A graffito on a substation in my neighbourhood. A real scrawl of writing on the wall, in the style of a hasty slogan against the state. The phrase seemed familiar: a Biblical proverb? A Bob Marley lyric? A Bob Marley lyric based on a Biblical proverb? I Googled. “Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.” It’s Voltaire. Which is at least appropriate, since electricity is measured in volts, while freedom of expression is measured in Voltaires.
Abigail Godsell, talking to Bongiwe Gambu and Gillian Godsell in the Radio Today studio, is an author of dystopian fiction set in her hometown of Joburg. I like the fact that Joburg is now one of the world’s great dystopian-fiction cities, although one could just as easily set the post-apocalypse in Cape Town, whose most recognisably dystopian landmark is that freeway flyover that leads to nowhere.
Bookworm Lorraine Sithole, who runs a book-club called BookWorms, makes a point to Bongiwe Gambu during a lively and entertaining chat about books, reading, and publishing in the Radio Today studio today. Fellow book-lover and Joziphile Gillian Godsell looks on, while independent publisher Sarah McGregor waits her turn at the mike. I really enjoyed this chat, which also involved Abigail Godsell, author of dystopian fiction set in Joburg, children’s author and legal commentator Brenda Wardle, and book-blogger and activist Thabiso Christopher. This Sunday is #WorldBookDay, so go out and read out a good book, or stay in and read a good book. Hooray for books in whatever format and genre you may read them, and thank you to the people who produce, publish, distribute and read them.
This is Flip van Schalkwyk, from Pretoria. He took part in the #Parkrun at Alberts Farm in Joburg this morning, as part of his goal to run all 100 Parkruns in South Africa.
This was his 57th Parkrun, and he has thus far run in 28 different locations in seven provinces. So that's 72 Parkruns still to go.
Today he finished in just over 42 minutes, a very good time for a runner in the 65-69 age category. His best time was in Witbank last week, just over 38 minutes. Next week he's going to run in Kroonstad.
Look out for Flip at your local Parkrun, and cheer him on. He's proof that once you start running the Parkrun, Saturday after Saturday, it's hard to stop. You can find out more about this fast-growing movement at www.parkrun.co.za.
Heh-heh-hehgemony: a system of government in which leadership is established and maintained through fits of nervous, reflexive laughter. From the new exhibition by Brett Murray, at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Joburg.
Brett Murray lights up a wall at his new exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Joburg. This reminds me of that great Beatles song, "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party".
A Bart Simpsonesque pledge from Brett Murray at his new exhibition at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Joburg.
"The Emperor", by Brett Murray, at the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Joburg. Murray is the enfant terrible who sparked an outrage with The Spear five years ago, so no prizes for guessing who this particular emperor refers to.
Lady Godiva observes the traffic from her perch outside the Everard Read Gallery in Rosebank, Joburg.
Even a dustbin can harbour a dream. The Zone, Rosebank, Joburg.
I can’t work out whether this newspaper poster is meant to be sincere in its felicitation, or ironic. If sincere, then there is something about the way the poster is skew, scrunched up, and slipping drunkenly out of its frame, that slyly subverts the message.
If ironic, then the poster would make a good placard, when applied to cardboard, for the planned march, organised by the EFF, on the Union Buildings on Wednesday, which is the President’s 75th birthday.
Either way, I am pleased to live in a country where you can sincerely wish the President a Happy Birthday, or unironically call for him to fall, without worrying in the latter case that State Security agents will barge into your home and bundle you into a van at two in the morning. (Terms and conditions apply). This poster also reminds me of a famous scene from that very political musical, Fiddler On the Roof, in which a Rabbi in a shtetl in Tsarist Russia is asked by one of his congregants, “Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Tsar?” The Rabbi mulls it over rabbinically, and then says, “A blessing for the Tsar? Of course! May God bless and keep the Tsar...far away from us!” And then everyone bursts into song and dance, accompanied by a fiddler on the roof.
The whistle, a staple of every South African street march, and football match. The Pro-Zuma rally outside Luthuli House in Joburg today.