Frogs, Drugs and Thugs

Hey – my first ‘like’ came from ‘the wuc’ in Australia – amazing! Thank you! So,  ‘the wuc’, this one’s for you – a slice of life in Cape Town. ….

I went to the launch of a Frog book the other day, at the conservatory  in Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. Nice. But a worry to hear that  frog researchers are a species almost as threatened as some of the frogs. (I’m going to include the Frog book in my green pages, What On Earth in Pick n Pay’s Fresh Living magazine in the hope of stimulating a new flush of froggers). FROG STORY: in spring, vendors sell armfuls of illegally picked, beautiful waxy, wild arum lilies at the traffic lights here. Then the alarm went up that this was destroying the natural habitat of the arum lily micro frog which breeds in them – so we all stopped buying. Sindiwe Magona, local award-winning writer wanted to write a childrens book about it to raise awareness. But then the City put out a fact-straightener press release: there is no arum lily micro frog – only a micro frog and an arum lily frog, and neither breed in the waxy flowers – and arum lilies aren’t threatened – so we can buy again, as long as the hawker is legal. ‘Excuse me, are you legal….?

Drugs are as easy to buy on the streets as flowers, especially on the ganglands of the Cape Flats. DRUG STORY: One mother, Ellen Pakkies was so desperate she was driven to murdering her tik addicted son. There’s been a book and a play about her. Tomorrow on our radio show OTHERWISE, I’m talking to another ‘Flats mother who has started a street soccer league to try and keep the kids off drugs.

Tonight is the launch of the Encounters Documentary Film Festival. One of the films, Glitterboys and Ganglands takes a look at the Miss Gay Western Cape pageant where the guys get out the glitter, tape and feathers and strut their stuff. I was a judge at the pageant and the winning Miss Gay, Cat, was on our radio show. Lauren Beukes who made the film, another award-winning writer (got lots of them in Cape Town, there’s so much to write about) shot the interview and used it in the film. So where do thugs come in? They’re the ones who rape lesbians and call it corrective. A practice not exclusive to Cape Town or South Africa, but we hate that it happens.      nx


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