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HEART OF RAGE

by Samora Chapman and Robyn Perros / Images by Russell Grant and Samora Chapman / 18.12.2014

Rage against your parents, your teachers, your boss. Rage against the sound of the school bell ringing, your principal screaming. Rage against the sensation of a school uniform on your skin. Rage against the smell of exam nerves, sweat, fear. Rage with the machine.

SAMORA (AKA SKATMAN)

Robyn and I head northward on a hot, blustery Monday evening with a sense of dread. Destination Ballito – THE HEART OF RAGE. It’s been a decade since I left school, and I never even made it to my own ‘matric holiday’ as it was called back then. We’re two hippy kids going back to high school. And it’s scary.

We arrive at hotel La Montagne (‘hotel rage’) as the sun dips, but we’re barred entry despite knowing peeps on the ‘inside’… so we loiter in the parking lot and acclimatise. The swirling groups of kids (90% pale natives) are getting psyched and some older Indian dudes in flash cars are prescribing the ‘medicine’… like “You JUST want weed?! Hey no lakka!”

I’m glad to report that race relations are just fine at rage 2014. The sun is setting and the vampires have come out to play…

There’s no way we can do this sober, we decide, so we escape to a restaurant and down a beer, smoke a cigarette and try to imagine being 18. Free. I have to forget that it’s Monday and I worked through the weekend… again. My tax return is late and my car and teeth are broken. The bills are due. Quarter life crisis is knocking on heaven’s door.

Forget that! We smash some tequilas. Rage with the machine!

I order pizza and Robyn disappears into the bathroom ‘cos she’s feeling “frumpy”…

ROBYN (AKA ROBIN)
I change my outfit in a restaurant bathroom. A girl rustles up her hair and checks out the side-view of her boobs in the mirror next to me. She must be about six years younger than me, with six times more sass, wearing six layers of make-up. She fans out her eyelashes with her fingertips, stuffs her iPhone in her leopard-print purse and cat-walks out into the night. I watch her leave, gawking, then take a deep breath and lurk back out to High School.

SKATMAN
Robyn returns looking like a ninja, dressed in black with her hair tied back. She even found some blood red lipstick and she’s looking deadly. Suddenly the boys take notice – we’re outside a pizza joint and there’s three monster beefy dudes chatting her up shap shap. They try hit me up for my pizza, and I tell them to fuck off. But nicely, so I don’t get pounded into the concrete.

“There’s three things you come to rage for boet,” a BEAST oke is telling me as we all go hit up the ATM: “To dop. To smoke. And to poke, poke, poke, poke, poke!”

Viva that.

It’s no surprise pharmacies in the area sell more condoms and morning after pills in one week then they do for the entire rest of the year.

Now’s about time to make some shallow observations. The Rage boys are strange looking creatures, as I’m sure I am to them. An army of 5’11, tanned gym bunnies with bad tattoos, their dark brown nipples sneaking out the sides of their loose fitting wife-beaters. Shaved and prickly everywhere. Biceps the size of a hipster’s torso. Mullets and tiny silver chains are also popular.

Boitjies / Guns

And always the hubbly bubbly… like some sort of rage team mascot.

"Don't mess with ma hubbly bubbly"

Meanwhile, Robyn’s having a very different conversation…

ROBIN
I wait behind a cluster of boys drinking brandy and coke out of teacups at an ATM. They’re having a heated debate about how much money to draw for the night. “Six hundred bucks is fine bru…” one oke is telling his sunburned, stressed mate.

A ginger boy in a stained white vest apologizes for the hold-up. His name is Ryan – a polite farm boy from Underberg and Rage just isn’t really his ‘vibe’. I watch the wads of cash slip into Nike, Puma and Diesel wallets while he tells me he would much rather be camping somewhere with a few mates. “But you have to experience it hey. You don’t want to miss out on anything,” he tunes, sipping his brandy like a morning coffee on the stoep of the plaas.

Ah FOMO, the greatest fallacy of the modern world.

SKATMAN
Luckily the tequila is kicking in… there’s no going back. We’ve entered the dream. We’ve assimilated, and it’s all good. Skatman and Robin on the run. My girlfriend phones and tells me she’s organised an invite to the ‘Kearsney house’ for a lil pre-party party.

Fuck yeah.

Soon we’re walking down the road, walking on the moon. Taking snaps of kooky kids in front of seaside hotels, dancing in someone’s flowerbed, shouting at strangers. A 4×4 safari vehicle drives by with an entire party on the back. We wish we were that cool.

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Suddenly Ballito is the raddest place on earth. It doesn’t even vaguely resemble hell, except that it’s 30 degrees. Everyone is your bestie. Every other house is throwing a banging house party, and it’s Monday FFS. The girls look like they’ve just stepped off a beach in the Bahamas – sexy, slim, sun burnt and husky voiced from screaming and smoking. Hot-pants, florals, bronzer, tight lumo vests and leopard print tights everywhere. Yes!

We arrive at the Kearsney party. I make out with my beautiful girlfriend and take some snaps of posers. Some dudes eye me sideways like I’ve come to steal their women. Lucky I look 17, otherwise I would be feeling like a real dick. Hopefully no one asks my age.

An angry adolescent throws a plastic chair across the lawn. It hits me in the shin. His friend punches him in the stomach and they wrestle each other into a bush.

I am Kobus. Hear my roar!

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Robyn disappears into the throes of the party with a dude in a Hawaiian shirt and returns with a giant, moist spacecake. It’s awn! Me and a small crowd are drawn in like kids to candy and we’re all breaking off pieces and gobbling them down. Delicious. James and the giant peach style. Soon we all turn into creatures, spiders, centipedes, earthworms and scuttle off into the jungle.

We bail on the party and crash briefly through a salty small town pub with a jumping castle and fake tattoo machine, sport on the television. Local toppies eye us with a mixture of fear and parental concern.

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Then onto a horrible joint called Crush, where I lose track of Robyn…

ROBIN
There’s a group of Indian ous chillin’ on the hood of a UV lit Tazz in the parking lot. Some shit 90s RnB is skanking out from the tinted windows as I approach all innocent like.

“Let me guess, you want cigarettes, weed or drugs,” the ringleader tunes me. I go for a cigarette and settle in for some banter, while suffering through a Styvy Red. Once they’ve decided I can “talk Durban” they welcomed me into their circle like a little sister.

“Ey, these Jo’burg laaighties only want Cat man,” the main ou tells me, annoyed. He’s sporting a Bafana Bafana t-shirt that’s too small for his man boobs and a gold tooth too big for his mouth. Drug dealing is just his night job. Daylight hours are reserved for the IT industry and hopefully a better dress sense.

Despite the demand for Cat, Ecstasy sales were at an all time high for 2014, they tell me. They were selling a couple hundred beans a night.

“Ey, you muzt see these laaighties, they pop two pillz and they pass out here in the pakking lot,” he twangs. “Light weights!”

We exchange digits and a few too many “aweh’s” before parting ways. He asks me to spread the word in the club about their ‘special’ car-bar. It seems everybody’s capitalizing on the ragers with their daddy-budget.

Aweh?

*Tune in tomorrow for part two: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF SKATMAN AND ROBIN…. in da club.

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*Colour images © Samora Chapman
*Black and white images © Russell Grant

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RESPONSES (4)
  1. Will says:

    Wahaha. Sounds terrifying. And fun. Glad the laaities aren’t fighting as much anymore.

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  2. Karl K says:

    So kiff. Had me half-gnawing my arm out of fear like I was really there.

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  3. Young Mel says:

    Fuck me. That’s a lot of crackers.

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  4. Quite a white ou says:

    So much America in the youth!!
    Love the story style guys!!
    “Aweh!”

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