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The Art of the South African Insult

Andre S

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Hi All,

For all those homesick expats, thought you would be interested in some South African humour or for those who want memories of funny things about life in SA to take to Oz.

Here follow some extracts from "The Art of the South African Insult" by Sarah Britten. The book had good reviews in SA last year and basically quotes a lot of funny and embarassing things said by politicians and commentators going as far back as Jan van Riebeeck.

"I'm prejudiced because it's good for survival." Eric Miyeni.

"By 1653, Van Riebeeck, the man with the long hair and chiselled cheekbones who used to smile mysteriously from our bank notes back when it was 2 Pound to the Rand, was begging the VOC to remove him from the company of the 'dull, stupid, lazy, stinking people' at the Cape and send him to Japan instead."

"Laziness was a big problem at the Cape. the laziness of the locals became the third-favourite obsession of the Europeans, after the difficulty of finding a good slave and the challenge of driving the Bushmen and the local wildlife to extinction. In 1654, Johan Nieuhof declared: 'They are lazier than the tortoises which they hunt and eat."

"I have sought to recruit many competent black people, and no sooner have we recruited and trained them than they leave. I get so upset...I am stopping this recruitment of black people. I am okay with my Afrikaners. They stay and do the work, and become experts.' Reserve Bank governor, Tito Mboweni at a Joburg business breakfast, September 2006."

There is a chapter on emigration and travel quotes and jokes:

"They say that when the Jews start packing, it's time to go; when the Portuguese start packing, it's too late already!" Pieter-Dirk Uys, repeating a joke told to him by Helen Suzman.

"Having dismissed South Africa's wine industry in a couple of deftly amusing sentences, (Jeremy) Clarkson then moved onto an in-depth analysis of race and class divides that persist: 'Yes, apartheid is over but all black people seem to have got now is the vote, and a carrier bag each. I'm not kidding. Even if you go out into the hinterland, you will find the roadside littered with people who are just sitting there, with a plastic bag, doing nothing. Occasionally, one will stick out his thumb so that you can give him a lift to a new bit of roadsidewhere he can sit with his bag, doing nothing.'"

"Trevor Stacey of Cape Town (letter to newspaper) went further: 'South Africans should not take Clarkson's comments too seriously, he wrote, because his not liking our wine was a bit like George Bush not liking Scotch whiskey because he's used to Budweiser.'"

There is a whole chapter on sport with some very funny one liners:

"His ability to be inane in two languages makes him far superior to that guy Darren Scott.' Naas Botha according to Chris Roper."

"Glenn McGrath once asked Eddo Brandes, the Zimbabwean chicken farmer who has been described as 'portly', 'Hey Eddo, why are you so fat?' 'Because every time I f@%$ your wife ,' says Eddo, 'she gives me a chocolate biscuit."

"Michael Vaughan: 'queer' according to Graeme Smith. Graeme Smith: 'odd and childish' according to Michael Vaughan. Or at least, Smith's statements are odd and childish, 'the kind of thing you would say on the playground."

"In his heydey, he was known for his pace, but he now resembles a tranquilized hippo.' Tsamaya on Jomo Cosmos player Helman Mkhalele."

"Who knows what heights Bafana Bafana might reach should its prodigal Bafanae return home? 3-0 against Malawi? 1-0 against Zambia? Hell, we're talking a goalless draw against Nigeria if we play our cards right.' Tom Eaton."

Beware though, some quotes are a bit foul, so Granny might not appreciate it as a present:

"If you lost some weight, it would be good for your wife because she'd be able to find your genitals' Sam Cowan to Jeremy Mansfield, on The Rude Awakening, Highveld Stereo."

And sexist...

"(Does this mean that Jamie oliver is a deviant?) Feminism, says Motshekga, is a foreign concept which 'can destroy rather than build society'. Similarly, psychologist Ketso Mabusela believes that cooking ability was conferred by supernatural powers. Because men and women were created differently by God, men shouldn't be forced to cook. "Our biological make-up defines our role...Let not us women put men in the laboratory of cooking if they can't. if you read the Bible, it was Eve who made Adam eat the apple and in each and every one of us, there's an Eve - and no man wants to see that Eve coming out."

"Did you read that we are going to vote by cell phone in the next election? 'Welcome to the 2004 elecions. Your vote is our secret. To vote for the ANC press 5. To use your fake ID press 1. To vote again, press 2. To vote for your grandfather who fought in the struggle, press 3.' David Kau."

"White opposition parties seem to be operating like computers which have been programmed to reject anything which contains the word 'transformation'. Thabo Mbeki, 1998."

"Asking an ANC councillor not to be corrupt is like asking a crocodile to become a vegetarian.' Tony Leon"

I'm not sure whether this classifies as an advert or not. I know the author very well. :D

Here is a link to kalahari.net


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that was :ilikeit: en hilarious

Thanks André I will go out & get myself a copy

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the spirit of choosing a new ANC president, I thought Barnone and some others may enjoy a few more quotes from the same book:

“People in positions of power want to exercise control over others. We regain control, maybe just for a bit, by laughing at them.” Chris du Plessis.

“The trouble with political jokes is that they usually get elected.” Pieter-Dirk Uys.

"It is difficult to think of a single other democratic nation in which the head of state descends, with such dogged regularity, into public attacks on individual citizens. It is a form of intellectual or rhetorical 'necklacing'." Tony Leon on Mbeki, December 2004.

“If Thabo Mbeki had to do a song about AIDS, it would be instrumental.” Tshepo Mogale.

“On one of his occasional visits to the country, Mbeki said that poverty causes AIDS. Ja, Thabo. Freddie Mercury fucked poor people.” Mel Miller.

Robert Kirby described a John Battersby profile of Thabo Mbeki in the Sunday Independent as flattering to the point that he could only be described as "Mbeki's personal wet-wipe". Kirby expressed admiration for Batterby’s “proctal navigation techniques”. “Where do you start in analysing a piece of colonic speleology as penetrating as the Battersby tongue?”

More succinctly, if perhaps less flamboyantly, Ashwin Desai described Professor Malegapuru Makgoba’s likening of the significance of a Thabo Mbeki speech to Einstein’s special theory of relativity as an act of “gatkruiping”. Clearly, the gravitational pull of political power bends all those who choose not to hide their particular light under a bushel.

“The Mbeki administration has this quaint need to accommodate and succour overbearing political turkeys…Perhaps that’s how Thabo Mbeki wants to be remembered, as the man who both selected and nurtured some truly abject incompetents.” Robert Kirby.

“Is President Thabo Mbeki entrusting the writing of his website letters to one of the many moronic members of the ANC Youth League, or is he simply “losing it” as the Zuma scandal blares forth at him like a thousand vuvuzelas?” Robey Crament, Letter to The Citizen.

“I love Zuma because he I can see the incredible leader that he is. I see Africa’s solution in this great man. Mbeki should back off with his coconut ideas and let real Africans lead Africa.” Mthandeni ka Dumisani Langa.

“He is a dictator and a despot who thinks he is a small god who knows everything.” Anonymous, Friends of Jacob Zuma forum."

Jacob Zuma

“In the space of a year African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Jacob Zuma has gone from being the country’s number two citizen to being its number one national joke.” Karima Brown.

“What reputation? He has done everything that needs to be done to damage his own reputation.” An unrepentant Zapiro, responding to the news that he was being slapped with a R15-million defamation lawsuit by Jacob Zuma.

“Some of them can barely muster enough brain power to keep their vital organs functioning.” David Bullard on Zuma supporters.

"There’s a conspiracy in South Africa, and it’s being run by stand-up comedians with a weakness for lame puns. Idle Winds, Robert Kirby was quick to note, is an anagram of “I swindled.” “Jacob Zuma’s home is called Idle Winds because he’s a lazy fart,” said John Vlismas.

Zuma “is clearly not a leader of this decade, centenary, millennium or even this holiday weekend.” Sunday Independent editorial.

"During his rape trial, Zuma told the incredulous court that he showered sex to reduce the chance of catching HIV. They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and the scrupulously hygienic JZ, who has compared himself to the better known JC, certainly endorses that insight."

"MF Muhamed wondered who would hold the patent rights to Jacob Zuma’s revolutionary HIV/Aids prevention meaure – the man himself, or the high court."

“He must leave or form his own party - the Shower Party.” Letter to Drum magazine.

“People like you have stained the face of Africa for too long now. Please go away.” Poster to the friends of Jacob Zuma forum.

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In the spirit of choosing a new ANC president, I thought Barnone and some others may enjoy a few more quotes from the same book:

Thanks Andre

I had a good laugh again (well its either that or cry & most times I laugh so much at the things these people say that I end up crying !)

I see that your friend Sarah has brought out a new book "McBride of Frankenmanto: The Return of the South African Insult" & she also has a blog with up to date insults all very funny (or not)

some very funny (or not) suff from the ANC conference in particular, so she is VERRRRRY up to date

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