The Lucky Ones

Originally published in Brittle Paper (March 2020) The first thing Andile did when he discovered the grey pube was pour himself a whiskey. The second thing he did was call Litha. “I have a grey pube,” he said when Litha picked up. “What time is it?” “How can I have a grey pube when I’mContinue reading “The Lucky Ones”

Why Don’t South Africans Read Fiction?

Originally published in The Kalahari Review (June 2018) “Why don’t South Africans read fiction?” Greg says. He presses his fists into his eyes and groans theatrically so Thapelo knows he is joking, sort of. He already regrets saying it. Generalisations are so obviously untrue (not all South Africans, obviously), but how can he speak withoutContinue reading “Why Don’t South Africans Read Fiction?”

On “world-class” cities and exclusivity

Marklives | 11 August 2015 In our globalized world countries and cities compete in an almost-open market for investment and tourism. That makes it as important for them to have coherent and compelling brands as it is in the private sector. But South African cities are struggling to define their brands, pulled as they are between wantingContinue reading “On “world-class” cities and exclusivity”

Should brands lead or mimic social norms?

Marklives | 28 July 2015 The Castle Lager ads of the 1990s put forward a vision of South Africa that was far removed from the lived reality of most South Africans then. That kind of footage seems cheesy and cliched now, but seeing a genuinely and happily multi-racial society back then must have seemed like looking intoContinue reading “Should brands lead or mimic social norms?”

The gift of protest

Marklives | 2 June 2015 “A customer that complains is a good customer,” said an entrepreneur while explaining his business idea to me recently. It’s definitely the right attitude to have, and an attitude that would do our politics a huge amount of good. South Africans don’t change their votes much. In the five general electionsContinue reading “The gift of protest”

Whose heritage is it, anyway?

Marklives | 26 March 2015 Where does #RhodesMustFall leave heritage brands? Mass protests, a social media storm and the occupation of the administration building have pushed UCT’s transformation record into the national spotlight, throwing up some interesting questions for heritage brands. What do you do if you were the favourite brand of an old generation ofContinue reading “Whose heritage is it, anyway?”