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At the same time he acknowledges that urban, professional South Africans, no matter the colour of their skin, are less relevant to rural South Africans the longer they are in Johannesburg.
He recalls, “It’s like Thabo Mbeki said in that controversial speech. I reply, “Like Ferial Haffejee said, ‘One half tweets and the other doesn’t eat.’ “Exactly! He speaks of a sense of guilt – knowing that his native Eastern Cape is the worst off of South Africa’s provinces.
She shakes her head vociferously, insisting that her priority is to be comfortable in her own skin before the considerations of what anybody else may think of her. It’s not like I’m drinking so much I’m collapsing on the floor in public. I am what I am." She is that rare woman, sure of herself despite the harsh glare of the public eye. I am not my size but I own it and you can’t use what you see as a negative against me.
“People phone me and invite me to parties and events saying, ‘There’ll be lots of press there’. ’ I don’t attend events I don’t want to and I don’t feel pressured to be anywhere I don’t want to be. I own me and proudly so.” Her self-confidence is disarming. After teasing Khaya about being a celebrity (he recoils at the term in relation to himself) I ask him why he should be taken seriously as a voice of young South Africans.
When I first started I was told to never be photographed with a drink in my hand because I’ll give the impression that I’m a drunk. I point out how surreal the problems of young South Africans feel when we’re ensconced in opulence and luxury.
, giving young people like Anele Mdoda, Khaya Dlanga, Shaka Sisulu, Nik Rabinowitz, Gillian Breslin and Danny K, under the watchful editorship of Mandy Wiener, a chance to speak about themselves and their position as young people in South Africa.
KHADIJA PATEL was cajoled into speed dating these young people.
But is there a time, perhaps when we grow older, that we will be satisfied with feeding ourselves and our immediate families, taking care of our own and leaving the rest of the family, the community and the country to fend for itself? “No, I think the older we become, in twenty years maybe, I think this guilt will be worse.” Mandy Wiener Mandy is the editor of The Youngsters series and as one of South Africa’s most successful non-fiction writers she lends serious literary clout to the series.