`The strange life and bloody death of Billy Monk, smalltime crook and drifter, whose rowdy exterior hid a subtle eye for photography.   A few months ago a Cape Town photographer named Jac de Villiers was sorting through some papers in his studio when he discovered a set of files which belonged to a one …

The Prophet Motive

The Prophet Motive by Lin Sampson

Cape Flats preachers have found a thriving market for fire and brimstone, writes Lin Sampson. Preachers, prophets and pastors have become the new rock stars. They drive swanky cars and live in lush circumstance. The Cape Flats on a Sunday morning rocks with the sounds of hallelujahs. Pastor Abraham of the Restoration Church of Christ …

Go Straight,Girl

Some girls will go to any lengths for their hair. Shaylene thinks of her hair as a disability, something like chronic migraine. It has to be medicated, treated, taken on mini breaks, stroked, chemically advanced, tranquillised, sedated and spanked. “Hair for a coloured girl,” say Shaylene, “is an issue. And let me tell you not …

After Dark

Erich Rautenbach

Lin Sampson talks to author Erich Rautenbach, who remembers a vivid past in a South Africa long gone I am sitting with Erich Rautenbach in what was once the Mountain View (now Jameson’s) in Long Street, a 1960s stronghold of prostitution once run by a woman with ivory combs in her hair and a theatrically …

Pavement Special

Virginia Springett

There are new tricks and there are old tricks, but the Cashmere Queen is still plying her trade, writes Lin Sampson. I recall, more than 20 years ago, Virginia Springett wearing something tiger-skinnish and driving a white Mercedes with red leather seats. In those days she was rich and ritzy and owner of a shop …

Clothes Maketh the Man

Amakrwala

Why are these young men turned out like English gents? Lin Sampson looks at the amakrwala culture of dress and initiation — and finds few answers Vuyo Ndiki walks down the street. He is wearing a checked cap, a velvet jacket, Prince of Wales striped trousers and black-and-white matinee idol shoes. The street is full …

In the Pink

Okay, Lebanon has kibbeh (pine nuts, lean meat, racked wheat), Brussels has tomaat garnaal (shrimp stuffed tomatoes), Barbados has fried flying fish. Cape Town has – wait for it – pink polony. There is hardly a child brought up in the last 20 years who has not tasted it. My mother, a stranger to nutrition, …

Boy Loves Grille

Boy Loves Grille by Lin Sampson

What Hennie Roux harbours for vintage Mercedes Benz cars and parts is nothing short of a grand passion, writes Lin Sampson. My wife said, ‘It’s me or the cars.’ I said ‘I’ll miss you.’” Hennie Roux, lover of vintage Mercedes-Benz cars, is talking. “Women are so tricky,” he says. “Mercs are kinder and easier.” Roux’s …

Leftover Lives

An increase in white squatter camps in Cape Town bears witness to the hardship of a marginalised community, writes Lin Sampson. PINK toy lorry hurtles through the air. Behind it two small tow-headed girls, hands on hips, shriek with mirth. Children all over the world play in the same way but Jamie-Lee and Karen do not live in …

Wagons & Wigs

Wagons and Wigs

Lin Sampson meets three farmworkers who believe they are girls Pietie Klaasen is a farm worker on Hazendal, a historic wine farm outside Stellenbosch. He is wearing high-heeled silver sandals, a tinkling charm bracelet and green eye shadow. His two front teeth are missing which puts a crack in his smile. “Please call me Melanie,” …