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Tsalanang Revisted

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Tsalanang Revisted (4)

A regular visitor passionately explaining shebeen culture

A gorgeous Saturday afternoon was the scene for a good ol’ beer with a friend or two in the township, but where to go? We contacted Aphiwe who was interested in joining us yet again, only to find out that he was one step ahead of us and and had a drink in his hand already. We thought the best thing to do would be to go and join him in the midst of the informal settlement. This posed the first of three problems we were to encounter; how to find them.

The shebeen-brak, a regular and welcomed visitor

The shebeen-brak, a regular and welcomed visitor

Pierre and I got into the car and went towards the township with the plan to ask along the way – something not advised when carrying two cellphones, money, a camera whilst idle. Nevertheless we did this, and to our surprise we were not far away from the start. After consulting two people were noticed a familiar car parked on the pavement, it was indeed Aphiwe’s. We got our stuff and walked into the shebeen.  

Tsalanang Revisted (5)

Greeted with a cheer from our friends we grabbed the traditional crate and sat ourselves down. Shortly after, we noticed our hands were empty and went to the gated bar counter to get some booze. Whilst ordering, Pierre and I were looked for a nice camera shot of the bar, and then moved back to our friends located outside, with a interruption – the second problem.

I was greeted and asked how I was, I replied, and was asked (I can only guess) how the good life is – a racial gesture. I replied confused, and tried to move through him and his friend to get out of the door to safety. I was slightly followed and asked by his friend (with earrings and a tattoo of the number 21; possibly a gang) if I had R10 for him – the thought of being mugged begun to sink in. I said no, irritatingly, and turned away and walked towards my mates.

Tsalanang Revisted (2)

Pierre and I both were evidently shook by this edgy encounter, but tried to relax. This relaxation only fully set in for me when I turned my head to notice that the two dodgy customers had left. I later stood up and joined Pierre with photo’s, when our third and final problem happened. One local, who looked like a businessman, walked up to us demanding not to take any pictures that made the local pub scene and its people look bad. We both tried our best to convince this influential looking man that that was not our mission, and after a handshake he felt he could let us continue, and this is what we got.


Written by techran

May 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Hola baba, keep it up.


    May 18, 2009 at 4:50 am

  2. nice post techran, according to your post, I remembered the old times together with my friends way back in college in the province, we used to drink to a house of one friends and have a chat and beer in hand. But now I haven’t seen them for months because of work here in the metro and I hope to get home soon and grab a beer with them again.

    Have a great day ahead bro. Cheers!

    Don - Beer

    June 4, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    • Thanks for the comment mate. More stories to come.


      June 4, 2009 at 8:13 pm

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