The Blood Runner


The Oscar Pistorius Trial has our full attention.  Every South African has become an expert advocate on the matter.  We sit glued to our televisions, intrigued and watching the dedicated 199 Carte Blanche channel.

We debate everything, informed by the latest evidence – balancing and swaying like children on a seesaw.

We are emotionally invested and involved. One minute we are arguing with each other that perhaps Oscar deserves a second chance, and in the next breath we are crying because Reeva will never ever have her wedding or a child.

Over the weekend we feel at a loss, because there is no court.  And when Monday comes we rush to switch on the television, in the hope that we get closer to the truth.

By now we feel as if Roux and Nel are a familiar addition to our expert panel. We shout and wave our fists at the television and threaten to put duct tape on Barry Roux’s mouth as he chips away at the credibility of the witness statements.

Even our men take turns in screaming like women, so that we can make a call as to whether we believe that Oscar can, in fact, scream like a woman.

We are in a constant frenzy, checking our social media feeds on our cell phones.  We comment on twitter several times a day.

We, as South African citizens are the jury.

At the end of it all, Judge Mapisa (formally referred to as “My Lady”) will bring down her hammer like the final gun shot ringing out across a sleepy suburb in Pretoria and proclaim the final verdict. The Blood Runner may never run again.

And we will talk about it for years to come with our grandchildren and they with theirs.

Ann Warsop 11 March 2014

The Boss is in (Cape) Town


It’s Cape Town.  It’s a balmy, lazy Sunday evening.  And we are on our way to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band.

The vibe in the stadium is really chilled.  We make our way to our seats and observe how the stadium fills up.  I notice a sign that reads:  Born in the RSA.  I have to give it to South Africans.  We are really festive and get into the spirit when we need to.

An hour later, when the lights are dimmed and the band comes onto stage, I am on the edge of my seat, eager to catch a glimpse of the man who up until now, I have never seen performing – I have just listened to his songs over and over again, especially when I was a teenager and my brother used to dance in his pajamas with a broomstick (guitar) to “Dancing in the Dark”.

The first thing I notice is that Bruce Springsteen looks much younger than his 64 years.  Yes, his temples are gracefully sprinkled with grey, but his face is so youthful and his smile…well that’s a whole different story.  Too charming for words.

But what really intrigues me is his stamina and passion for what he does.  He simply moves from one song to the next, swopping his guitar every two songs or so.  He is absolutely awesome. He LOVES the audience.  He runs along the ramp and slides to a halt on his knees.  The audience goes CRAZY!  Even girls that are young enough to be his daughter are desperate to touch him.  He guzzles down a beer that’s handed to him by a fan, he throws himself on his back into the audience and then they carry him on their hands back to stage.  He kisses a girl and I wonder what Patsy will think – but secretly if I were 10 years younger, I probably would have wished it were me!

Three hours later, at the end of the evening and after a non-stop performance, I have fallen in love.  The man is a legend.

A few days later, I see a pic of him jogging on the beach in Cape Town and I am even more impressed.  He is lean and toned.  No paunch belly, no fat rolls.  Just pure, lean muscle. And when I do research, I find out that he is very particular about staying in shape and being healthy for his concerts.  It is said that he never, ever did drugs, he just ran on the treadmill and did weight training for the last thirty years.

“Think of it this way”, he is recorded to have said: “Performing is like sprinting while screaming for three, or four minutes”.  And then you do it again and again.  And then you walk a little, shouting the whole time.  And so on.  Your adrenaline quickly overwhelms your conditioning”.

Bruce Springsteen, please sprint your way back to Cape Town again and again.  We love you.

Let Biebes Be!

Why is everyone so upset that Justin Bieber likes to catch rides on his bodyguards’ shoulders?  I don’t see the harm in it?  If I look at it objectively, his bodyguards don’t seem to mind either.

If I got tired climbing the Great Wall of China, I would also sit on someone’s shoulders.

Besides, a single mother raised Justin Bieber and he didn’t really have a father figure.  So his entourage of male bodyguards and managers etc. interact and bond with him on that level.  You know, boxing and kicking and wrestling and running after him while he skates – that kind of stuff.  Does it make sense?

As a kid, I used to catch a ride on my brother’s shoulders all the time.  And Justin Bieber is just a big kid.  But not just ANY big kid.  He’s a kid that can afford to be obnoxious.

After all, he is the only artist in billboard history who has four singles from a debut album charting in the Top 40 on the Hot 100 before the albums release. Not only that, but he has 40 million followers on twitter.

Any kid that can teach himself to play four instruments and perform with Chris Brown is a hero – in my humble opinion. And…he plays the left-handed guitar.  Genius.

What’s more, that famous hairstyle resulted in millions of fans imitating him.  A bit like Purdy.  Some of you won’t know what I’m referring to – but google it for fun.  P U R D Y hairstyle.  Even I had one. When I was ten. But that was because my mother forced the hairdresser to do it.

And recently everyone was up in arms because Biebes was seen drinking a beer!  Yawn.  Really people, let’s get our priorities straight.  We all know what we were up to in our teens.  And trust me, it wasn’t drinking beer!

And what about the 33 year old loony who spent $100 000-00 on plastic surgery to try and look like Biebes?  That really shows the power of the brand!

At the end of the day, Biebes is just doing what’s normal.  Let’s leave him alone and worry about more positive things like spreading the love right now.

Ann Warsop 2013