Madiba and Mrs Ball's in battle of the icons
By James Clarke
My invitation to readers to write down what they considered to be our 10 most appropriate national icons brought in a gratifying flurry of entries.
The three most commonly suggested icons were: Madiba, Mrs Ball's Chutney and biltong! Then came braai; boerewors; proteas; Castle beer; Klippies en Coke; the national flag, the sun (sunny days).
Amazingly only one reader mentioned the springbok.
Barbara Christie suggested: Madiba's shirt; shack with satellite dish; fynbos; healthy fruit; marauding baboons; vuvuzelas; big mamas (the South African matriarch); Cape Town; Patricia Lewis; potholes (big enough to fish in).
Eshaana Bapooo of Springs: Beaded doilies (covering tannie's milk jug); melktert; biltong (which everybody smuggles through customs); painted ostrich eggs; naartjies; Yebo gogo (who hasn't used this at least once?); Ryk Neethling; loveLife billboards (that make no sense whatsoever); Mrs Ball's Chutney; Klippies & Coke.
Dr H Denis Solomons of Highlands North had an interesting variety: veldskoene; khaki; safari suits; Mrs Ball's Chutney; waterblometjie bredie; the Hillbrow Tower; biltong; dassie; African rock python(!); Jock of the Bushveld.
Tony Thacker wrote: "Since Desmond Tutu turns up so often perhaps we could have his nose declared a World Heritage Site?"
Herbie Neilson's list: Table Mountain; ox wagon; gold-mine headgear; lion kill; braai, beer and biltong; takkies; beach at sunrise; pipe-smoking Xhosa woman; Oriental Bazaar; protea.
Bridget Ballard listed things her daughter misses since emigrating to New Zealand: Ouma rusks; Mrs Ball's chutney; biltong; Highveld thunderstorms; our fabulous record-breaking cricket team (Bridget must have written this immediately after the famous 50-overs match); Madiba; bi-lingual soapies; our 12 public holidays a year; mine dumps; sandy shores.
Nick and Des Andrew: a stoep (your column too!); first class rugby; Table Mountain; Castle beer; John Robbie; open road; black faces; Chappies bubblegum; bare feet; game reserve.
Patricia King of Parkview: Cape Town Castle; Table Mountain; Augrabies Falls; pot-bellied men in shorts; well-heeled men in shoes without socks; goldmine dumps; biltong; boerewors; Kruger Park; Namaqualand flowers.
Ramohau of Clocolan says: If one is fortunate enough to live in the Eastern Free State these 10 icons are all around us: Sunrise over the Malutis; cherry blossom time; autumnal coloured poplars; beautiful sandstone home; sunset; Basotho hat; golden wheat fields waving in the breeze; ice-cold draft beer; snow on the Malutis; a traffic cop's speed gun.
Among icons suggested by Rikjan Scott, in London were: the sweet smell of wet tarmac after a Highveld thunder storm, Johnny Clegg, Kwaito music, Mrs Ball's Chutney, jacarandas in bloom and Mandela's little dance.
Jannis Rodrigues included: the braai, Klippies and Coke (or Tassies), alcoholic oranges at rugby and cricket matches.
Among items suggested by Grahamn Haiden, an expat now in Auckland, New Zealand, were: a braai; Mrs Ball's Chutney; game biltong (not beef) and a Highveld storm.
Rob Marshall of Ermelo included Nelson Mandela, Ernest Oppenheimer, Gary Player, a gold mine, the Zulu people and Mrs Ples (the Taung Child would have been even better).
And the winners (of R100) are... Gerrit and Ann de Villiers of Alberton from last month. Their list was:
You have been warned...
- Madiba's smile
- The national flag ("that happy flag")
- A pronking springbok
- A wild protea bush
- A blue sky
- A sizzling braai
- A sand road
- Archbishop Tutu's nose
- A thunderstorm
- An empty beach
According to a Netcare Travel Clinic, "Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caught from biting mosquitoes."
So be warned, don't ever bite a mosquito.