Moana Lisa

Halloween - Moan

We moan a lot about everything that’s wrong, don’t we? Well, I know I do. I’m totally fed up with power cuts and water cuts and the state of the roads in Joburg and I’ve started fantasizing about water tanks and gas generators and was even tempted to steal someone’s Jojo tank the other day but restrained myself (with difficulty). I know I sound like Karen from Facebook, I may indeed change my name to Karen, but I can’t seem to STOP BLOODY WHINING about it. I think it’s knowing that this chaos could’ve been avoided. That people are having a lovely time chowing the money that’s meant to provide services for us all.

Mohale is YEARNING for her parents electricity to be restored
Mohale is YEARNING for her parents electricity to be restored

A friend of mine, lovely author, Mohale Mashigo’s parents have not had electricity SINCE AUGUST. Yep, you heard me correctly. Now, André, you know I’m a big fan of your hair, I want that exact shade of silver myself, but could you do something for Mohale’s parents? They live in Chiawelo in Soweto and they are not very well. Also, if you haven’t read any of her work, I strongly suggest you do. I adore her novel, The Yearning.

While I’m having a little moan, can I just bitch about this business loan that we’re supposed to be able to access through the banks? You know how our parent company pulled out of SA on the eve of Lockdown (because we weren’t stressed enough, and the universe thought I needed more material for my writing). At that stage our bank promised us a substantial overdraft facility and said they would help us with a loan, but our business banker turned out to be more on the tortoise side, let’s just say efficiency is not his strong point, and when the overdraft finally happened – some seven months after we first inquired about it – it was a quarter of what he originally promised us because he said:

“You haven’t had any money coming through your account for the last seven months”.

As we have been in various forms of Lockdown for that time and international tourists have not been able to enter SA and we’ve only been allowed to start travelling for the last couple of months, this seems like a no-brainer. But we took it on the chin and thought,

“Okay, we’ll apply for the government loan administered by the bank.”

Problem is that the money that Oom Cyril made available to the banks, well, they don’t want to give it to any of us. They just shrug their shoulders and say,

In convo with Fred Strydom at Love Books for the launch of The Inside Out Man
In convo with Fred Strydom at Love Books for the launch of The Inside Out Man

“You’ve had no turn-over for the last seven months, how can we give you a loan?” which is all starting to feel really crazy and dystopian like a Fred Strydom novel (do read The Inside Out Man) because WHY WOULD WE EVEN NEED A GODDAMN LOAN if it had been business as usual? Mr. President, please sir, can you have a word with the banks?

After we finished ranting about The Most Useless Business Banker on the planet, I started reminiscing with the husband about my banking history (as one does – it’s very sexy pillow talk) and I realised that I have been with Standard Bank for thirty years. I got my student loan from them around 1990. Aside: I did try and get my father to pay for my Honours year but he was like ‘you have been living in sin with this boy for two years now and I must pay your varsity fees? I don’t bloody think so.” Hey, it was worth a try. So, I had to get a student loan (which to be fair, he did guarantee). I’ve had a business account with the bank when I was running my educational theatre company, I’ve had numerous bonds with them, they gave us our current bond.

I also was responsible for writing the scenes when they were doing product placements on the one soapie I was working on. They always wanted to have these boring scenes where the bank staff were as bland AF and never messed up, with dialogue that went:

“Yes, why don’t we arrange a Pro Plus Account for you, Thabo.”

“Thank you, Vusi, I would love a Pro Plus Account.” Cue cheesy grins and an awkward handshake.

So bad it was almost good.

I even sat in a brainstorming session at their fancy offices in Rosebank and told them what they needed were real-life situations where the staff say things like “I fucked up, I know I did and this is how we’re going to fix it.” My point was that people in SA are crying out for accountability and would really appreciate something like that. Everyone sort of giggled nervously and oddly enough did not go along with my suggestion. I did happen to have been in the same class at school with their CEO and mentioned my fabulous idea to him. He smiled kindly at me and said I hadn’t changed much since school which I took as a compliment.

Anyway, the point of this trip down memory lane is to say that I have to give the HUGEST shout-out to my private banker, Carol Mbuyane. That woman always gets back to me so promptly, she’s literally sat with me on the phone and told me which icons to click on when I trying to apply for my passport through Standard Bank and couldn’t work out what was going on (you need a PhD to work that shit out.) She has got me through lots of sticky situations, she’s busy finding some bridging finance for me as I type and I am very grateful to her. Everyone should have a Carol in their lives. Give Carol a raise, Sim, okay?

What other news do I have?
Moan - A 20 year olds tantrum 🤣
A 20 year old’s tantrum 🤣

Oh, yes. We had a humdinger of a Halloween, my kids went as Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin (from the docuseries Tiger King). They looked MAGNIFICENT so I was quite put out that no one wanted to give my children or their friends any candy. I don’t care if they’re 16 and 20, THEY STILL WANT CANDY. I gave your two year old sweeties, don’t reject my twenty year old, and I promise you he can throw tantrums that can beat your two year old hands down #justsaying. We also found these exotic pumpkin lookalikes (they’re a type of squash) that cost a fraction of the other ones (between twenty-three and twenty-eight SA Ronts as opposed to a hundred and fifty SA ronts) and you can carve them (we just couldn’t be arsed) so look out for them next year at Woolworths and Pick n Pay.

Recommendations for this week:
The Makery
The Makery

Jewellery shop – The Makery in Tyrone Avenue, Parkview. They have THE MOST EXQUISITE stuff and it’s very reasonably priced – in the R250 plus category. You can find them in the same centre as May’s Chemist, they’re right at the back. I’ve got two of their necklaces I bought probably ten years ago and I LOVE them.

A few recommendations...
A few recommendations…

Movies – Holidate on Netflix. A bit crass (I’m saying that like it’s a problem) but with all the ingredients that a romantic comedy needs. Plus, it’s kinda cute watching Emma Roberts take over from her auntie (Julia Roberts) as queen of the romcoms. I also liked the homage to her aunt with the morning breath beat.

TV – I’m VERRRRRRRY happy The Graham Norton Show is back on DSTV. All with proper social distancing but still very entertaining. The ep I watched this week featured Matthew McConaughey (had to Google how to spell his surname) amongst other luminaries which brings me to:

Books – Greenlights which is a sort of memoir, sort of meditation on life by Matthew. That dude is BATSHIT crazy but I found his book riveting. Also read The Shift by Sam Baker. It’s a splendid rant about menopause, plus it’s very educational, I enjoyed it enormously. Sam has a podcast by the same name which I highly recommend.

I also received a copy of #CriticalButStable from the lovely team at Pan Macmillan which looks like it’s going to be the usual wickedly hilarious offering from local author, Angela Makholwa. Angela got her OWN BRANDED WRAPPING PAPER which has had the rest of the Pan Mac authors up in arms and demanding their OWN BRANDED WRAPPING PAPER. I also demanded my own wrapping paper but as I neither have a book out or am a Pan Mac author, I feel my chances are slim to zero.

Moan - The fabulous book with the fabulous wrapping paper
The fabulous book with the fabulous wrapping paper

Can you believe Christmas is NEXT MONTH?? No. I can’t either. I can’t imagine celebrating anything at this point, I’m feeling so battered and bruised by this year, but I’m still hoping for that end of Hallmark Christmas Movie moment where everything turns out as it should.

In the words of the late, great John Lennon: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Keep holding on, beloveds. We’re going to get through this. Happy reading! xxx