Pure mad political theatre
It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m sitting naked in my lounge. Zero Thirty One is maddeningly hot. I’m bathed in sweat. Even the soles of my feet are pouring. It’s brutal. It’s beautiful. It’s Durban.
I’ve just hit send on my last Mangaung piece. It feels I-rational. Mangaung was banging. Pure mad political theatre. The Commander in Chief was the business.
He smote his enemies and charmed their corpses. He owned the gig. Mr Black, Gold and Green.
We worked like dogs. We sweated like pigs. We scurried like rats. We walked for miles just to get bounced. Mangaung was a mad week of little sleep, irregular food, mad deadlines.
Mangaung was heat stroke and evil babalaases. Mangaung was eating standing up. Mangaung was a blast.
You can’t do an ANC conference by going to the plenaries and briefings and sitting around the media centre watching eNCA. You gotta get involved with the comrades.
To do that you have to go out drinking. It’s the only time you have access to them.
At conference you are kept well away from them. So you have to hit the nightspots. After having a crack at the free hooch in the media centre, that is.
Bloemfontein was very different from Mangaung. JahNoDead and I did this sparked up recon on the eve of conference.
The white pubs were all empty. Dead. Ane, the supercool boeremeisie, claimed they were scared of the cops brought by the conference. We reckoned Swaartgevaar 2012.
You get sucked into gigs like Mangaung. You can’t avoid it. For seven days you’re focused on a single event that crawls at a snail’s pace and is of massive importance. You’re on it 24/7. No matter how high you get. The rest of the world stops. There’s nothing except Mangaung.
Then it’s over. Klaar. Finito. There’s still deadlines.
There’s no queues, no being herded. There’s no singing, no comrades. It’s time to go back to the real world. The trip is over. The final whistle has gone, comrade. Time to swim to the surface.
I head for Durban. My younger offspring, Small James, is on his way home from exile in Snorville. I’d dig to see him.
Durban’s as I left it. There’s hustling to do. One final big deadline. I get it done.
Happy birthday, Baby Jesus.