Rent-a-darkie.co.za

token white guy from the le brons
Liven up your party with a token white guy Source: The LeBrons

Struggling to find a job, I was hoping to offer my services (for hire) as a black person to any willing white South Africans because let’s face it, these days black is the new cool. Any white person (especially a famous one) living in Africa who wants to be taken seriously has to have a large crew of black Africans to claim as friends so that they can easily whip these friends out in public when they are accused of racism (which happens a lot to white South Africans).

What I was offering was a service to make it simpler for white South Africans to have black friends without having to drive to Soweto to seek them out on their own. Within 3 days they would receive a rental agreement and price quote. They would just submit a deposit and plan an event. I would then take care of the rest.

In this age of BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) my plan was to offer white South Africans the chance to advance their business and social reputation by giving them a connection with a black person i.e a “blackgent” (for a price). These “blackgents” could be taken to any gathering, event or even to the office to keep things lively and add clout to the image of the white person who would have hired them.

I had a business plan, a name for my website and I had five friends who were willing to be “blackgents”, a term I coined to describe the sales agents of my company. I took it from the term sales agents. Since they are black and they would be selling the black experience to white people then “blackgents” would be cool, creative right? I know, thank you.

Anyway, I was well on my way to creating my website http://www.rentadarkie.co.za only to find out about www.rent-a-negro.com. It seems someone thought of this way before I did. Granted this site is American but there I was looking at my idea plastered all over their website, to my great disappointment.

I had to reconsider my idea, and then it hit me! How about I rent out white people to black people? Indeed, given the amount of racial tension that goes around in this country whenever there’s beef between a black person and a white person (because people of the same race never have beef) I thought my idea could work the other way round.

South Africa has a growing black middle class. These people have money and they have status but, if general opinion is to be believed, they obviously lack the creativity, articulacy and attractiveness of white people so that is where I would come in.

As a black owner of my company any BEE quota requirements would easily be satisfied. Besides, it would be a refreshing change to have white people working for black people.

In practice what would happen is that after agreeing rental terms, the rented legoa (sotho for white person) would arrive at a black middle class event prepped and ready to go. He/she would interact with guests/friends/colleagues according to the expectations outlined in the contract, making the black person who hired him/her look more intelligent and more cultured. All they would have to do is enjoy the event and let the legoa excite and impress the guests with his big words and his/her nice hair.

The legoa could also double up as a driver guaranteeing you less ‘random’ traffic stops. If the police think he/she is the owner of your new Bentley you would not be asked any questions pertaining to the ownership of the car etc.

At KFC you would spend less time in the queue. We all know legoa ’s  don’t queue for long at food outlets and they get better customer service. He/she could just bundle your order in with his/hers and your chicken order will come out after a minimal waiting time, far less than the two minutes KFC advertises to everyone else, but then again everyone else wouldn’t have hired a legoa .

Just like that, my plan was back on track. I’m still trying to fine tune it but my goal is to serve today’s black South Africans by allowing them the chance to promote their connection with a creative, articulate, friendly, attractive, and pleasing white person.

This service comes without the commitment of learning about classical music, opera, rugby, challenging your own BEE privilege, or being labelled a ‘coconut’. In fact, rent-a-legoa .co.za will allow you to use your money and status to your advantage! In addition, your money will go to support the ‘previously advantaged’ in the South African community.

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The ‘spear’ of the nation “Umkhonto we sizwe”

Jacob Zuma South African President July 2012
I begin this week’s article with a quote from Winston Churchill who said, “never in the field of South African politics, were so many apologies owed by so many to so few for saying so much about one man’s penis.” Okay, so Churchill didn’t actually say that but anyway.

In the past couple of months Jacob Zuma (President of South Africa), or his penis which I have nicknamed ‘UMkhonto we sizwe’ (meaning spear of the nation) has been the subject of many debates on press freedom.

First, it was the Leninesque portrait of him with his fly open (and UMkhonto we sizwe in all its glory) displayed at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Then, more recently it is the ‘penis cartoon’ that Jonathan Zapiro (cartoonist) did for the Mail and Guardian newspaper.

The cartoon shows Jacob in the shape of an erect penis with a shower head hanging above him looking at his reflection in a mirror at an art gallery.

For any guy, having your equipment made fun off feels a bit like farting in an elevator just before a group of beautiful girls get in on the next floor, it is not particularly nice. I can understand why Jacob Zuma and the ANC (African National Congress) would be offended at the president’s penis being the subject of not one but two works of art in such a short space of time.

I liked Brett Murray’s aptly named ‘the spear’ painting, because I felt that in the context of Zuma’s…*cough* tendencies when it comes to sexual relations with women Murray managed to capture how Zuma is one of the few presidents who has a sex life that any hippie in the 60s would have been proud of.

I am a big fan of Zapiro but my first reaction when I saw his cartoon was that it lacked any form of lateral thinking. Unlike his previous work, this lacked creativity. It reminded me off two schoolboys teasing each other during break at the playground. Worst of all it wasn’t that funny. I was disappointed in Zapiro but we all make mistakes. I’m not going to stop liking his cartoons just because of this particular one.

I was more disappointed in how the ANC handled the whole situation. Obviously, Jacob has never heard of me otherwise he would have hired me to head up his PR team and not the guys who have managed to cock up (pun intended) his public persona along with any chances of him being re-elected, not that he hadn’t done that himself.

My solution for Zuma would be this.

Firstly, Commission your own nude painting. Your junk is already out there, the least you could do is give everyone the real MaKoya (local slang for the real McCoy). That way whoever does anything after that will be reinventing the wheel.

Remember Jacob, size matters so at least you would have control over how big your junk looks in these pictures. People don’t think you are that intelligent so in this way you could show (as you have done by your 5 wives and many children) that you have talents in other areas. *cough cough*

Secondly, stop using African culture as a reason why people shouldn’t paint pictures of your phallus. African culture is such a broad term. That word means a lot of different things to a lot of different people in different parts of South Africa and the rest of the continent. Don’t talk about it like there’s some manual that has a troubleshooting section titled ‘when people paint your penis’.

Thirdly, speaking of ‘UMkhonto we sizwe’ it might benefit you to keep that thing in your pants Jacob. You have 5 wives what else do you want? You are just being plain selfish when, on top of this, you start siring children with daughters of friends.

When crime rates go up people are going to talk about guns, unemployment and police corruption. When you have 5 wives, various girlfriends and a truckload of children don’t get angry when people start talking about your penis.

Finally, if this becomes an issue again (which I doubt it will if you follow my first piece of advice), I have prepared a ready-made answer which is short and you don’t have to read. Take a page from Bill Clinton and say, “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I do not have relations with that penis. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the South African people. Thank you.”

The spear: http://www.citypress.co.za/Columnists/The-spear-of-the-nation-stays-up-20120518.
Zapiro’s spear: http://www.zapiro.com/cartoon/991048-120705mg#.T_14sfVvCZQ.

It’s just hair isn’t it?

Going natural isn’t always the natural choice for some.

Last week, 3rd Degree, a current affairs program on South Africa’s etv channel dealt with the topic of hair, in particular black women’s hair and how for a long time black women have been taught to subscribe to Eurocentric views of what counts as beautiful hair.

I missed that particular episode of 3rd Degree but as a reader of many blogs and internet articles, I have come to realise that this is not just an issue of hair. To see where the issue of hair ranks in terms of importance, one blog suggested that I go to http://www.google.com and begin typing the words, “Why do black women…” The top four most popular searches Google offers that begin with that phrase are:

• Why do black women love white men

• Why do black women wear weaves

• Why do black women have bigger bums

• Why do black women like white men

Like the blogger who wrote that article, I also watched Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good Hair.” The documentary featured Meagan Good, Nia Long, Tracie Thomas, Lauren London and other beautiful black women (In my book these sisters would be hot even if they were bald but that’s just me).

These ladies offered their thoughts on Black women’s hair. What surprised me is that even though these ladies are beautiful they all seemed to share the commonly held opinion that natural hair is not as attractive on a black woman as relaxed hair (chemically treated hair) or a weave.

One quote that stood out for me is Nia Long’s joke that she actually chooses to be on top during sex because she doesn’t want to ruin her weave. Lauren London and Meagan Good spoke about not allowing their hair to get wet or a man to run his fingers through it.

I found Tracie Thomas’ realization that wearing natural hair for a black woman is considered revolutionary and different, very profound and a good indicator of how the issue of hair is inextricably linked with issues of identity and one’s perception of beauty. Although this doccie featured Americans their views on black hair mirror the views of some people in Africa.

Even in South Africa, especially in the corporate environment women sporting the natural look or men with natural dreadlocks are in the minority.

I am of the opinion that women (black or white) who spend large amounts of money on making themselves look anything but natural are actually admitting to the world that they do not like themselves as they are. This applies to hair, breasts plastic surgery etc. If they were happy they would not be doing anything to themselves would they? In the same way that a guy who gets a haircut is not happy with the way he looks.

Whether you agree or not, by relaxing your hair, by wearing a weave or going under the knife, there is an inferred admittance that you are not as good-looking in your natural state. When it comes to hair, the comparison with European women/Indian women (and others) or western ideals of beauty invariably comes up because Europeans’ and other peoples’ hair is much straighter naturally than black peoples’ hair and weaves very often resemble these peoples’ hair in terms of texture, feel and appearance.

To be honest I would not like not knowing what my girlfriend’s natural hair looks like (there are some brothers out there who don’t know). I would not want my wife to interrupt an intimate moment because I might just move her weave out of place.

Gentlemen, as an aside, if ever you meet a black woman and she asks you how her weave looks this is what you should do if you want to be on her good side:

Look her straight in the face with a serious look about you while lightly (very lightly touching her hair because trust me you don’t want to pull the damn thing off) and say “Weave? You’re wearing a weave? Really? You don’t say! She’ll be so impressed that you think her beautiful weave is her real hair she will have no choice but to marry you.

It bothers me that even little girls think that they are not beautiful unless their hair is relaxed. I’m not saying that extensions and chemicals don’t make our sisters look attractive or they are wrong; I’m just saying that it bothers me that words like unkempt, untidy and inappropriate are used when black people decide to leave their hair in its natural state.

But what do I know? After all, I’m just a guy who studied sociology, media and culture studies.