Colleen Figg

Steve's storm in a teacup

2008-12-19 08:40

Colleen Figg

With this business of throwing tea into Esmare Weideman's face, Steve Hofmeyr once again displays the ill breeding he is becoming known for.

His inability to control himself - which seems to lie at the very root of all of his problems - has manifested itself in ugliness and violence before. Somehow though, to me, this little bit of nastiness has placed him quite beyond the pale.

Steve appears to be one of these "celebrities" that operates in the microcosm of South African entertainment, who thinks he's royalty because a few people at the Pick 'n Pay in Rustenburg clamour for his autograph on a Saturday morning and some purple haired tannies come over all queer when he struts about the stage copying Neil Diamond (the only thing he's actually any good at in my opinion).

The essential mistake Steve makes, as do others who fall into this bracket, is to confuse success with entitlement to preferential treatment. With this sense of entitlement comes the idea that manners can be dispensed with, as though manners are something you use to smooth your path through life and can be discarded once your path is considered smooth enough.

Where do you come from?

No doubt my remark above pertaining to breeding will have several people foaming at the mouth, because we live in a world where one must not be classist or elitist or anything - it's because shame man, people can't help where they come from.

But true good breeding has nothing to do with where you come from, it has to do with an ingrained sense of moral integrity, a soundness of character that can withstand the severest of tests, without loss of decency. It encompasses a dignity of being that means you take responsibility for your own mistakes and for the consequences of those mistakes.

I was not thrilled when I first heard that Hofmeyr may have love children he does not support, but I was prepared to put up with that because I know the world is not perfect and we all make mistakes. Likewise, his recent affair and separation from his wife I considered to be none of my business; marriages break up every day, people are unfaithful every day.

But to throw a cup of tea into a woman's face in public, or at all, is ill-bred. To blame that individual for the lack of children and Christmas trees, when that lack is caused by your own behaviour is boorish. To think you are entitled to dispense with manners because you're famous is ignorant.

Mr Hofmeyr's true colours have come shining through, it seems.

Send your comments to Colleen.

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