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Finding Ubuntu when we should be peed off

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In true theatre tradition “the show must go on”, so the team rigged up emergency lighting and the show did indeed go on.

Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

As far as we were concerned down here in the Deep South, Mr Ramaphosa’s megawatt mugwumps picked the worst possible time to switch off the electricity on Friday evening.

Darkness fell upon the face of the earth just as the curtain was about to go up on the opening night performance of the latest comedy in Muizenberg’s Masque Theatre, Run for Your Wife.

However, in true theatre tradition “the show must go on”, so the team rigged up emergency lighting and the show did indeed go on.

It’s not easy to cancel a show at the last minute because many of the tickets are sold in advance through Computicket.

I must say it was one of the funniest plays I’ve seen in a long time.

The audience loved it and the emergency lighting didn’t detract from the show. In fact, it may even have added a feeling of “we’re all in this together” to the evening.

It’s always heartening to face a common enemy together.

In a rather strange way, Eskom’s incompetence has united us against the idiots pretending to run our country.

(We regularly hear comments such as: “These clowns can’t run a power station and we expect them to manage a whole country!”)

At interval I headed for the gentlemen’s loo and found myself in a truly “Cape” situation. Romantically lit by a single candle, a trio of men – one black, one coloured and one white – stood shoulder to shoulder, peeing in companionable harmony.

It was a perfect “Ubuntu” moment. Little moments like these encourage me to believe there might just be a glimmer of hope for our beleaguered country.

Meanwhile, back at home I thought for a moment that I might have witnessed a miracle.

In an early morning Eskom-sponsored blackout I switched on my bedside lamp, saw it was too early for honest people to be awake, and tottered through to the bathroom for a wee break.

The bathroom light didn’t work.

I looked out of the window and saw none of the lights of Fish Hoek were working. The valley was in total darkness.

All except for one lonely beacon of light – my bedside lamp.

It appeared to be the only point of light in the entirely blacked-out village.

I resolved to send a letter of appreciation to Mr Ramaphosa for singling me out above all the folk of Fish Hoek to be the sole recipient of enlightenment.

Maybe he was a Tavern column reader, I thought, and didn’t want me to cease my flow of wordage. I felt humbled.

Later, in the daylight, I examined the lamp and saw it was marked “emergency lamp”. Apparently it is a self-charging light bulb. I’d forgotten I’d bought it.

I rushed to the local hardware store to buy more. They said they’d never heard of them. The mystery deepens.

Last Laugh

One of the big problems with our country is that too many people are trying to get something for nothing.

An even bigger problem is the great number of them who are succeeding.