The BEAT editor,

Igniting ‘krekets’ in Pretoria on New Year’s Eve


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 159

It is Monday 8 January and we are back at The BEAT offices, pounding on the computer keyboards, following a well-deserved festive break.

I personally spent much time with family at the Coloured township of Eersterust, east of Pretoria.

The so-called brown Afrikaners, especially my little nephew, Kilroy, and niece, Innocentia, have never failed to amaze me.

Kilroy had finally got his bicycle, while Innocentia did not, like Christmases past, bother Oupa Johnny to “koop bullets vir my gun” anymore.

Before you mistake me for a Coloured person, what happened was that some years ago my uncle and aunt, the late Jeff and Ann Ntsele, relocated from the township of Mamelodi, to neighbouring Eesterust.

The main reason was that the couple had joined a religion called the Bahaula, who are largely concentrated in Eesterust and the Indian suburb of Laudium. But I digress.

Naturally, my nephews, Mongezi and Jabulani, went to school at the local laerskool and hoërskool.

In their matured years the two boys got hooked up with Coloured girls and fathered the wonderful kids I spent Christmas with.

While I was around Bela-Bela over Christmas, I spent a few days with family in Eesterust over the New Year period.

I also spent some time at auntie Paulina’s place next door whereby, with cigarette dangling between her fingers, auntie Chandy complained about a downpour on Saturday 30 December.

How were we all going to light up “krekets” (firecrackers) at midnight the following day (31 December), with all that rain, she wondered.

On the news gathering front, the Ramaphosa narrative continues to fire the imagination of both friend and foe.

As you read this, the new ANC president and his inner circle may have given some form of idea as to what’s next for the embattled Jacob Zuma.

As your favourite read, we shall also continue to try and find meaning as to what effect would Ramaphosa have on both the regional and local economy and, of course, the broader political landscape.

Also, we wondered out loud whether the thousands of white, Coloured and Indian people who voted for the ANC of Mandela in great numbers, but switched their votes after Zuma, would consider giving the ANC of Ramaphosa the benefit of doubt.

On another personal level, I was oh so humbled when a Johannesburg-based Sunday broadsheet newspaper, targeted at the highest end of the English-reading market, commissioned me to write a tribute for the late Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile, ex-husband to National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete.

The tribute was based on my chanced encounter with South Africa’s foremost poet.

On his return from exile, he had summoned me to the late Dolly Rathebe’s top-class shebeen to talk about my passion as a word artist.  

Reporter Mzamane Ringane says he spent the holidays with family partying the nights away.

Lizzy Bapela tells me she spent most of the Yuletide festivities indoors.

Party animal TK Mashaba spent part of his festive holidays in Bela-Bela, and also in the tribal village of Pankop, east of Pienaarsrivier.

Justin Steyn pulls faces, mumbling that he had to spend time with his in-laws in Krugersdorp.

Let me take this opportunity to welcome you back to your ever vibrant read.

3 months ago       11 January 2018