“My name is José Maria Joao. I am from Angola. I was born on 19 march 1972. I came to Cape Town in 2000. I could not speak English. I was 15 years old when UNITA rebels captured me while I was walking home from the market where I was selling mangoes to support my family. I was forced to either join this rebel army or get killed on the spot. This was a reality I had been avoiding since I was big enough to walk to school on my own. I was a big child so being on the run has been with me since I was small.”
It’s early evening and sitting across the table from me is Dale Yudelman. He focuses on me over the edge of his wire-framed sunglasses. He doesn’t take them off. I look b a c k trying to find his eyes..
A short, bearded American chap donning brown leather boots, tight jeans and a sweater pops up next to me and orders a tequila. His holiday swagger, order of a tequila shot before brunch and musician look, accompanied with his American accent, strongly suggest he’s with the band. Well, that’s what I hoped for as I turned around to introduce myself.
“I didn’t face many obstacles – my black musician friends faced the obstacles. I remember when I was working in Johnny Fourie’s band, Duke Makazi who played incredible tenor sax, often didn’t arrive at the gig because he was arrested as they thought he had stolen his saxophone.”
Meanwhile, a single white male aged 25, pulls his 4L Renault into Main Road Mowbray, Cape Town and heads for the infamous racially contested area known as District 6.
..you’ve “ arrived” in a room where everything is either an unfinished puzzle or a nostalgia-inducing two-wheeled toy. I sat down with Nils Hansen and explored the mechanics behind his mind and shop.
“Surfing is one of the most physically demanding sports. What sets it apart from other sports is the lifestyle of free spirit that is associated with it. There is an aspect of high athleticism in surfing. It’s human to constantly struggle to achieve and to strive to tame the forces of nature. ”
“Genre always just feels like a nonsense thing. I don’t think anyone really wants to b e labelled so it’s just best to make up your own thing; I like the sound of Ghost Folk. I think genres are bad for music especially in this country, all the shows are always a rock show or hip hop show where it’s so genre specific and it’s just boring.”
It’s entertainment for the plebeian, for the proletariat. Fantastical tales of magic and light, scientific stories of spaceships and stars. High stake adventures of cowboys and crooks and gruesome depictions of man-eating hounds and deadly assassin archers. This is the graphic world of pulp fiction.
I wake up in Boston, Bellville, over a cup of instant coffee and a Stuyvesant. We’re sitting in his garden making small talk. I’ve only seen him on stage, larger than life and rocking harder than hell. Big gulps of Nescafé and deep draws of our cigarettes has now made us momentary equals.
When he plays an instrument, a brilliant sense of bliss covers his face. His mouth is slightly ajar with concentration while his lips are slightly raised at the corners with a subtle smile. This man is deep inside his element.