/different from the one already mentioned/
Let us roll with an expression this time around as part of our joviality to celebrate our 21 posting. 21 is my divine number. Now you know a little bit about me. If it tickles your Sherlock Holmes fancy bones I invite you to dig what it is exactly that is divine for me about 21. Here is a little clue, it is there in our Posthighdef’21 blog and you also find it in this very blog 21Column.
On this current posting, as a specialty, the words smith has prepared an improvised dish that will take you through a few nonsensical flashbacks. There has never been a better excuse to explore improvised writing – Enjoy.In the eighties there existed three phenomena worth mentioning in Phelindaba. There in the smoggy crimson atmosphere that held you as the sun dunked itself away in winter Ra Jase, Mayimayi and Juvi’ boxing captivated your imagination.
The illusive Ra Jase stroke terror in the ‘bantu over there by 1skull-plonking night revelers into oblivion in the dead of night. This was the time when the Apollo lights covered fortunate sections such as Mazakhele and Oudstad as well as certain parts of Selborne side. No one knows for sure what became of the coat man for as sudden as he emerged ,like Spectraman, he kept a lid on his plonking. By then he had amassed a reputation for keeping the street clean in the dead of night. His magnificence is unequal to this day. Amongst his victims were tsotsis and moegoes who liked to prowl around at night from shebeen to shebeen-shebeens or gig to gig-gigs on drinking sprees and cherrie hunting. He withdrew from interaction, laid off his super-vigilante suite. Perhaps content that he had tiptop cleaned the ghetto, done his civilian duty. Although wary, the community resumed its usually mechanical process of living and surviving.
Mayimayi was more interested in the little one’s genital assets hacked to be used for muti. At his hands a lot of children went missing and turned up cold dead after losing gazi-blood. Such was his dark deeds that the community was forced to entrench a sense of responsibility in the children to be in their respective homes by nightfall. The legend of his concludes with his shooting after resisting arrest near Limpopo. You see the grizzly man is said to have opened fire at the highway patrol police when he was asked to dismount his jalopy near limpopo. When the air swept away the gun smoke the police went through the jalopy he subsequently protected with his dark soul and discovered a bag full of parcelled kiddy’s genitals. If you hail from Pheli’ you might link this micro-horror-tale with that of John Khabi, if it gets your fancy poke the grownups there to learn more about that talespin as well.
Now Juvi’ boxing was the stuff of day time when morning and night stare at each other squarely on either side of creation and the sun presides in all its glory. At this time the grey heads retreat into the cool tree shadows or outstretch themselves on reed mats. Sports administrators, the so called fitness fanatics call them athletes for sophistication sake. Those sports blokes spread around the location to advertise the various activities that the meagre sports facilities and community halls ran. What was of interest of these fitness breeds, amongst them boxing fellows and karatekas, is that upon prancing on boys fighting in the dusty street they would carry the boys to Super Stadium, now Masterpieces Moripe Stadium, to urge them to fight it ought there. If you were whisked away in Selbourne side then Mlambo Hall will be your last stand. If in Oudstad, Ramushu Hall or Mbolekwa would serve as a territory where battle lines would be drawn and mucous will sprawl your cheek as a flashing boxing clove found you off guard and unscrewed your neck. The fight was stopped when one of the riffraffs fell or gave up or begged to be taken out of the cooking pot. If the fight was between the plucky boys who refused to be outdone then the fight will be stopped when all were spent out and none could gasp for air no more.
It was a time when the cell phone was the stuff of science fiction and fancy thinking. To imagine the look of the cell phone you will have to take a long cul-de-sac via 2Buck Rogers or Steve Austen. Knife-ou-kappie or panga-machete was utilitarian weaponry completing the garb of hardened men. When guns were not easily assessable. When your word was bond upon giving it. When Aids was coming and weed was the only hallucinogen ingested while ducking the police. I am compelled to say that back then Nyaope and Wonga were being conceptualized.
However there existed something in all these myriads of tales. Respect and a sense of community, and these were cultivated through the family structures. Through family structures you were groomed to respect those older than you. You earned your privilege. You knew your place. A neighbour would send you to the shops and you would not hesitate to run along. You greeted every adult with respect even though they were nothing to you. You greeted first. You vamoosed to your room or the kitchen from the living room when a visitor or neighbour dropped by announced to see your parents on an important issue or a useless chinwag, bent on watching the telly at your compound. Not all had TV’ back then and with PVR’s being of science fiction lore you were destined to miss your favourite television programme because Mr. Makhi Neighbour came. The last tit bit of the hailing of Mr Makhi Neighbour will be all that you will say tomorrow when you were amongst your peers. But you were sure of one thing, that there will be another day.
Thank you dear reader for making 21Column your read now and then, let us see what the next 21 articles hold in store for us.
- Plonking is an Onomatopoeic sound heard when a hard object hits a surface.
- I am not referring to Duck Dodgers even though the animated duck is a parody of Buck Rogers. And as far as Steve Austen is concerned I am not talking about the wrestling morongothela-hunk of a guy, I am referring to the television adaptation of the Million Dollar Man.
17 May 2012
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2012
© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2012