RIP Ernesto Nhamuave

As this morning’s Cape Times reports, Ernesto Nhamuave – the “burning man” whose image brought the horror of the xenophobic violence in Johannesburg sharply and sickeningly to the attention of the world – has been laid to rest in his village of Vuca in Mozambique.

Two weeks on from that violence and those images and the world has moved on to the next big news story. In one way, I suppose that we should be glad that things have settled down, but once again, it demonstrates just how fickle the world’s media are.

The UNHCR estimates that South Africa has 42,000 people in need of shelter (and a whole lot more besides) having been displaced by the xenophobic violence. People in Cape Town and other affected cities across South Africa have pulled together to provide shelter, clothing, food and service for the refugees displaced by the troubles of the last few weeks; in our case, this is despite the well-publicised, childish spat between the City Council and the Provincial Government that has reportedly delayed help getting to those who need it. Sometimes, politicians are utterly pathetic. This is an ugly and embarrassing display by both the City and the Province. But guess what? It’s always the other party’s fault.

Although we had a bright weekend, it came after a run of several days of cold, wet weather and there’s more on the way this week. And while there is still no shortage in the number of volunteers or those willing to give items to help, one has to wonder how long that will last once the refugees’ plight starts to slip from the news and therefore from the public eye. Just in time for winter.
Sadly, it’s only vivid images like that of Nhamuave and stories like that of Adam Degol, who has not seen or heard from his wife or 8-month old son since he was attacked in Lower Crossroads two weeks ago, which will keep this matter in the news for any length of time.

How you can help refugees in Cape Town.

The 6000 miles… James Blunt review

So we went, we saw, we listened and it actually wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had been fearing. And I’d been fearing a lot.
James Blunt came onto the stage a distinctly Capetonian 25 minutes late, to what I can only really term as “polite applause”, looking like a slightly rougher, scruffier version of my housemate.
My ex-housemate, that is. Not my current housemate. My current housemate is obviously my wife and she never lets her stubble get that long.

He kicked off with a few pseudo-uptempo efforts, which sounded like they were being played through treacle. Despite the fact that his voice sounds much better in person than on CD, my mind, which I’d fought hard to keep open, closed and I settled myself in for a couple of hours of frustration waiting in vain for something special.
And then, about 3 or 4 songs in, he did something remarkable. He put his guitar down (not in the veterinary sense) and headed pianoward. And there he sat and gave a 2 minute comedy routine about having an orgy with the audience, which left the two 14-year old girls next to us in fits of hopeful giggling, before launching into a jolly version of I’ll Take Everything (Blunt, not the girls).
From the ridiculous to the sublime though as he chucked the rest of the band off stage and weighed in with an unbelievably powerful, emotionally candid rendition of Goodbye, My Lover which gained a proper, old-fashioned, appreciative standing ovation and then moved onto No Bravery, with the backdrop showing footage of shallow graves, burnt out villages and distraught mothers in Kosovo. That shut us all up pretty quickly and it struck me that – like him or not – he’s actually rather good at those haunting, meaningful, heartfelt ballads.

Sadly, it never really reached those heady heights again as he ran through some of the more lively (but sadly, still really treacley) stuff off All The Lost Souls; the only exception being the finale – a pleasing, fresh version of 1973, which sent the audience off home abuzz.

All in all, a good evening’s entertainment with a couple of exceptional tracks, and although it didn’t come close to dislodging Muse from the top of my best live performances – much to my surprise – it would probably be close on the top ten, if only for that 8-minute spell in the middle where he had us all transfixed.

EDIT: Just to clarify – this post tells you why I was there last night.

Serves you right

Fresh from yesterday’s Cape Times and it’s sister paper, Pretoria News:

An agency that sold tickets for a Celine Dion concert in March and a cancelled Josh Groban concert in April has been placed under final liquidation.
An application for the liquidation of Ticket Connection (Pty) was yesterday brought before Judge P Burton-Fourie by the agency itself, which said it was unable to pay debts of R7 million.

Just as the Nuremberg Trials and the legal processes against Saddam Hussein and his henchmen brought to justice those who had inflicted pain, suffering and misery upon their nations, so Ticket Connection (Pty) must also atone for their crimes against humanity.

 

My CokeFest 2008 Pictures

…and my mini review will follow on this blog a little later today once my recovery is at least semi complete.

Subscribe to our RSS feed and you’ll be the first to know.

Now. Back to bed and dreams of Matt Bellamy.
(Not like that – get your minds out of the gutter)

EDIT: Now you can look at the pictures and read the review.

“Overall, it’s gone exceptionally well”

So says Dr Basil Bonner, head of the emergency unit at the Milnerton Medi-Clinic of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour 2008 via iol.co.za. (Thanks, DC)

I’m very glad to hear it, Baz. Let’s see what the good doctor is referring to, shall we?

About 65 people had to be taken to hospital during the Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town, two of them with suspected heart attacks.

“We had two serious head injuries, a third with a fractured hip and pelvis, and two patients, both in their 60s, with unconfirmed heart attacks. They’re in hospital having tests done,” Dr Basil Bonner, head of the emergency unit at the Milnerton Medi-Clinic, said on Sunday.

“Overall, it’s gone exceptionally well”

Yep – that all sounds just peachy! For a moment there, I was mildly concerned that you might just have been pulling the wool over our eyes and that someone might actually have got hurt while preventing me from taking the family for a relaxing Sunday on Seaforth beach.
But no. Obviously not.

From time to time, the local* doom and gloom merchants accuse me of wearing rose-tinted spectacles**.
However, I think that even they would have to agree that any optimism I dare to show on this site pales into complete insignificance against your blinkered view of the facts.

In fact, I was wondering if I could borrow your phrase to describe completely overlook any bad day I may have in the future:

Yes, I did crash the car twice on the way to the lab this morning. And when I got here, I found that all the data that I’d collected over the past 3 years had been corrupted and the back-up discs had been accidentally sold to a user called BackupDiscSmasher on eBay. Then my hand slipped on the ill-thought-out XDR-TB release lever and consequently, I released a large cloud of XDR-TB across Cape Town. Thus, I was summarily dismissed from my job.
On the way home I crashed my car twice more and arrived back just in time to see the last bits of my house burn down after an electrical fault on my PS2 lit up the pile of braai wood (Namibian Camelthorn, nogal!) I was hiding it under.

But… “overall, it’s gone exceptionally well.”

Mmm! I feel better already.

* local to that pessimists forum, anyway.
** which (proudly) I am, compared to their grey-tinted ones.