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Name Your Hood

Make Way For The Branded Overlay

by Brandon Edmonds / 25.08.2011

If you’re a regular at Vida e Caffé and addicted to 2 Oceans Vibe, you’re probably aware of the Name Your Hood (NYH) venture currently naming micro-hoods in the Cape Town city bowl until December. Given the fraught ideological back-ground of naming public spaces (to take but one of multiple symbolic excesses throughout the land, Tshwane-Bela Bela-Nelson Mandela Boulevard, the streets of Durban, my soporifically skeezy hometown, where I first got stoned and finger-banged willing grunge moppets at the Rift, have been unilaterally re-titled with Struggle Heroes as fanciful as Che Guevara – and it just feels Stalinist and wrong), this cross-sector entrepreneurial venture is certainly chancy. It explains the overweening politeness of NYH Facebook protocol: every post is met with: “Thanks for the comment.” Try it. And why the organizers tell any media willing to listen that the consultation process runs deep, years in the making (“300 meetings over a 3-year period”), bread broken with countless “stakeholders”, relevant professionals, organisations and government departments suitably caressed and cajoled. MD Bruce Good, along with Nic Lamond, both bring-home-to-mama MBA grads from UCT Business School, came up with the notion of naming hoods while living in New York and London. Imagine him letting loose a discreet latte’ fart in Chelsea or stopping to watch a Honduran transvestite eat a summer peach in Soho thinking “ka ching!” Why not the underdeveloped little pockets of Cape Town?

As Bruce told Elle magazine: “The campaign will ignite community spirit and creativity to produce user-friendly cities through an inclusive, democratic process.” Now I love buzz bands and baguettes as much as the next bandwidth huffing young urbanite willing to drop everything to swap Big Lebowski quotes (“Don’t be fatuous, Jeffrey!”), but this uurgh hip young “creative” demographic nursing not so secret Phillippe Starck dreams of empire if they could only secure idea-incubator start-up space in the Fringe (Cape Town’s Design & Innovation District) is by no means “inclusive”. There are a few street-level voting booths in the designated neighborhoods to be named and voting stations inside key sponsor Pam Golding offices (a Death Star-like real-estate agency presence we’ll get to shortly) but accessing the campaign is largely online or sms.

Name Your Hood

We’re currently 110th in the world in internet reach “with a 9% penetration” (according to World Wide Worx) behind Egypt and the fucking Seychelles. Maybe radio would have been the way to go for genuine inclusivity? And I’m not sure young black kids give enough of a fuck, without dedicated informative campaigning, to waste an sms on naming a neighborhood in the city bowl for a pair of ambitious MBA grads? They certainly don’t give enough of a fuck to sms Idols and save that show from coughing up a series of telegenic caucasian performers headed for a slow death on cruise ships and regional casino circuits. But young black kids don’t own property. Yet. They don’t matter. They’re still plugged into the apartheid spatial economy of far-flung townships way out of Wi-fi range. So who cares what they think? MD Bruce Good is blowing PR smoke rings. This is not an “inclusive, democratic process.” It’s just something you have to say repeatedly in this country to get anything done. And that kind of empty repetition of inclusivity without substance is the essence of the new South Africa.

Name Your Hood

The first wave of neighborhood naming is rumoured to have garnered as few as 145 votes for the winner. The PR position is “450 submissions and thousands of votes”. No doubt the numbers will improve as the venture gains traction. But if the former is true it certainly rams home the incestuous Kloof street ‘creatives’ coterie thesis. How apt that the winning neighborhood name for this area is “The Loop”. A loop in music is self-enclosed replication. A thing on repeat. It perfectly evokes the worst qualities of this hipper-than-thou design community. A suspicion only deepened by listening to that voice-over in the NYH promotional video. The kind of voice you overhear at &Union, at the Biscuit Mill, at gallery openings, and ordering Eggs Benedict (with a willowy slip of a girl channeling glassy Marianne Faithful come-down chic) on a Sunday at a super chill eatery with James Blake playing. It represents a particular end-user of the city bowl, the employed creative, with disposable income, going places, and loving every second of the city. Make it all about them then and don’t rhetorically prestik the rest of us onto the hide of the campaign to make it seem more inclusive than it is.

Name Your Hood

So what’s the real capitalizing logic behind the NYH venture? The answer springs fully-formed from MD Bruce Good’s own lips: “We’re simply creating a branded overlay for the city.” This is where things get subjective. Language like that makes me see Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak creased over the city, erasing the contradictions, the inequalities, the antagonisms, the reality of public space, so brand messages can circulate more freely. I remember T.S. Eliot’s “Let’s go then, you and I / When evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherized upon a table”. I see branding as a BAD thing. Especially the branding of shared public space because it “etherizes” alternative communal values (co-operation, solidarity) other than profit-making and consumption. NYH calls areas of the city “nameless and faceless” instilling an urgency to create a problem where there wasn’t one. And I’m against any venture that makes mega-companies like Pam Golding, the first local real estate agency to bank R18 billion in a single year, this delighted: “Property for sale in the city bowl will be more accessible than ever before. Buyers will be able to take a virtual tour of any neighborhood in Cape Town and ‘window shop’ for Pam Golding properties while they’re at it. Browsing for property has never been this interactive or this easy!”

Name Your Hood

Bruce Good didn’t like my “accusatory tone” in an email interview – admittedly filthy with slanted questions pushing the isn’t this all about making the city safe for Pam Golding’s bottom line agenda. “Like many other businesses, big or small, our sponsors stand to gain from the benefits we hope NYH will assist in creating.” He assured me, “we are not our sponsors” and asked: “Would you rather see three flats in the City Bowl and possibly land up next to Mavericks? Or would like to view three flats in Little Camissa?” Little Camissa is another of the winning names. Fair enough. There are potential upsides and spinoffs and knock-on effects for local businesses and communities in these neighborhoods. Whether that happens (look how much all that World Cup construction is doing for us) or not, the fact remains, that under the cloak of inclusivity NYH has, however inadvertently, crowd-sourced a segment of the public (who love and use the city bowl religiously) into a chain of value-creation that may well end up pricing them out of their own city.

Name Your Hood

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  1. JM Koet$ee says:

    The Loop… ack. Can’t the fuckers at least be original? (cf Chicago)

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  2. fobias says:

    This is why I keep coming back to Mahala. A goddamn triumph of journalism from Edmonds.

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  3. Reader says:

    Fucking great piece. Thank you. 117 votes? Please. Surely even with the mindless 2Oceans media machine behind this that’s a little sad. Also, if you skate or surf you may find their logo a little familiar:


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  4. Anonymous says:

    So much angst, christ.

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  5. Dplanet says:

    There’s always something a bit creepy about corporates, ‘creatives’ and marketing types getting involved in cultural spaces. Naming ‘hoods’ is not intrinsically creepy, but the inorganic, forced and non-inclusive nature of this initiative just seems wrong.

    People of colour were forcibly removed from the centre of Cape Town. They are now being kept out by economic inequality. This seems like another form of exclusion and ethnic cleansing.

    Or maybe I’m reading too much into it, and it’s just another clumsy piece of harmless corporate fluff that will be consigned to the same dustbin as branded online communities?

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  6. Jozijay says:

    So glad I live & love in Jozi… so over CT pretension

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  7. Anonymous says:


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  8. Anonymous says:

    this is a terrible article. get the point. stay focused. avoid the rambling allusions.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    “Given the fraught ideological back-ground of naming public spaces (to take but one of multiple symbolic excesses throughout the land, Tshwane-Bela Bela-Nelson Mandela Boulevard, the streets of Durban, my soporifically skeezy hometown, where I first got stoned and finger-banged willing grunge moppets at the Rift, have been unilaterally re-titled with Struggle Heroes as fanciful as Che Guevara – and it just feels Stalinist and wrong), this cross-sector entrepreneurial venture is certainly chancy.”

    You could honestly have gotten ridden of 75% of this. It was a real struggle to keep reading after this point.

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  10. city surfer says:

    having lived in the city for 20 years,i see no reason to name anything. Fuck these guys and their profit motives. Any plank who logs onto the 2oceans website is a knob anyway. Go for a walk on the mountain or a swim in the sea. These are free, healthy and away from our over social med(icated)iated toxic existence.

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  11. Sarah Dee says:

    Really great.

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  12. UrOverlord says:

    This is the 2nd Edmonds piece I’m readin in 10 mins. He’s good. He’s Right. Fuck Pam Golding.

    Any hoods left we can name “Goldingstan”? I’d vote for that.

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  13. UrOverlord says:

    Oh. Has anybody noticed that the NYH cunts have vandalised public sidewalks with stencil spraypainted propaganda squares? Bruce Good should be made to clean up my city with a toothbrush and some amonia. City cleaners have their democratic right to protest denied because they litter and that cunt can have little corporate vandals turn my beloved zone into a fkn billboard.

    Where is that whore Helen Zille and her Thatcher boots now?

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  14. UrOverlord says:

    Last note: The last point Edmonds make is the most important one. ie:

    The happier Pam Golding is, the worse off you are. It’s that simple.

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  15. Lame-o says:

    Love it, really good piece.

    Although I can’t wait until mahala employs a sub-editor!

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  16. Dan says:

    Great article Brandon – agree with all you have to say.

    Just as a side note (and its a minor point) crowdsourced is one word – no hyphen 😉

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  17. Just Saying says:

    Brandon, this thing, like all tacky little marketing schemes, is a non-event that will leave no trace of itself behind when the involved parties have been paid and disappeared back under their rocks. You are expending far more emotional and intellectual energy on it than it warrants. In fact by the end of this article I had a feeling that I wasn’t reading a condemnation of Pam Golding but rather listening to somebody having a very loud and public argument with some part of himself that he neither likes nor understands. By all means keep writing, because you do it well but perhaps figure out which issues are public, and which are private.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I really can’t fathom why people think this is a good article. Do they actually read? Can they actually read it? if you take out the fluffy language and verbose spiels you could cut it down to a paragraph. And the stuff about black people is honestly a load of BS. Come on people. I feel like i’m the last sane person at the barn dance.

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  19. MikeyCPT says:

    What a terribly written article. And if the comments are any indication of the calibre of this publication or it’s audience, this is a very sad, filthy place.

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  20. Starfish says:

    Hahaha Look at Pam Golding’s trolls slither out from under their rocks.

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  21. The Jim says:

    Digging the paid-for banner at the top-right of the page that says “Stay in the Loop”. Aren’t hipsters supposed to have finely-tuned irony detectors?

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  22. Hilarious says:

    Love the fact that hippie hipster Mahala has Bos adverts on their site – also seen on 2oceansvibe. Who are you guys kidding?

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  23. Starfish says:

    Haha. Also Love the fact that Mahala actually got 2Oceans to sponsor their own hit piece. Put that blood money to good use guys.

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  24. Roger Young says:

    Wait? Because we have an opinion we are not allowed to make money? Is that your logic?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s right. It’s in the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

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  26. Count Nero says:

    Wait! How the fuck did I end up in the Loop?… which apparently is designed for oxwagons to circle!!
    My people do not like when ox wagons do that circling/larger thing.
    Please help…

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  27. WEugene says:

    Thank you, Brandon. From the moment I heard about this joke campaign, it really irritated me. What a waste of time – stick a branded overlay -whatever the fuck that is – over your own garden and leave the rest of us alone. Thank you.

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  28. Andy says:

    Starfish how exactly did we get 2Oceans to sponsor their own hit piece?

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  29. Trevor says:

    Kind of ironic. Corpos. They’re shooting themselves in the foot with their own brand awareness drives. The general public is a little more aware of invasive marketing than they’re given credit for. As for the piece itself, it could have been a more conversational and whole lot less self indulgent. You’re dealing with short attention spans here who have little time for contrived wank. I doubt you actually talk like this, so keep at it.

    “They certainly don’t give enough of a fuck to sms Idols and save that show from coughing up a series of telegenic caucasian performers headed for a slow death on cruise ships and regional casino circuits.”

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Now that our attention has been drawn to the banners:
    Hahahah, the Divine sexpo image on Freebies is funny – wish it was Divine from John Waters’s films

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Would you like some cheese with your whine

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  32. Starfish says:

    @ Andy

    I was under the impression that there was a NYH banner above the article (can’t see it now). Therefore the main subject of an article in which said subject was negatively portrayed, is sponsored by same subject. Don’t get me wrong, I approve. Take their money. Write more negative pieces. Like a ju-jitsu master you use your opponents own energy against him. Fight to the last printer cartridge, Andy. Never give up.

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  33. AT says:

    In my opinion, the problem with the whole campaign is that neighbourhoods shouldn’t be named and sponsored by a privileged few, they should earn their reputation and identities through years of natural organic growth, not sprung upon its residents cutting the city up like a Rikki’s taxi map. I’m all for hoods having nicknames that offer some insight into their identities, but not when it’s such a false, corporatised process. At the same time, 100 odd people don’t make up an entire hood, and chances are, the names will only stick for as long as the sponsors are prepared to fork up for them, so there’s probably not too much to worry about.

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  34. steve says:

    I totally agree with this. The NYH idea is great in concept, but it is never going to be properly inclusive.

    I suggest we hijack it, how about we all gang together and force a really kak name on the next hood. They’d have to use it, as the people would vote for it.

    I’m suggesting:
    “Hoodwinked se ma se poorstoep dot common”

    feel free to suggest another, and the one that gets the most ‘kif’s gets submitted.

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  35. @AT says:

    So, Salt River can be Tikmoord Town, Woodstock can be Kakbangfontein and Constantia can be Rykwitkontstad

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  36. Starfish says:

    Gardens – Larniefokkersrus

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  37. Pam from Atlantis says:

    Sweet jesus the polar ice caps can’t melt fast enough…

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  38. Megan says:

    So did you actually interview Bruce? It doesn’t sound like it. And if you did – did you actually listen to any of his answers? Who are you people who think this is journalism? It’s appalling.

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  39. Lawrence says:

    Fobias (umm..nice touch!) says this is a triumph of journalism? Please God help us!! What an embarrassment this is.

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  40. Sue says:

    Mahala, employ an editor, please, or try to persuade your correspondents to tone down their pretentious self-obsessiveness a notch or two. There’s a good piece lurking somewhere in this piece…but this piece isn’t it.

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  41. starfish says:

    So, Megan. How long have you been trolling for Pam Golding? How much does it pay?

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  42. queen says:

    @trevor: “I doubt you actually talk like this”…
    hee hee, actually he does talk like that.

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  43. Pollywiggle says:

    Agree with Sue, there’s a good story lurking in here somewhere. Pity it’s been bogged down by verboseness and, sorry Brandon, extreme self indulgence.

    Brandon, you’re an epic writer, and I don’t want to add to the ‘haters’ comments, so I’d rather just add some points that I believe would have made this piece excellent and far more solid.

    The crux of the story is basically that the whole NYH is a pretentious sham, making Pam Golding and the other MA guys a fat bundle while we’ll be driven out of our own city by increased property prices while they line their pockets with profit, right? So if that’s your angle, why not back it up….and properly. For example, it would have been good if you had included less of your own diatribe (finger banging, seriously??) and more facts and expert comment, like:
    1. Some comparitive studies / research on similar branding campaigns and how they’ve benefited (or not, if that’s the case?) other cities. Importantly, did real estate increase as a result? And did real estate agents (like Pam Golding) benefit?
    2. Who really stands to benefit financially? That’s not clear cut here, except for some vague, underhanded insinuations about Pam Golding. There’s more than likely a huge nugget of truth to this (where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire), but how about getting some facts. Why didn’t you just ask Pam Golding straight up for comment? Why not ask them straight out how much have they coughed up sponsoring the campaign? What do they get out of it directly and indirectly? And why not spread the net, ask businesses and property owners in the ‘hoods’ if they reckon it will actually benefit them (financially), too.
    3. Also, how about some suggestions – backed up by credible experts – on how they could have made the campaign more inclusive. All good and well knocking the way they’re getting input, but why not provide a viable alternative that they failed to explore. And ask them straight up why they’re being so limited in their method of canvassing – and included the whole dam response, for a change!

    Last one, I’m sure some other readers will disagree with me, but it’s really low when you only quote half of what a guy says (not to mention potentially libel and giving journos in general a kak rep). Why did you bother to even ask him for comment if you were only going to use select parts that fit neatly into your story and how YOU reckon the story should be viewed? All that does is show us you haven’t done the leg work and, worse, that you’re underestimating your reader’s intelligence. Let us have the full info so we can make up our OWN minds.

    I could go on and on, but figure I’ve got the point across….

    Ps – Malaha, get a frikking sub editor, seriously. Surely you’re now making enough cash to do so with those fat Bos banners and Absa sponsorship?

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  44. Megan says:

    Cute attempt Starfish, but umm.. fail! – I’m an editor! And quite frankly this piece needs one.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    god you guys are all so leftfield and alternative. at least bruce good is taking a interest in his neighbourhood and community which i’m sure none of you are. stop being so reactionary, do something positive and grow up

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  46. Anonymous says:

    Finally. 6.30 and those with real jobs join the fray.

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  47. Megan says:

    Another thing that really gets me: ‘finger-banged” really? Really?. Aren’t Bos trying to appeal to mothers with kids right now. How about your other advertisers – are they cool with that? I wouldn’t be. You’ve seriously done yourselves a disservice. This is everything ‘people with real jobs’ should hate! Yuck

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  48. Anonymous says:

    Groenpunt needs a new name – it sounds like gonorrhea?

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  49. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t journalism. It’s poorly written op-ed. On a small self-important platform. Real content involves real thinking. If you bother to think beyond the agenda Mahala’s paranoid editor force-feeds you, you could go far, Brandon.
    You have a great story here. You raise some interesting issues, but you miss an opportunity to tackle a pithy story maturely.

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  50. UrOverlord says:

    It’s a sad day when even just meekly mocking the yuppie trash that cynically manipulate their peers to their detriment and the exclusive gain of yuppie trash like themselves and economic vampire entities like Golding, gets you accused of being immature. As if those with “real jobs” didn’t know, the economic interests of the vast majority of people in this country are in direct conflict with Mark and Pam’s. It’s sort of amazing but they turned wealth creation into a zero sum game.

    But I get it. I understand. It’s only natural that “those with real jobs” would defend the very filth that impoverish and enslave them. After all, how do you you expect to keep a “real job” these days without internalising and mimicking the values and behaviour of your owners?
    This condition has a name folks. It’s called Stockholm Syndrome.

    I sympathise, really I do.

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  51. Anonymous says:

    What an angry, angry man Brandon seems. The lengthy and poorly constructed sentences prevented me from determining whether he actually has a point. By the end of para 2 I was bored and had reached the conclusion that Bruce Good’s exploits aside, Brandon is a bit of a twat.

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  52. Chris says:

    I really enjoy Edmunds’ writing. I’m grateful for his insights.
    I always thought the NYH campaign was ridiculous.
    I’d never entertained the idea that it was actually detrimental to Cape Town city’s development as an inclusive, (affordable) place for people to live

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  53. Hoodie says:

    I read the piece as a rant….. a rant I agree with.

    So some of the kak should have been edited, but the point remains NYH is a really feeble idea with the wrong sponsors and hardly any buy-in from actual residents.

    As for the money- there really isn’t any. Pam Golding never banked a billion in their history let alone R18billion in a year. Maybe they sold that much property (asking prices quoted) If the R18b was even close their gross profit would be around R400million meaning that their 2500 agents earn on average R13k pm (gross) Shame.

    NYH probably did some kind of barter arrangement with PGP in return for advertising in the property papers and their offices. Clever move- alienating the other 80% of estate agents in the market and those like the readers above who can’t stand any estate agents at all (FAIL)
    Not to mention the other 92% of the population…..

    Give it another 6 months and the campaign will be dead and the dof names forgotten- not before the branding experts cash in on the publicity for a much needed job elsewhere.

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  54. brandon edmnz says:

    @megan: “Girl you like to fingerbang and it’s al-right. Cuz I’m the king of fingerbang, let’s not fight. I’ll just fingerbang, bang you every night.” Eric Cartman? No? Let’s not fight.

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  55. Reggaemylitis says:


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  56. Andy says:

    Love the way Anonz portrays me as a paranoid editor with an agenda force-feeding Edmonds his stories… classic. Pulling the strings baby.

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  57. Andy says:

    Hi Megan… allow me to explain. At Mahala we work hard to honour the concept that advertising should never control the content. Our primary relationship is with our audience and we respect the idea that “thought is free”. Our writers must express themselves as they see fit on the subject’s they cover. If Brandon wants to talk about fingerbanging in light of Name Your Hood, that’s his prerogative.

    Advertisers advertise with us because we deliver an audience. Simple as that.

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  58. Pollywiggle says:

    @Andy 100% with you on the advertising/influence on content stance, and congrats for not self censoring content for advertisers.

    But here’s the problem I have: I’m all for free speech, but you’re using it as an excuse (albeit indirectly) — and a weak one at that — for sloppy journalism and even sloppier (dare I say non existent) editing and sub editing. If this is an opinion column, or an op ed piece, fine. My problem with it is that it’s masquerading as journalism, which it clearly isn’t. What little facts there are are incorrect (i.e. R18billion ‘profit’ for PG), and the rest of the ‘facts’ and comments have been pushed through Brandon’s personal viewpoint filter to force the story to come to the conclusion he wants.

    Anyways, point is you can have free speech and good journalism, if that’s what Brandon’s aiming for (though, it’s really unclear what he is actually aiming for with this convoluted, flaky piece)

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  59. Andy says:

    I don’t know if that’s a fair assessment of Brandon’s piece. Yes he may have made a mistake about the PG profit… I’d like to see his source on that first though. But beyond that, what else defines this piece as sloppy journalism. We pursue a mode of “personal journalism” at Mahala. We don’t ask our writers to pretend to be objective – a major part of the site is the fact that we are polemical, interrogate and take a stand on things. By necessity that means having an opinion and expressing it. Edmonds contacted Bruce Good and gave him a chance to answer questions and present his side. So I don’t see how you can claim that this is “sloppy”.

    We’ll just have to roll with those sub editing punches until we can afford to hire one.

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  60. Pollywiggle says:

    @Andy See your point, and I have no objections to “personal journalism”, as you call it. Or against taking a stand and interrogating. But I do believe all forms of journalism — ‘personal’ or not — should be based on proper research which, sorry to say, clearly wasn’t done for this piece (see my suggestions of what could have been done further up the comment thread). If you or your writers are going to take a stand and interrogate an issue, go for it — we need more of that in SA media. But please, do it properly.

    And not to niggle, but to says Brandon contacted Bruce Good is just not good enough. Sure, he contacted him and he may have given him the chance to present his side, but the excerpts from Good’s comments are clearly selected for a purpose and it’s clear to anyone with half a brain that other comments are purposefully omitted to make him look like more of a douche. This isn’t taking a stand — it’s trying to force a view onto readers and, like I said before, this undermines our intelligence.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of Mahala and its aspirations to Gonzo style journ. I just think the concept is often poorly executed, like this piece was (like I said before, there’s a good story in here, it’s just been muddied by sloppiness and self indulgence).

    And last point: with government’s assault on media, this is no time to for any publication or online site to drop standards and not adhere to the basics of good, ethical, thorough journalism — no matter what form of journalism it is.

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  61. brandon edmnz says:

    The R18 billion reference is from an article by regular columnist Peter Bills (www.independent,co.uk) called “I have never felt that I wasn’t one of the boys”: (quote) ‘Pam Golding Properties was the first South African real estate business to achieve sales turnover figures for a single year of around Rand 18 billion.’ It’s worth checking it out for the picture of Pam Golding herself, with her Barbara Bush pearls and Miami lizard tan. @pollywiggle, seriously? pilfering the old ‘be objective’ canard…in 2011. and andy screw you ‘roll with these sub editing punches’. are we really taking style cues from trolls?

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  62. Hilarious says:

    Hey Andy, why don’t you guys publish the full Q&A with Bruce Good? That will be interesting.. Pop it in the comments section, why don’t you?

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  63. The Jim says:

    Look, I’m sure Bruce was consulted for his comment. It just wasn’t published. Which might be embarrassing to the group of people in this country who call themselves journalists. But probably not so much to people who pursue a “writer prerogative”, “personal journalism” model of editorship. Enjoy the mud-wrestle, boys and girls.

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  64. Roger Young says:

    I don’t find Edmonds sentences sloppy at all. But then again, they always come after the sentence when they can’t beat the ideas.

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  65. Pollywiggle says:

    @brandon No one said you had to be objective, just that you should do the proper legwork to interrogate issues properly and take a stand, and not undermine your reader’s intelligence by trying to force feed them with your selective comments .

    Pulling your facts and figures from an article by a “regular columnist” (and not even bothering to verify the stat) just proves this point. In fact, I can’t believe you not only gleefully admit to lazily swiping random stats from other people’s columns, but that you smugly use it to “substantiate” your info. That’s just embarrassing.

    You say: “Pam Golding, the first local real estate agency to bank R18 billion in a single year” Bank in this instance very clearly means “profit”. You bank your profit, not your gross turnover. so it’s disingenious and incorrect to claim PG ‘banked’ R18 billion when that was, in fact, their annual gross sales turnover.

    Journalism — even admittedly unobjective, or “personal journalism” — should still get the basic facts right.

    Anyway, this is getting boring. Tried to make a couple of fair comments and not be a hater, but clearly that make me a “troll”. *Yawn *

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  66. @AT says:

    I would just like to congratulate Mahala on getting Pam Golding perps with their ‘Barbara Bush pearls and Miami lizard tan’s to come and troll on this site. That’s fuckin’ hilarious. Well done 🙂

    @pollywiggle: for Christ you’re so prescriptive and 2-shoed. If you want to write an article, fuck off and write it, don’t try to get Brandon to write it for you. That’s him and how he writes. As with any polemic style there will be lovers and haters and thats how it works.. trying to shoehorn it into your idea of what gonzo should look like so that it conforms more closely to your personal idea of how a quality piece of journalism should come across is fucking idiotic. From my crusty nook of the net it looks like Brandon’s getting shit of his chest, commenting on current events, and doing a good job of entertaining along the way – not trying to write op ed pieces for Righteous Reader monthly.

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  67. Brian Green says:

    To have heard Keith Morris last night dedicate an OFF! song to Hermosa Beach, a recognised place in counter-culture mythology, then contrast it against this contrived bullshit in my beloved hometown genuinely saddens me. Do we lack our own organic stories (and/or the ability to create them) to such a great extent that this mercilessly fabricated nonsense is allowed to ooze into the average Capetonian’s bloodstream without consideration?

    This statement of protest by Brandon is, though, probably where it’ll end. We South Africans are a fucking complacent sort, aren’t we. Their posters, stickers and voting booths will stand, un-vandalised, as testament to this crass new elite.

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  68. walterwinchell says:

    @pollywiggle are you guy berger? it’s you isn’t it? guy berger dean of rhodes journalism, bunkered in his office like brando in apocalypse now whispering ‘blogs…the horror!’

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  69. Andy says:

    Straight up Pollywiggle – but seriously. That’s one oversight. One issue. Where are all the other fine examples that make this “sloppy journalism”?

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  70. Andy says:

    That’s Brandon’s call. I’d be keen to see it

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  71. Pollywiggle says:

    @andy check points 1, 2 and 3 in my first post, for starters.
    Anyways, the fact is I am a bit of an Edmonds fan , that’s why I’m disappointed. This could’ve been the most epic piece Mahala’s had for ages.Could have…

    @walterwinchell Guy bunkered, classic. But no 🙂

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  72. mud-debunker says:

    OK to all the haters but one piece of hopeful nostalgia. I was under the possibly misguided idea that The Fringe was so named after the fabulous club of that name, where many many of us first sampled the joys of a bottleneck, and which is slap bang in that area.

    I could live with that…

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  73. Hilarious says:

    It’s one thing writing in your own individual way. Another thing wasting someone’s time to do a full interview and not listening to a word they said. Which is how this is starting to clearly look like! Tsk. Tsk.

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  74. Kretz says:

    Pollywiggle’s points are valid and it would be a good idea for Mahala to give them some serious consideration in the interests of improving its brand of ‘personal journalism’. She (sorry, pollywiggle just appears to be a feminine handle) comes across as level-headed and informed and is someone who is actually trying to provide some constructive criticism, which is pretty rare on this site.

    Brandon, I’m so glad you managed to pull ‘grunge moppets’ at some point in your life but the effort of having to manoeuvre past your gratuitously inserted ego in order to figure out the supposed point of the article does tend to become rather exhausting.
    Additionally, and more importantly, I was also flabbergasted by your casual admission (which points to astonishing ignorance of even the most basic of journalistic ethics – including those applying to ‘personal journalism’ published online) that you simply quoted figures from Peter Bills’s column without even having the decency to credit your source. That you appear to have no problem with taking credit for other people’s research taints not only this article, but every one you’ve ever written.
    Andy, in the absence of any editorial oversight, I’m not being facetious in saying that I hope you have a good legal fund, at this rate you it may come in handy one day.

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  75. fingerbang fan #1 says:

    Ai, and out of the darkness there comes radiance. I’ve just been directed to Mahala and I’m happy to say that I’m here to stay. Thank you for not proliferating to the incessant bad taste that so lingers when reading faux-cool, super liberal Cape Town ‘stront’. Fighting the yuppy scum one step at a time

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  76. Just Saying says:

    This, then, is why the corporations will win: the resistance is too busy fighting itself to mount any kind of serious challenge.

    Pollywiggle, Brandon, Andy and half a dozen Anonymouses are not only in the same camp, they’re in the same tent, sharing a sleeping-bag. And yet somehow, despite each one knowing full well that they are vastly outgunned by the suits, that they need absolute solidarity if they’re going to make even the tiniest dent, they squabble over the fine print and end up storming off in different directions.

    Guys, do you know what Pam Golding thinks about your argument? Nothing. Because she doesn’t read Mahala, because she doesn’t need to, because she’s richer than God. And she got that way by identifying her allies and keeping them sweet, whether she liked them or nor; and by knowing her opponents, and utterly fucking them up. I’m afraid in this instance, Pamela Golding, bride of the antichrist, can school you in the ways of the world.

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  77. Please says:

    Pam Golding will laugh at this page. Trust me, it does the writer’s “point” more harm than good. Badly written poor argument.

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  78. Poster says:

    Cape Town.

    How long ago was it that workers were looting not very far from these spaces?

    The people at the bottom and the people at the top have assumed their positions.

    Sometimes I think this place will turn over with you guys and your big brains still playing around in comments sections.

    Not a diss. But you’re earnestly sitting there nitpicking about the man’s argumentative structure, while agreeing with his message?

    We might as well be talking about Tetris.

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  79. Andy says:

    Apologies Polly that first comment was pretty good, constructive criticism. We’re almost ready to employ a sub. almost

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  80. maria bastillos says:

    What we really need is a critic who has got something interesting to say. Who is writing something that we would like to read. Whose aliveness just comes out and grabs you by the throat and makes you think, or go pop-eyed with amazement, or throw your monitor across the room in a fit of rage. As a loved of good criticism, I am asking, or demanding (more like begging, really) that this passion and immediacy be the first quality that should recommend a critic to public notice.

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  81. on the other hand darren says:

    edmonds doing proper research? you gotta be joking, that’s too much like real work.

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  82. Jozijay says:

    ‘on the other hand darren’….. ? thats hilarious! thanks man for the giggle

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  83. Darren says:

    A mate referenced this article as we are looking at doing some work with NYH.

    This site is a joke. You obviously have very little to do day to day, than create crap and then argue over who is more “I wear check better than you do”.

    Christ its a business and thats all – like it or hate you are far to involved.

    Go do something productive like get a life and start contributing to society. Press stop on the playstation and put the cap back on your retro bottle of OB’s.

    Seriously – you will read your comments in 10 years time and realize just how childlike you sound.


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  84. Roger Young says:


    Hopefully, you will do the same.

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  85. hans says:


    Adaptation to false consciousness has never changed it.

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  86. UrOverlord says:

    Well, on the plus side, thanks to Darren and his pals, NYT and Golding can hardly be unaware that there are some people out there that think they suck and that their “contribution” to society isn’t so much a contribution – as it is a slimy con. Maybe this realisation will spark some introspection and reflection on what effects our actions have on others… but probably not. Next time my rent goes up without my salary keeping pace I guess i can thank Darren and his friend for “getting a life”. Thanks for doing such a great job guys. Do unto others as you would do unto yourself, eh?

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  87. Darren says:

    @UrOverlord – Really? We are blaming estate agents for our financial woes?
    Sure I get that. I am sure there are other factors re our salaries and rent not keeping pace but we can play that game if you like – I am sure the Goldings will take responsibility for you.

    @Hans – no idea what you are saying you pretentious prick. But I am also comfortable with the fact that you don’t either so I rest easy.

    And please do us all a favour and not try to explain it here, as I am sure is your want.


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  88. Darren says:

    And by the way, While we are so gung-ho on “defeating” the establishment and thinking of getting into bed with John and Yoko against war etc. I will grab myself of those free Ray Bans being advertised on the site…

    I come back to my original comment that this site is a joke – I am not a massive fan of 2oceansvibe I will be honest but at least they are clear about what they do, love it or hate it – here I feel like I am being sold a “Melema lie” of bringing the system down from within…except here the system is paid for by RayBan apparently…?

    And yes I know you have commercial reasons / needs. But you also seem to deal in the forex of expediency quite nicely.


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  89. Roger Young says:


    Darren, or if I may, D-Money, the critical point you are failing to grasp is that no-one has a problem with selling stuff or getting paid or even getting a life.

    The problem is simply this: They claim to be renaming things by public process. But they are not. Then problem is with the false claim. The sunglasses on the right are for free. No false claim. 117 people get to rename an area is public process. False claim.

    Then the article goes on to unpack the false claim.

    Do you understand the term “unpack”?

    Must I unpack “unpack” for you?

    We’re launching a feature later this year where you can click on a sidebar and get Cliff Notes.

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  90. Darren says:

    Do appreciate the argument – it comes through very clearly in the article – I think I am referencing answers and comments below it more than the actual piece.

    I also feel however that if only 117 bothered voting for it, then by the very nature of human interaction / take up of these things, there will statistically only be 30 people who actually use the “chosen” name.

    Therefore we have an article getting people very excited / bothered over something which really will never bother them in the greater scheme of real life. And therein lies my argument – this article was written purely to take a bash at an entity or someone for personal reasons whatever they may be.

    There are almost as many comments here as people who voted…storm in a team cup and a bit of personality-bashing doesn’t make a great story.

    And I think by hardly referencing the “protagonists” answers (were there really questions asked / submitted?) it seems a vet one sided axe being ground here?


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  91. Darren says:

    Excuse spelling there 😉

    Also unpacking a “False claim” would mean establishing a “claim” and presenting both sides of the claim. This hast been done here.

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  92. Roger Young says:


    Apologies. I was unclear, I think. The article is an opinion piece. The unpacking is of the authors opinion. Not the “claim” itself but rather his feeling toward the claim.

    Also: Storm in a tea cup = The Internet.

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  93. Darren says:

    @Roger – Got you – I did miss understand you.

    My fault!


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