10 October 2005

Cape Town - The first few days.

After postponing that seemed like forever I finally arrived to Cape Town, South Africa last Friday. The reason for me to be here is my work at the community radio station called Bush Radio. It’s not just any station but the first South African community radio and the one, that the linguistic and respected social commentator Noam Chomsky described by saying,

"I have had quite a lot of contact with popular media in the United States, and elsewhere in the world, and have rarely come across achievements comparable to yours. I appreciated the vitality and seriousness as well as the very high level of professionalism and dedication of the staff and volunteers from all over the globe.
What you are doing at Bush Radio is extremely important."
- Noam Chomsky

So needles to say that I am absolutely over the moon about being here. I had my first day at work today and got to know more about the structure and organisation of the station. I also got to know the studio by being a technical operator for Bassie, the afternoon presenter for the show called Backchat. He had plenty of experience at the station and seemed like a nice man altogether. So far it seems like there is not such a competitive environment than at the radios I have worked for in Europe. That would have been very odd anyway keeping in mind the communal idea of the whole broadcasting model.

Yesterday I also met for the first time my friend Shaqir Erasmus. We have been posting on the same message board on the Public Enemy website and now happened to be at the same time in the same place. Shaqir is a local guy and he, his daughter Aminah (who by the the way at the age of two was the happiest and most smiling little girl, or boy for that matter, whom I have ever met. Shaqir told me it is because she doesn’t know better) and his mate Kurt, who was also a local policeman on a day off, showed me around the ups and downs of Cape Town. Went from the town centre to the tourist beaches of Clifton and to the half way of Table Mountain where an amazing view over the city opened before our eyes. From there we continued to the rougher townships including Gugulethu and Manenberg. If anyone ever dares to say that there is no difference between the conditions of the races here you can just slap them immediately. Although country would have democratic equality, the economical one seems to be far from reality. This obviously is not a shocking news for anybody but needs to be said as always when I meet white South African people in Europe they say that racism doesn’t exist except maybe in the form of black people not liking them. You can slap them as well. Hard.

Few fotos from our drive here. In Manenberg where some of the pictures are from I was able to go out with camera because Shaqir and Kurt introduced me to guy called Rufus, who had been in prison for a long for a murder, but who now had changed his ways and lived more positively in the community. But he was so respected that nobody dared to disturb me being an annoying western tourist. I wouldn’t have messed with Rufus either after seeing the scar on his throat.

(the title of the set is still wrong but no worries the fotos are right)

I also met another friend of mine Sofia on Saturday and I will be moving to her place next Sunday. She is far too nice person but I was happy to accept the invitation. Her place is located in Wynberg and at the moment I am staying at a small lodge near the station. People from Bush Radio were nice enough to fix that for me before I arrived.

I also got to know the time for my first show. That takes place this Saturday 3-4pm. It is going to be international hip hop. In the future I try to move into more constructive show but it is better to start easy, ain’t it. If you are interested hearing the show click here on Saturday and the time is GMT +1.

I have had a first day of work now in many months so I seem to be forgetting things as they come and go but few more notes that I must add here in the end. There is absolutely no words that can make justice to the authority and beauty of Table Mountain here. I knew that before but now I am reminded. Broadband internet connection costs here approximately 150 Euros, which is sick. That's all.


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Derin said...

Missed your show but hope it was an absolute success, no doubt it was. Goodluck out there and keep the blogs coming. Fascinating read.