Showing posts from June, 2013

Comedy of errors: xenophobia and public safety in Cape Town

What began as a quiet morning on the public holiday Monday unfolded into a day that involved a police station, an insolent police woman and a crazy cab driver. My day began at lunchtime where I visited the Long Street baths for a quiet swim.
Instead of rushing home with the 14:45 train, I decided to stay in town and meet up with friends. We met in Roeland Street proceeded to a corner shop in Harrington Street to purchase some drinks so that the rest of the day would be spent pontificating the joys of our youth over a glass of wine. While waiting outside the liquor store in Harrington Street, we witnessed a street brawl. It didn’t look too serious and the trusted “Public Safety” Officers who roam about Cape Town’s CBD wearing neon coloured vests were present giving the impression that everything was under control. But what began as three men jostling each other and using a beer bottle as a weapon, spiralled out of control. We were innocent bystanders but ended up witnessing a violent a…

12 lessons I learned in school

Recently I've been cerebrating my own school days. While contemplating the woes of exams I began to contemplate some of the lessons that couldn’t be examined in a two hour exam. While there is much criticism about the relevance of school in a fast changing world (thanks Sir Ken Robinson) we forget that there are schools where there is more good than harm and I can think of a lesson I learned between Grade 1 and Grade 12 that have been relevant for the “real world” in spite of going to a school that was an English enclave with colonial traditions.
Grade 1: I discovered I was a writer. My first story was published. It wasn’t published because I was a child prodigy but because the school magazine was an anthology of all the learners’ creative work. In the form of a black and white paperback, my story (about Carly and her kitten) appeared amongst other pieces of writing riddled with all the writing errors Foundation Phase teachers have to make sense of in the process of teaching childr…