when another woman bewitched and subsequently stole her husband, so now any woman who comes across her path is subject to her wrath. Why this woman is not in hospital, I will never know. But I do know that she's a menace to society.

To everyone who sent good wishes about my mom's health, you'll be happy to know she made a complete recovery and went back to work, only to be unceremoniously dumped without explanation by her employer.

To the spirited sista who wrote "Kgomotso you are a disgrace to blacks. It's your kind that irritates me. Have you lost your roots?" If you're from Spruitview and it is so fantastic there, why are you living in Bryanston?

  • Kgomotso Matsunyane is a partner at T.O.M. Pictures, whose comedy Sorted was this week nominated for the International Emmy Awards, taking place on 19th of November in New York City.

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