Book Extract: Coconut Kelz's survival guide


Satirical character Coconut Kelz is a young Caucasian woman trapped in a black body. Kelz lives in – and tries never to leave – Sandton and is a staunch supporter of the DA. She has handy tips on how to achieve the right white standard of beauty, how to catch yourself a white guy and find the best suburbs to live in. In this extract from Lesego Tlhabi's hilarious book about race and class in SA, Kelz tells us how to host the perfect shindig.

Hosting 101

Being the unofficial DA mascot is not always easy. For one thing, I am constantly hosting dinners and events in an effort to get more people to vote for the party.

You see, I am part of the party planning committee. Again, this is on an unofficial basis, but I do enjoy getting fellow enthusiasts together to talk about the future of this country and how we can make it look like the past again.

This chapter will help you elevate your social status from white to white supreme by teaching you how to host the perfect Caucasian shindig. I would have said “party”, but that is how black people let things get out of control. People must know they are attending a shindig, or soirée, so that they know to enter with trepidation in full understanding that it will start and finish on time.

Once you have acquired this skill, your transformation and assimilation process will be complete and you will finally be seen as one of them. At this point, you will have to say goodbye to your entire family. They will no longer be a part of your life. And that is okay.

If this were easy, everyone would have been able to live the life of white privilege. But it is not, and that is why this life is reserved for those of us who want it badly enough.

Guest list

The people you invite will truly make or break your gathering. This is because there are popular people, and there are the people who will sink you into social oblivion.

There is no hard and fast rule that says you can’t invite a black person. But the ratio always has to make the white women feel comfortable and not need to have more than one conversation with Thandi from the office. Oh yes, it is better if she is a colleague – they’ll understand better why she is there.

You might be thinking, but won’t they see I’m black if I invite black friends? No. If you are hosting an event, it means you are already three-quarters of the way into the full transformation process. At this point, when they say they do not see colour, they will be talking about your translucent skin, post bleach.

You also want to invite people from the country club you wish to be a part of. Then they can enjoy your hospitality and go speak to their husbands on your behalf to let you in.

Conversation topics 

You may think that soirée conversation is organic; something that just happens because people connect. Oh, you silly fool! Everything has to be guided and suggested because, as women, we do not want the bother of thinking too hard about the world, otherwise we might get sad.

I bet you are wondering how on earth you can guide conversation when you can’t be everywhere at once. Well, we Caucasian women call it coding. You will put various objects and pictures around the room in the conversation zones so that people bounce off that.

For extra help in case things get really tough, each guest will receive a pack of key cards with a few ideas for conversation topics. You should come up with your own key cards, because each party and group is different. Just to get you started, here are a few of the most popular conversation topics:

. The crime is getting out of hand, this country is going to the dogs! I’m moving to ...

. No, come on, man, it has been 25 years. They must get over it. (This only applies to apartheid. Not the Holocaust or 9/11 or World War 1.)

. Ever since I started juicing...

. No, my husband works at...

. We never get free time, but we do love our Decembers in...

. No, man, why can’t they see how corrupt the ANC is? Really can’t believe they invented corruption!

. That Muzi Maimunni is such a non-threatening black. And that makes him a great future leader. He has a white wife, you know.

. So now we have a quota rugby captain. Oh, he is very good? One of the best? Yes, but still. These people and hand-outs.

. I’m not being racist, but... (Then go wild. You have excused yourself so you can be as racist as you want – have fun with it.)

The last thing to take note of to be the perfect host is ...

Service staff

You will never be able to host any sort of party without a great staff at your service. This not only includes your current maid and/or butler, you will need to ask them to invite their friends to come and help as well. Failing that, you can hire a team with the help of your event coordinator.

You need to ensure that you buy uniforms for them because you do not want people to think that you would have that many black people in your house voluntarily. You will need at least two days before the event for proper training. Imagine the embarrassment of people getting served from the left instead of the right!

The service staff must become invisible, almost as if you have magical trays that are floating by themselves in the air. Again, your guests’ inability to see colour will help here.

The staff must not talk too loudly. That would be a nightmare. They must feel slightly on edge – as if they know you could bring slavery back at any minute – but not angry so that they would turn around and rob you.

Add an extra R5 to their fee and get them to entertain the guests with a song or two. When I go to game reserves, my favourite thing is to see the exploited staff sing for my white delight.

Please take photos of your next soirée and tag me in them so I can follow your progress and cheer you on from a distance. I will also be able to give notes for improvement, just in case I see something out of place like one too many blacks ... or meat platters. Enjoy!

PS Despite my having hosted many a soirée, nothing seems to get the DA to take me more seriously. Nothing I do actually seems to convince anyone higher up to make me a member of staff. That’s A-okay, though; I smile through the pain and tell myself I do it because I believe in the party. It is not for me to question why, when I have worked my ass off for years and never deviated from the agreed-upon rules.

Just the other day, Phumzile and Mmusi started replying to tweets in isiVernac! That is rule number two in the Handbook for Avoiding Harvard (rule number one is Helen is the leader and shall therefore face no consequences for any actions – and that is only right).

Oh gosh, I apologise for this rant! But rather write an angry email and never press send than let them find out how frustrated you are by your lack of real progress.

. Tlhabi is the comedian behind the satirical character Coconut Kelz

. This extract was taken from Coconut Kelz’s Guide to Surviving This Shithole by Tlhabi. Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers. It’s available at all good bookstores for R195

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