P: The first time was at the public bathroom at Muizenberg Beach. The bathroom locks from the outside. Apparently you are supposed to tell the security guy that you are going to the bathroom first so that he can let you out when you are done. Really its code for slipping him a few RAND. Everyone has to make a living. But Dictator Patriarch, accidentally trying to save a buck, snuck in and got locked in. Captive in a public toilet in South Africa. Priceless.
The second time: Sara’s new friend told the two Dictators about a concert being put on to benefit a young fashion designer. It sounded very Holt Renfrew and they were totally into it until they realized the township where the concert would take place happened to be right next to Mitchel Plains – an off limit area that everyone warned them about. I (Predator) pushed Herself to go in spite of the proximity to supposed trouble. I was relentless. She was being such a baby that when they drove past the place on the first pass she even suggested they call it a night, drive home and go to bed but at that point Sean put his foot down. They had come this far after all. I told her to get over herself and to remember that poverty isn’t a crime.
Me again. I need some way to differentiate from Predator (besides my more refined approach to writing). Maybe I will use colour. The concert hall was an old farm house. At night, it looked menacing with only a bit of light leaking out of a creaky front door. It sat in the middle of a dark field or industrial zone – who could tell? It was pitch black by the time we got there but I knew too well that somewhere, lurking just around any corner, was the forbidden Mitchel Plains. I was never going to park at the end of the long line of cars only to have to walk across an unlit lot so I suggested we park right in front of the door. Reluctantly Sean agreed. Once inside, the vibe was immediately friendly and I instantly felt at ease. This was an intimate gathering of about 100 people. It was warm and jubilant and we soon saw why — or heard why. There were about a half a dozen performers ranging in age from late teens to mid twenties. They stepped sheepishly onto the modest the stage. One said, “I don’t talk too much, I just sing.” Another, “This is really cool, seeing so many people.” The next, “Thank you mom for making me come here.” And with enthusiastic and loving applause the first timers belted out song after song after song each of which left us speechless. Their proud parents and relatives, and their happy bouncing siblings, cheered them on. It was really sweet.
P: I laughed out loud at the Dictators as they tried to keep the beat. HA HA HA HAHAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAH. Wow. And they were in the front row. Too funny. Why would they choose to sit in the front row? Duh.
It was sweet and awesome at the same time. I realized, amidst this sea of people, that many of them probably came from that forbidden place around the corner. I realized that Mitchel Plains is a place with people, most of whom obviously don’t want anything to do with the horrendous criminal acts that take place there. Before the concert it had been to me, just a bad place to never EVER visit either deliberately or accidentally. I forgot that dangerous places aren’t anonymous. They aren’t faceless. They are inhabited. I am embarrassed — it’s not like this is a profound revelation and I feel ashamed even typing such a basic thing down, but there it is. Apart from the sweetness of the whole event, that’s what I thought.
P: I will say this, even some of her local friends and family were shocked to hear they had gone to an Afrikaner concert in a township. The Dictators appeared to be loosening the golden shackles that sort of held them captive…