We meet again, sweetheart. This time for real

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Jackie Chan. Picture: Reuters
Jackie Chan. Picture: Reuters

VOICES


Meeting your childhood sweetheart and hitting things up again is a rare phenomenon. When it does happen, the lovebirds live to tell a remarkable tale.

I recently had the experience of reuniting with my childhood sweetheart.

Like many youngsters in the 1980s growing up in dusty Matsulu, east of Nelspruit in the then eastern Transvaal (modern-day Mpumalanga), I marvelled at Chinese movies.

From Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan to Shaolin monks, the movies were on another level. Of course, others enjoyed Western movies, where guns and shooting were the order of the day.

Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon. Picture: Getty Images

During those days, a TV was a scarce commodity and families that had one always attracted many youngsters to their yard.

It was common to see children sitting, kneeling or standing at an awkward angle at an open door or window of a house to get a glimpse of their favourite TV programme.

Some homes charged us pittances of no more than 10 cents to watch TV and help contribute towards the purchase of petrol for the generator to ensure the TV could play. We did not have electricity at the time.

While football was a common sport among young boys, the popularity of Chinese movies saw many of us joining karate classes to learn the sport.

The ultimate goal was to be just like the idols we watched in movies, with the crazy flying kicks and jumping buildings, and stopping sharp swords with one’s fingers.

For many, the karate classes ended as soon as they realised that the movies were just that – an act to entertain viewers. Karate is a sport that requires dedication and commitment to master.

During those days, a TV was a scarce commodity and families that had one always attracted many youngsters to their yard. It was common to see children sitting, kneeling or standing at an awkward angle at an open door or window of a house to get a glimpse of their favourite TV programme

Over the years, and as we became teenagers, karate became less enticing, but we continued to enjoy the movies.

To keep people entertained, fewer Chinese classics were being made, and more modernised versions became the norm. Films such as Jackie Chan’s Police Story and Jet Li’s Romeo Must Die replaced classics such as Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Once Upon a Time in China.

Jet Li

The urbanised Chinese movies are great to watch – they at least have a storyline, unlike the classics, where people just meet and fight for no reason.

In the few weeks past, I happened to be channel-hopping on TV and stumbled across Asian action entertainment channel KIX(DStv channel 114).

A spark lit in my eyes. There was my childhood sweetheart, right in my lounge on the telly. We soon hit it up again, albeit with no flying kicks or crazy stunts from me this time.

KIX has provided an escape from the depressing state of our country – corruption, state capture, stolen public funds, ANC factions, racism, another child and/or woman missing or raped or beaten or murdered.

The nice thing about Chinese classics is that action is guaranteed for the duration of the movie; you are never short of entertainment.

*Lubisi passed away on Friday night, shortly after penning this column.

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The Dashiki Dialogues is a collection of irreverent yet relevant opinion pieces on life. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, they are a popular feature in City Press.

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Dumisane Lubisi 

Executive Editor

+27 11 713 9001
dumisane.lubisi@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park

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