I thought it might be a good thing to look back at why I started blogging. You know, while I’m taking a coffee break. I first started writing as An Accidental Activist. Can’t get away from all the “A’s” I guess. It was meant to be about stories of my life and how I got here. I started writing about my past to leave something for my kids to read one day. For them to see what their dad was about. My past and my journey. Hope they will still believe their old man was okay. But I started ranting and raving about issues that pissed me off and someone said, “You are a real angry African on the loose”. (Thanks Cheryl.) And that’s how I got the name Angry African. Not as romantic or inspirational as what people might think. But it flowed onwards from there.

I wrote a few pieces under An Accidental Activist. Like I said, mostly about my life so far. I think it is time to look back at the first post I ever wrote. Just in case you missed it. I might edit it a bit this time. Add something or take something away. Or just rewrite pieces. Or nothing! But unlikely I’ll do nothing! I’ll see where it takes me. (Note: I did rewrite loads and added quite a bit!)

This was my first post ever. Introducing myself. Now reintroducing myself. Then called “An Accidental Activist: I wasn’t born to be an activist“. Now revisited…

Roots Revisited: I wasn’t born to be an Angry african

I wasn’t born to be an activist. Or an angry African. Quite the opposite, really. I was born to be the stereotypical ‘good, racist Afrikaner’ in Apartheid South Africa. My family supported Apartheid and all of them worked for the Apartheid regime at some stage in their lives. We lived off the fat of the Apartheid land. And for most part went through life nice and ignorant. Just the way they liked it.

I had everything a young boy could think of. Days playing in the streets with my friends. A bicycle to ride to school with. Playing sport on some of the best fields of dreams out there. Cool clothes that made me look like I just stepped out of of Miami Vice. A plate of unbelievable food every day – meat, potatoes and rice being staple food for Afrikaners. Friends and family everywhere around me. Good times. Fun times. Unreal times. Lying times.

My dad was a Brigadier in the South African Prison Services, and one of his last assignments was to look after political prisoners at Pollsmoor prison. We didn’t get along. Even when I was still “his (racist) little boy”. Both my sisters worked at the prison service at some stage of their lives and married guys who worked at the prison services. And my brother worked for the prison services on Robben Island – where Nelson Mandela was jailed. They have all left since then. Maybe realizing that the life we were told was real life wasn’t that real after all. And that it wasn’t that great for everyone living in South Africa.

I grew up in a home that did everything the Apartheid government wanted us to do. We were part of the Dutch Reformed Church – the Apartheid government in prayer. We went to Church every Sunday. To Sunday school. I got confirmed at a Dutch Reformed Church when I was 16 or something. We were the Church. I left the Dutch Reformed Church. And they have left me.

We watched rugby – then the sport of the white Afrikaner. We went to Newlands on a Saturday to watch our team play other white boys. We went to club rugby games to see our local white boys play other white boys from neighboring towns. I played rugby for my school and practiced almost every day. We played other white schools on a Saturday morning before we went to Newlands. I walked away from it for a while, but rugby stayed with me. Still loved it, but couldn’t face it. It changed when our national team won the World Cup in 1995 and we could all call it our team. But I now I know it was another tool under Apartheid before that beautiful day in 1994 when we had our first democratic elections. Politics on the field. And we didn’t even know it. I didn’t know it when I was a kid.

I went to school at Paarl Gymnasium – one of the best Apartheid schools in South Africa. I attended the University of Stellenbosch – the ‘brain trust‘ of the Apartheid policies and politics. We read the Apartheid government approved newspapers and watched their TV. I benefited from the education they provided and the money they paid my dad. I was made for a life supporting and working for the Apartheid government. I was a star pupil of the Apartheid system. And I didn’t even know it. But I should have.

I was well on my way to become one of them. I did everything they expected me to do. I was a young racist Afrikaner, ready to take my place in their world. Well, at least the small world within the white community in South Africa. But somehow it didn’t happen though.

Somewhere along the line things didn’t work out the way they planned. Maybe it was the fact that I poked fun at everything. Acted out Apartheid leaders on stage in one man shows at school. Half of the people laughing and the teachers staring at me not knowing if I was making a political statement or just being funny. I was just being funny. I didn’t know about politics. But I knew funny.

Maybe it was because my mother told me to question everything. To look beyond the obvious. Maybe it was just that the world wasn’t right. Even for a young kid it didn’t always seem just right. Why can’t I have black friends dad? Why can’t they come over to play? What are those shacks in the townships? Why don’t those kids have nice clothes dad? Why do they look so thin and dirty? See, there dad! Just on the other side of the fence if you look out the car window dad. Come on, you can’t not see them daddy! Why aren’t they allowed on the beaches dad? It’s just a beach, isn’t it? They are pretty funny when you talk to them dad. Really, just speak to them, you’ll see. I see and speak to them often at the station when I go to cricket games. Why do they ride in the other carriages dad? Looks a bit cramped in there. And the buses. Look dad! We have one of them working in our house. She looks after me when you aren’t here. She’s nice. She could be family. She is family dad. She gives nice hugs when I hurt my knee or cut my finger. Why do we call them “them” dad? They look like me. Eat like me. Play like me. They are me daddy…

Slowly but surely I became everything that Apartheid was against – an activist. An Angry African. Speaking out against their system. “Them” taking me in as one of “their” own and becoming me. I am because they are. I became them. I am them. The Apartheid “them” becoming the people I saw as different.  As the others. Instead of being the man they wanted me to be, I became the man I wanted to be. It hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always been fun. But it always felt right. From Stellenbosch to Seattle, Mali to Monterrey, and Lusaka to London – no matter where the road took me, it always felt right, and it always felt as if I belonged. I felt like this was what I was meant to be. Just me.

Why was it important to write about this? I don’t know. I hope I didn’t offend anyone. But it is important to know who we are. That we come from places we can’t always be proud of. That we have a history. I don’t know if it is important to know this about me. But it is for me. Maybe just to let you know that we aren’t always born into what we become. That we have choices. We can take the bad and the good and still be someone we can face when we look in the mirror. That we don’t have to be proud of everything in our past. But that we can take our past and own it. You can be born into hatred but still come out hugging the world. That’s the beauty of life – you can be who and what you want to be no matter where you come from. You decide. It’s easier than you think. It’s really your choice. Make it. Today.

Well, what a way to wake up to the world this morning. I love sport. Just love it. Addicted even. And it doesn’t get much better than this. A 1-2-3 sucker punch first thing on a Saturday morning and I am on top of the world baby!

1. Natalie du Toit takes her 4th Gold!

You go girl! Our Natalie du Toit… Did you know she carried the flag for South Africa at the Olympics? Okay, she “only” came 16th in her race – the long distance swimming race. But then, it was only the 4th time she swam it in a competition. Did I mention that she is also a Paralympic? Yep, she has done both the Olympics and the Paralympics! Talk about a real hero to inspire. But then, that’s out Natalie. She makes history just waking up in the morning. Did I mention that she lost a leg in a car accident a few years back? And she won her 4th Gold Medal while I was sleeping! You go girl!

Just another walk in the park...

Just another walk in the park...

2. Oscar wins his second Gold!

You might remember him as that guy I wrote about a while back. You know in At last! Run, baby, run! The guy with no legs who wanted to run at the Olympics? The fastest man on no legs? Well, thanks to the delays in his case being heard by the Olympic Committee, he didn’t make it to the Olympics. Next time. He is still young. But Oscar just won his second Gold Medal at the Paralympics. And he hasn’t even run in his best event yet! You go boy! Run you Cheetah, run! Run into those history books my man! Nothing is gonna stop you now. And we’ll see another Paralympic kick some Olympic butt in London in 2012. Go Oscar!

Easy, easy, easy...

Easy, easy, easy...

3. Liverpool 2 : 1 Manchester United

I am not going to say much about this one. Let me just quote the greatest soccer manager to ever walk this earth – Bill Shankly… “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” I am a Red through and through. You’ll Never Walk Alone. Click on that link and tell me your hair didn’t stand up when you heard those Scousers sing it? It’s the 12th man on the field… You’ll never walk alone when you are a Red. And it is especially true when we beat the old enemy… The glory boys from Manchester.

Just another day at the office...

Just another day at the office...

__________________________

Yes, that was my perfect start to a Saturday… Let the weekend roll! Taking over the world baby!

 

Am I getting dated? I am sure I am going to lose track of how many I have done but I don’t think I will run out of news soon. Let’s have a look what has been cooking this week.

1. The pot calling the kettle…

President Bush decided to show some global leadership balls. On China. Calling them out on their human rights record. He is apparently not impressed. Good on you President Bush. Stand up against the (next) bully. Don’t let them push us around. Just please don’t invade them. We know how you get all worked up. This one might be a little bit to much for you to handle. Two big guys in the schoolyard getting ready for some “how’s your mother”? Nah. He won’t do much other than bitch a bit and then sit back and run in his Chinese made running shoes, watch Bill O’Reilly on his Chinese made television, and wave his Chinese made American flag. But there is another snag. Calling China out on their human rights record… Two words President Bush… Guantanamo Bay… Sorry, you lost your right to bitch about humans and their rights. Can’t have it both ways. No matter how big and strong you are.

2. I don’t give a flying…

You want a bag with that sir? That will be $15 thank you. Oh, you have two! Hand over another $25. We made you miss your flight and you need to change it? $150 please. Thirsty? A dollar for a cuppa Joe. As if you want to stay awake on this flight. You’ll have to pay for the movies in any case. But better to pay $5 to watch a movie I guess. Better than paying $7 for a blanket and a pillow. Next up? How much for a safety vets? We packed 5 – open bids start just after take-off. No wonder American airlines are going bankrupt. They offer nothing and charge you the world. And still can’t get you off the ground in time. Try this in Africa. Feeding people nothing and charging them for air… Here’s one I don’t get. Why is it that they charge per bag? Weight… It’s the weight that gets to them. Apparently the fuel costs are out of control and one way to save on fuel is by cutting down on the weight. Apparently, people still weigh more than the 400 tonne bloody airplane. Riiight… No, it’s true. They have a real obesity problem over here in the US. But what happens if I go on a diet? Can I get a discount? American airlines… Like the economy. Going down fast. At least the dollar lost value. Or else the airline greed might actually hurt. But not yet. So far it is only really stupid and funny. Their motto? I don’t give a flying…

3. I can’t recall, recall

We can’t afford to go to Disney yet (January maybe!), but we have found another way to entertain ourselves. We go to Whole Foods. It is just one amazing place for us Africans in America. The food so fresh they make Pamela Anderson blush and they use baby bottoms to wipe the apples because they are so delicate. Oh, Whole Foods. They have mist spraying over the fresh fruits and vegetables – it makes me feel as if I am on the farm or in the Amazon somewhere. And they have juices, cookies, hams and fruits to taste all over the place. We take the kids there on a Friday night. We call it “eating out”. I like to spoil my girls. Ah, Whole Foods – the amusement park for Africans. But they have a memory like a leaky watermelon those guys. They forgot to recall the bad meat. And then recalled that they had to recall. You see, they found E. Coli a few months ago from a company called Nebraska Beef. And it is not a Springsteen song. So all those “shops for the less privileged” like Costco and Stop & Shop (where we shop) had to make a huge recall of all the meat. But of course we knew Whole Foods wouldn’t be affected by it all. I mean really they feed their chickens organic Fairtrade corn with mint jelly and slaughter their cattle by massaging them slowly to death. And then it happened. Months later. Whole Foods had to recall the meat. Because they too bought from Nebraska Meat. But they recalled it months later. Only after they recalled that they bought meat from the same dude that Earl’s Meat Palace & Pet Shop bought his meat from. After it was already sold. Nice business plan Mr Mackey. It is at last off the shelf. But rest assured. It might have been E. Coli. But it was organic E. Coli.

How the E.Coli rumor started...

How the E.Coli rumor started...

4. Power less sharing

Crazy Uncle Bob and Tsvangirai are talking. Bah, humbug. Talking about ending the fight between the two of them that has been going on for months. Talking about sharing power. In some way. Sharing power. Was that a joke? Most of the country hasn’t had electricity for ages. Not since Mugabe needed it to keep his food warm and artificial heart pumping. And share what? There is nothing to share. Jack baby. Mugabe has already eaten the donkey and now wants to share the carcass? Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum doing the slow dance. Doing the slow dance to Power of Love or Careless Whisper? I think Bob was listening to I Got You Babe.

5. South Africa takes over England

I guess they had to do something. I mean really. They got their backsides kicked by the South Africans in cricket. Just a few months after getting their butts kicked in rugby. It’s a national pastime in South Africa. Beating the English in anything and everything. Ah, they thought they had the political one in the bag with Gordon Brown. Sorry dudes, our President Mbeki is pulling away in the lame-duck race. But back to the sports. So what do you think the Poms did after losing to us again? They appointed a South African as their captain. A guy who can’t make our team. He’s their best guy… And he is from Durban. It’s a bit like saying he’s from Texas. Minus the silly hats. But they are loud, have funny accents, like to talk about how great they are, but their leaders stink like Sue Ellen’s acting in Dallas. Hey, England! I have one for you. Why don’t you take Zuma? We won’t be able to beat that one.

6. China wins. Next year.

The US better take as many medals as they can at the Olympics in Beijing. Because China is about to take their lunch money. The US economy is going down the dumps. It’s slowing down faster than McCain without a cane first thing in the morning. Or me without coffee. Dropping faster than President Bush’s popularity. Yes. It is pretty bad. But here is the clincher. China will overtake America as the world’s largest producer of manufactured goods. Yes. China will push America off the top spot. A spot they have held for over 100 years. Will someone remember to switch off the lights when the last factory closes its door? The USA. Made in China.

________________________________

Hope to have better news next week. Yeah, right.

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Look, from an American sporting perspective I am pretty happy to be living in Boston. The Red Sox won the World Series. Again. The Patriots are still the team to beat after so many Super Bowl wins and finals in the last few years. The Celtics made history in basketball when they whipped the Lakers for the crown this year. The Revolutions are top of the league in soccer after making the finals for 3 years in a row. Hell, even the Bruins improved this year on the ice. Yep, it is pretty good to be in Boston if you like American sport. Or what they call sport.

But Americans really don’t play any sport. Oh they call it sport, but it really isn’t. American football (known incorrectly as Gridiron by some) are really only played by bunch of wimps. So much steroids, protective gear and stop-and-start kinda play that they look more like Transformers running low on batteries. Basketball is really just netball played by guys in over-sized pajama pants. Ice hockey is for guys who are too sober to get involved in a proper bar fight. Their soccer is watched by an average crowd of 7, including family, friends and coaching staff. And baseball is for guys who can’t play cricket.

Ah, cricket. Good old cricket. Nothing like watching the swing of the willow sitting on the Oaks at Newlands. Have a braai and a beer (and Klippies offered by your neighbour). I miss good old cricket. It isn’t shown on television over here. Americans just don’t get it. Their eyes glass over when I try to explain that it is a game played for five days from 10 am to 6 pm with a lunch break and two tea breaks each day – and you are still not guaranteed a result. Except if it is England playing and you pretty much know they will lose. But Americans can’t handle anything that will potentially interfere with the trip to the mall or watching daytime soaps. Or work for that matter. Short attention span. They have ADD when it comes to cricket.

And they don’t get the names either. Here it is all blood and gore – Steelers, Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, Bears and more in the NFL (football). The Devils, Thrashers, Hurricanes, Avalanche, Predators, Flames and more in the NHL (ice hockey). Fire, Revolution, Earthquakes and more in MLS (soccer). We have the Warriors, Hawks, Rockets, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Raptors and more in the NBA (basketball). And MLB (baseball). Well, let’s just say that the Brewers, Royals, Twins, Blue Jays and Sox don’t quite have the same bite to it. And what the hell is an Oriole? Is it a breakfast or a bird? Can you imagine them being known by the proper Latin name – The Baltimore Icterus Galbula? Anyway… The Proteas just doesn’t have the same ring or sting to it when it comes to the more blood and gore type names Americans love so much. (Note to self – look if there is a link between President Bush’s approach to foreign policy and the violent names of American sport teams.)

But I follow the cricket. Especially now when South Africa is doing their yearly humiliation of England. (Did I hear anyone say 1 up?) Like I said, I can’t watch it. But I read it. On my mobile phone. Via the live texting of the BBC. It is brilliant. Not the actual cricket, but the commentating. I know South Africa will win, but I keep on following the live texts because of the sense of humor and descriptions given by the BBC team. They are really special. Got to love the English for that. They might be getting their backsides kicked by Kallis, Ntini, Prince and the gang, but they sure know how to commentate. And keep you laughing all the way. It might be all they have left in sport – a good sense of humor. The play cricket, rugby and soccer like a bunch of clowns in any case.

I now check the updates every hour or so. It’s less about the cricket score than the wisdom and wise cracks from the BBC team. I want to share a few with you. It’ll hopefully give you an insight into British humor. Unfortunately it won’t help you understand cricket any more than eating a burger will help you drive better. There is no link. But I hope you enjoy these. I’ll might try to update these over the next few days. Now, sit back and enjoy the company of the BBC cricket commentators – in their words. It all started with their first text update this morning… (It’s in UK time and remember to read it in a ‘proper’ English accent.

And Nel takes another England wicket...

And Nel takes another England wicket...

10:33 – New Kid’s out on his ear because he upset ‘team unity’ (is the England dressing room actually some delicate eco-system?) and Colly’s back on the back of a few runs in a Twenty20 knockabout. If I was Owais Shah or Ravi Bopara, not only would I be a different colour, I’d be a little bit irritated as well.

It’s all so chummy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the England team all bundled round Vaughany’s mum and dad’s house for a pyjama party after today’s play. Maybe Colly’s back in the side because he can get his hands on Porky’s?

11:28 – The man to the left of me has just pulled out a plum of a lookalike – Morkel and 1980’s ‘Brat Pack’ stalwart Anthony Michael Hall. If you were to stretch Morkel on a rack like a Catholic martyr, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart.

Vaughny was pricklier than the famed Jungle Book paw-paw in his Aggers interview. He said it with a laugh but it was saucer of milk for table two stuff.

11:54 – Plenty of empty seats at Edgbaston, not sure why that is. It’s got all the atmosphere of a nursing home Christmas party at the moment.

12:06 – Nel – or is it Gunther? – strolls down the wicket and spits a few verbals Cook’s way. I’ve got to be honest, Nel seems more simple than intimidating. It must be like batting against Lennie from Of Mice and Men. He drags another one in short – not sure why he keeps doing that, this pitch has the consistency of a lemon drizzle cake.

12:16 – A few more strokes like that and the ball will be speaking the Queen’s English.

Send back the defibrillators, I think this pitch might already be dead…

12:36 – Umpire Dar had no doubts, although Vaughan looks at him as though he’s just found him heavy petting with his mother on the sofa as he leaves the field.

12:46 – Cook gropes at an away-cutter from Nel and the South African paceman grins maniacally, like a staggering drunk who’s just seen up a lady’s skirt.

13:39 – I have o report that the England skipper is getting absolutely slaughtered in your email, anyone would think he’d nutted the pope.

13:59 – Another wicked delivery from Morkel Cook nibbling before pulling his bat out of the way as if he’s just been caught with his hands in his mother’s handbag.

14:12 – He actually has pretty good figures in test and first-class cricket but he’s had about as much cutting edge as a jam roly-poly in this series so far.

14:16 – If Graeme Smith is the nasty prison governor from Shawshank Redemption, Nel is the bully-club wielding prison guard.

14:25 – I’d hate to be there when something genuinely bad actually happens to Nel – he reacted to Bell hitting that four as if he’s just seen his car. Nel lets out a primeval roar – Gunther is clearly a very angry man.

14:42 – This England team reminds me of when I used to want to hang about with my older brother and his mates when I was a kid. My brother used to tolerate me, but you could tell he never really wanted me there. I got a bit choked up writing that.. such sad memories…

14:52 – Nel roars in Smith’s direction – Smith better watch his back, drop another catch and Nel will make his ears into a necklace.

15:00 – There’s former England skipper Graham Taylor in the stand – black shades, black shirt, white tie, he looks like he’s going to pull out a Tommy gun and start strafing the South African fielders.

15:05 – And he’s tighter than the elephant man’s hatband today.

15:11 – Thank God for that, watching the Durham man trying to get off the mark was like watching open heart surgery.

15:18 – The Durham man staggers out of his crease like a man emerging from solitary confinement.

15:26 – Does anyone else feel like trying to understand the England selectors is like banging your head against a brick wall whilst wearing a straight jacket and being held upside down in a vat of marmalade?

15:37 – As an England fan, I would rather smash my arm repeatedly in a car door than watch much more of this…

15:43 – Ambrose – another in the England batting line-up who makes Bill Wyman look like Gary Sobers at the moment. Old Nel is madder than a box of frogs.

… that’s tea. I’m sure it will be a cosy one in the England dressing room, all chums together sharing out the Werther’s Originals and telling tales of the 2005 Ashes series. I can just imagine Vaughany leaning forward in his armchair like Uncle Albert and proclaiming every now and again: “During the 2005 Ashes…” I wonder if they’ve got an open fire up there?

16:04 – Regarding the reference to the Elephant Man, whatever happened to him, he made on good film and no-one’s seen him since?

16:13 – Surely a couple of Ambrose failures here will lead him to being dropped – the Warwickshire gloveman looks like he’s been batting with an upright hoover for most of this summer.

16:19 – Nel chuntering down to the deep mid-wicket rope like a startled rhinoceros.

16:35 – Watching Flintoff having to bat like this makes for rather painful viewing, it’s like Maradona playing at full-back.

16:49 – Nel licks his fingers and grins, like a naughty boy who’s just polished off a sticky bun.

17:11 – Watching these two batsmen scratch away, I just had the sudden urge to start singing Onward Christian Soldiers. I’ve also got this image in my head of Freddie and Ambrose under siege in a dilapidated building, poking their heads round the corner every few minutes to fire a couple of shots.

17:30 – Good job Ntini ducked or his team-mates would have had to rechristen him Anne Boleyn.

17:37 – If you’d have believed my nan, her glory years were spent wearing a tin helmet in a coal shed fending off rats the size of rottweilers while the German bombs fell all around her. A deeply miserable woman, she didn’t tend to go out much after the War ended.

17:47 – Most of the England players are looking a little bit sheepish in the field, like schoolboys shuffling nervously outside the headmaster’s office awaiting to hear their fate.

18:02 – The South Africa openers could only look more relaxed if they were basted in butter.

18:05 – A day spent browsing for ceiling tiles in B&Q would have raised the spirits higher than this.

End of day 1… With the South Africans way on top. England all out for 230 and South Africa sitting pretty at 38 for one. Now, where is that beer and braai

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Just heard the great news that Oscar Pistorius – the fastest man on no legs – will be able to run at the Olympics! The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that he is eligible to race against able-bodied athletes, overturning a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Here is the story I wrote about him a few months ago. He is one amazing guy. An inspiration to us all. And a proud South African. Run Oscar! Run!

Run , baby, run

Get ready for the big race. This is the finals baby. An Olympic medal awaits. This is his chance. This is the Olympics. This is his Olympics. He is a racing machine. He is ready. This is what he has been working for. This is what he has been training for day in and day out. Come sun or rain, he was there. Training and training and training. Eating his pasta when he wanted a burger. Nibbling a salad when his body wanted sweets. And then some more training. Training and running until his lungs burnt and his legs hurt.

No wait. At least the part of the legs that he does have will hurt. You see, he doesn’t have legs that goes all the way down. He was born with a few key bones missing. And they had to chop off his legs just below his knees. But just a few years ago he decided he wanted to run. And boy could he run. Run like the wind. He broke every record for those without legs. He became the man amongst big men. He was the superstar amongst heroes.

He ran on blades made just for him – the Blade Runner. And he ran so fast they called these blades “cheetah” blades. He was as fast as a cheetah on the hunt. And, well, the blades looked a bit like cheetah back legs. But now they are saying that his “cheetah” blades make him run like a cheater.

Let’s stop there for a minute. He is too fast running on his sticks? Are they are worried that he might be too fast for those with only two working legs? Are you serious? Have you actually seen this guy running? Here, have a look. Notice how he is about 10 meters behind the other guys when they start off? His “legs” hold him back because there is no thrust to push back. No calf mussles to help him jump at the start. Did you also notice that he has to swing his legs out a bit because he does not have the natural swing of the other guys with their luxury knees and legs? Doesn’t look that comfortable does it? Doesn’t look like he has the smooth running style of the “leggies”, does it?

But who are you going to believe? Your own eyes or science? Some mad German scientist (weird hair an all I assume) decided that our man Oscar Pistorius runs better than the “leggies”. That he has an advantage over them. The swing is the problem you see. According to the German punk professor our man has an advantage over “leggies” when he makes this swing as it gives him a bigger stride. And the problem is? The other athletes can swing their legs as well, can’t they? They know that it might save energy and give them a bigger stride. But they also know that it is as uncomfortable and unnatural as hell. And not the best way to achieve speed and rhythm. You can’t run like that if you want to be a world class athlete. (No, I wasn’t an athlete, but I have a friend who ran the Olympics and won a silver. That’s bragging if you didn’t catch it).

Or can you be a world class athlete without legs? Maybe, maybe not. We might never know. The Olympics held up their much loved values (like with China) and decided that this is not in line with the spirit of the Olympics. (But China is). Scared an umlungu from Africa might beat your steroid enhanced, human growth hormone injected druggies that call themselves athletes? Scared we might beat their sorry arses? Scared the “leggies” might be leggless by the time we are done with them? Yes, I am calling you chicken.

You will let guys who were caught cheating with drugs run, but you won’t let our boy run. Shame on you. You and your rules will let Dwain Chambers run, but the Brits had to bring in their own rules to stop him from running at the Olympics. Your history is littered with cheats who won in a blaze of glory only to go down in the fire years later because of drugs. Johnson and Gatlin and Jones – when do you want me to stop? You held them up as champs and the epitome of the “Olympic Dream”. A nightmare now, hey?

Let our boy run. He is the real deal. He is the Olympic Dream. He is the fastest man on no legs.

Oscar – run, baby, run.

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Yes, it’s time to brag. People from my little part of the world yet again managed to take the big prize away from the fancied ones. That little country way down South in Africa. Beating up the big boys in their own backyard. At their own game. Again.

Trevor Immelman has won the Masters. Now remember. This was when everyone was talking about Tiger winning the Slam – all four in one year. I heard it all week. Tiger this and Tiger that. And I thought to myself, thank you guys, you just pissed off the South Africans. Got them all nicely worked up for counting them out.

But Trevor isn’t just any player out there. This guy had a tumour removed in December – from his back He missed eight weeks of golf. And missed the cut before the Masters. Just the kind of thing that South Africans like. Come from nowhere and beat up the big boys. At their own game. In their own backyard. Way to go Trevor.

Oh, forgot to add. He is also a homeboy. From the same city as me. I know that means something. Just not sure what. Because I stink at golf.

Some are saying it was a boring game. That Tiger and the rest just never did much to try and catch him. That he won because others played badly. Firstly, it is golf – it is boring. A bunch of guys walking in the park hitting a little white ball. Yeah, real exciting stuff. Secondly, it is golf – it is boring. Oh wait, I have said that already. Point is he won. He doesn’t pump his fist. He doesn’t shout and scream. And he doesn’t jump through hoops. He just wins. That was a pretty straight forward plan. Just win and get the job done. Well executed. Trevor, you made us proud. Even if it was playing a silly game.

But we have other guys playing this park-walking game. Ernie Els have won a few majors. And so did Retief Goosen. I won’t even go back to Gary Player who won all four majors. I’ll stick to our guys of today. And we have a few others playing well over the years. In fact, we had 7 players in the Top 100 in 2007. Not bad for a little country down there in Africa hey?

We pretty much punch above our weight in almost every sport in the world that doesn’t involve ice or snow. Sorry, it hardly ever gets cold enough for us to wear a sweater – never mind trying to play a sport on something that should go with a brandy and coke (ooh, that is too South African even for me). But we have a few world record holders and champions in swimming – from Roland Schoeman who dominated the short distances to Suzaan van Biljon who just broke another world record.

And we dominate world rugby – guess who’s the world champions? Yep, you guessed it – South Africa. And who do you think is ranked as the best One Day International cricket team? Sorry, not prizes for this one. It’s South Africa. Okay, we suffer a bit in soccer at the moment. But we have a number of world class players all over the world. From Benni McCarthy playing for Blackburn to Steven Pienaar playing for Everton. And Jomo Sono is without a doubt one of the most gifted players to ever have played the beautiful game.

So, whenever we give it a shot we manage to do pretty damn well. Hey, we even break records when we didn’t aim to play a specific sport. Look at old Gary Anderson, kicker extraordinaire in the NFL and one of only three men to play in 300 games in an NFL career, has played in the league from 1982 until he retired in 2003. He leads all NFL players with 2 133 points over his 20-year career, and holds the incredible record of going through an entire season – 1998 – without missing a single kick, making 94 out of 94 shots at goal.  First player to have a perfect season making every field goal and PAT in a regular season. And he went over on a soccer scholarship…

We don’t play basketball – that’s just netball that is not played by men back in South Africa. We don’t play baseball because that’s for people who can’t play cricket. But we do have the world’s netball superstar – Irene van Dyk. Oh no, hang on a minute. She fell for the old money trick. New Zealand sucked at netball and needed a player that could put them on the map. So they bought Irene. She now plays for them – as a Kiwi… But just listen to her speak man. She ain’t no Kiwi.

And a few other sport stars have done the same. Allen Lamb was a superstar for England in cricket. He is South African. Their current best player, Kevin Pietersen, is from South Africa. And what about Mike Catt the rugby player? South African. But don’t worry, we don’t mind. We know they move over, join the club, take the money, and then they come home. They know and we know they are South African.

Sometimes we face a few “challenges” but still refuse to give up. Take old Oscar Pistorius, the fastest man on no legs. Not even running with no legs can stop him from trying to get to the Olympics. Okay, the warped rules of the IOC can, but nothing else would. Or Natalie du Toit. She has broken so many world records in swimming since she lost her legs it’s just not funny anymore. Or Ernst van Dyk who keeps on pushing the boundaries in wheelchair racing. Breaking one record after the other. Yes, even when you take something away from us we find new ways to dominate.

Back to Trevor and Tiger. You know why Trevor won? Because there are no tigers in Africa. When the lion roars, the tigers run. The world made the mistake by play with the lion’s… hum… sensitive area… And when the lion decides it’s time then it’s time.

Psst, let me tell you a little secret on how to get a South African to wake up the lion. Just tell them it isn’t possible to do something. Man, nothing annoys a South African more than someone telling them something can’t be done. They get all worked up. And they won’t stop until they get it done. That’s the secret. Just tell them it can’t be done. And then they will do it. So thanks for telling the world that Tiger can’t be beaten. That was just what we wanted to hear. You saw the result, right?

And South African supporters are even worse than the actual players. They will defend their team or sportsperson until the end – and then a bit further. It’s never the fault of the South African if we lose – no it’s the ref. Always the ref.

It reminds me of my dad a bit. You know we didn’t get along. In fact, he was an ass. But I remember when I was just a little boy sitting with him watching a boxing match. Now my dad was a hardened racist. He hated all black South Africans. Including his own blood family… But anyway, we were watching this fight between a white Englishman and a black South African. And guess who my dad was cheering for? Yep, you guessed it – the black South African. I must have been six or seven. I looked at him and asked him, “Dad, why are you supporting the black guy? You hate all black people don’t you?” My dad stared at me for a while as if I was asking a dumb question. And then he said, “Of course. But he is South African. And us South African always stick together”.

South Africans. Aah, good old South Africans. We might not make sense most of the time, but just tell us we can’t possibly do a certain something and we’ll prove you wrong and do it. Just tell us the other guy will win the match and we’ll lower our heads and beat the living hell out of you on the sports field. It’s not much. But it is someting to brag about.

Tiger, remember the roar of the lion and remember – there are no Tigers in Africa.

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So the people are in the streets everywhere. London – stiff upper lip protests and Brown decided not to touch the torch. France – pull off a riot and put out that flame like only the French could. San Francisco – hanging off the bridge to stop the hanging. Yes! China is all over the news. Well, not China only. The Olympics and China. It seems as if there are a few people who actually do care about this little world and the people who live here. It’s not only the warmth of the globe that gets people going. No. It’s also the warmth of the human heart that makes us look after each other.

But where do they all go when the torch passes by? I always hear that people don’t really care. That people worry more about their own lives and where the next big buy will come from. You know. That Westerners don’t really care about the world where people suffer and die. But again we have seen that they do care. Yes they do. It’s been with us this whole time – just hidden away where the press can’t find them. Why? Because there are no stories and pictures to go with the protest of the heart. It’s not Seattle ’99 every day you know. But I have a plan.

All we need is a regular chance for people to express their outrage. To show their anger. To highlight their unhappiness with the world. To come out in their numbers and stand up against injustice. To give the media the stories and pics to go with these scenes of protest. And I have the perfect solution for that. The Oh-Limp-Pic Games.

This is how it works. Every four years the tyrants of the world will come together and celebrate the ways they murder people. To show the world what they are made of. To give the world a chance to take pictures and see for themselves how tyrants and oppressors deal with anyone who stand in their way. The Games to celebrate all those broken limbs and the limp of humanity – the limp of death and destruction. It’s a time for the world to stand up against these bastards I mean… tyrants and show the world we care. We can hang banners off bridges. Protest in the streets. Pressure our governments. Lobby our politicians. Boycott our companies. You know – get the stories and pic to the media for front-page news. Yes. Every four years we will have our Oh-Limp-Pic Games. A celebration of broken promises and the death of the innocent.

Of course we will need someone to coordinate all this. Don’t worry – already thought of that. How about the IOC. The International Oppressors Committee. They will set the guidelines and select the winning regime who will host the next Oh-Limp-Pic Games. Only those who murder and kill can sit on the IOC. I mean really. Murder is too good to share with everyone.

Some guidelines for selection? You have to be a warlord or tyrant in charge of the country or have “People’s Republic” or “Democratic Republics” in the name of your country. Sorry Tamil Tigers and Al-Qaeda, you just don’t make the cut. Honorable mention, but you haven’t done enough to be part of this exclusive group. Work harder. Maybe next time. But just murdering from behind a mask doesn’t do it for the IOC. You need to be loud and you need to be proud – in your own country of mayhem and death. Just attacking other people you don’t like is way too cowardly. Get your own spot to practice proactive oppression. Until then – get in the back of the line please.

I have a short-list ready for those who can lead the IOC in these early days:

1. China – Hu Jintao. The clear leader of the field. It takes a special regime to rule a country of that size with an iron fist. Well done. You make the IOC proud. You deserve the first Oh-Limp-Pic Games. I mean really – it took balls to kill that Tibetan flame quicker than the French did in Paris. See you in the summer.

2. North Korea – The Eternal President, Kim Il-Sung, would be proud. Not only do you execute and torture like there is no tomorrow (or yesterday), but you rank dead last when it comes to democracy. No pun intended with “dead last”.

3. Sudan – President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, excellent job in keeping genocide in Africa. Just when we thought we got over that… You even managed to make Darfur a household name across the world. And in such a short period of time.

4. Equatorial Guinea – President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, or as the state-operated radio and you declared – that you are God who is “in permanent contact with the Almighty” and “can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell”. And Condieven calls you a good friend. Man you managed to pull this one off big time. Thank you oil. Thank you oil. Even the Pope sees you. Just wonder if they pray to you? Special touch – cannibalism.

5. Burma – Senior General Than Shwe, no need to pussy-foot around with titles hey? How do you manage to stuff up a country for so long and still not get caught? Guess it must be big brother from the North hey? Oh stop moaning – the name change didn’t change anything.

These are the Five Rings of the Oh-Limp-Pic Games (also know as the Ring Leaders). The Supreme Gods of the IOC. They embody the spirit of the Oh-Limp-Pics – torture, death and war-on-their-own. They will have to decide who would join them in the IOC. A few just missed it – Saudi Arabia (King Abdullah Bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud) could well lead the Middle East in the IOCas they have special connections to hide their abuses; Zimbabwe (Robert “Bob” Mugabe) just missed the cut with an inflation of 100,000%, but the possibility of him losing his own rigged election really hurt him.

The Oh-Limp-Pic Games itself will have “sports” such as shooting, shooting and more shooting. The winners will all receive a medal. Of course they will. But not just gold – that’s so yesterday. Nope, here we will hand out blood diamonds set in child-laboured gold. Second place prizes? No medal sorry. Remember in this sport of shooting and mayhem there will be no second place at all. Maybe just a Free Tibet with every Happy Meal.

But the biggest reason for having the Oh-Limp-Pic Games is to give people the chance to show their distaste for tyrants and oppressors everywhere. So the IOC will bring the tyrants to you – the people. Every four years the torch of torture will be paraded through all free countries across the world. It will be the theme of the stories and the pics to highlight our distaste. Of course, the flags we burn and the posters we hang will all be made in China, but that doesn’t matter. We are here to protest, and damn you we will. But the path of the torch of torture will give us a chance to show we care. The Pic of moment.

Yes, it is a joke. But we need a regular opportunity to show our feelings and show our numbers. Because those who care. Those who really care. Those who hang off the bridges and those who force their Prime Ministers to not hold the torch and those who extinguish the flame all deserve to be heard more often. I blame the media. They need their moment they can capture in a picture. Their soundbite. And those who care? Well, they don’t live in a soundbite. Or in a picture. They live for others to live. For others not to die. They live for humanity. I salute you bridge hangers and protesters. You are my brothers and sisters. The media should be embedded with you to learn about humanity. To remind themselves that they were once the watchdogs. Today? More like watch, dogs.

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