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Jason Bronkhorst

Eish, the Guy…

by Hagen Engler / Illustration by Jason Bronkhorst / 29.04.2011

Yussis, but the oke was a poes! He had, like, no people skills to begin with, but his email attitude was even worse! He tunes Gavin in this one mail, “Listen here, you fuck. If we don’t get that material by the close of business today, you can forget the whole event. I expect the PDFs by 5pm. Thanks. Mark”

But luckily Gavin doesn’t take shit. ‘Specially not from a fucken poes like Mark. And… and! Gavin is the owner of the media agency and Mark is some kind of designer. It’s temerity like you can’t even believe. It’s like a shop assistant at Musica tuning Jay-Z to move his arse on the new album.

Gavin doesn’t a fuck take shit. He knows Mark’s office is just two office parks down the road from him. The minute he reads that email, he stands up, sprints down the stairs, gets in his car and fucks off there to Mark’s work.

He pulls into the parking lot fi’minutes later, just as Mark is sneaking out, the fuckin’ weasel. Tunes him, “Oh, you think I’m a fuck, do you?”

And then just wails all over the oke, lank eloquently, and without swearing too much, which is always the worst way to get kakked on. Yisses, boet. Tunes, “I’ll have you know that I am the chairman of the media oversight board, which lobbied government to release SABC funds to contractors last year, your little company among them, thus ensuring that you have a job, sir.”

Sommer drops in the formalities, which makes it even worse!

“And even though you seem to have misunderstood the process, in that the material doesn’t come from me, but from my supplier, and that I am in fact your client and not the other way round, I am prepared to forgive that as the mistakes of an inexperienced industry novice.”

“What I am not prepared to forgive, though,” he tunes Mark, “What I am not prepared to forgive, is a lack of respect. I believe that is the foundation of many of our country’s problems. I’m sure you’ll agree that respect is what makes a man, as indeed does integrity, not so?”

And there’s this oke, with his laptop bag under his arm, his keys in his hand, blatantly not having the courage of his convictions, running away, his bottom lip starting to quiver… Eish, the guy.

Mark, his name was. What a doos. Tuning the biggest oke in the industry poes. And, like, you know all he was really trying to do was get his material, which he would’ve done if he’d been at least civil with old Gavin. Instead he comes on all strong, fronting up in a situation where he clearly doesn’t know the big picture.

I still scheme you should operate from a humility default, you know what I mean? You never know who you going to be dealing with.

He’s still grafting there, Mark, to this day. Still a designer.

17   14
  1. Anonymous says:

    Kind of random, but nice colloquialism.

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  2. Megan says:

    Not enough! We want names! Last names. Company names. Give it up.

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  3. Matthew Eriksen says:

    One of the reasons I don’t ever read FHM is this stupid, not-quite-authentic caricaturing of South African slang. I don’t deign to think it’s really being used as a vehicle for ‘connecting’ with a South African audience, but even as parody it ‘s awful.


    It’s like when white people put on a coloured accent. Not THAT funny.

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  4. Al Luke says:

    Hahahaha, vrek funny!

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  5. Jason says:

    I actually know okes who rap like that – Woes Rand and now on the East Rand.

    Read Killing Kebble – the dialogue (presented as verbatim) is pretty authentic too.

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  6. xjoburgjoller says:

    ja, shot for this bru. hundreds, what can I say? only chirp is that the ous i jolled with back in the day would never say “tunes”, it’s always the guttural “choons” – makes the spellchecker poes woes, but that’s how its godda be. shweet,

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  7. Pee Wee says:

    I really like the rawness of this one, it gives me the feeling that it was done in a Moleskine on a train.

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  8. Max says:

    I find this very ironic – the piece and the second comment from Megan (“Not enough! We want names! Last names. Company names. Give it up.”) – for that is the general feeling I’m left with every time I stumble upon a South African FHM. No nipples, no real saucy stories…what’s the point? A tame and dumbed-down version of the British rag for a tamer and dumber colony? And, by extension, what is exactly the point of this article, apart from showcasing Mr. Engler’s clear creative mastery, control of the word and almost marital relationship with the slang? The “don’t tune the peeps in charge” thesis is kind of weak. Following that logic, we should all just eat shit with broad grins on our faces. Whoever Mark is, he does sound like a righteous ‘poes’, but cunts abound in all realms of life, so… ???

    But the above is really a matter of subjective interpretation. What REALLY interests me is:

    The ‘meaning’ (for the lack of a better word in my US-crippled vocabulary) of Mr. Engler being published on Mahala, a publication that – once again, in my limited understanding – stands for everything that FHM is not. Is Mr. Engler looking to up his street cred as an ‘edgy’ writer that not only deals in bikinis and product-placement? Or is Mahala looking to up its value as a publication by having ‘established’ names on its writer’s roll? Is it both?

    Call me a jaded fuck, but something about this pairing just doesn’t sit right with me. Otherwise, good words.

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  9. el nunez says:

    jaded fuck

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  10. Max says:

    @el nunez – thanks buddy

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  11. stig gtitty says:

    Probably the most pointless piece of inconsequential drivel that I have ever read on mahala. Andy, are you desperate for new copy during this season of public holidays? I get very annoyed when media workers think that their inane little spats are worthy of publication just because they like happened to have occurred in media circles as opposed to some other less worthy industry. Show your readers a little bit more consideration and practice a bit more editorial discipline, please.

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  12. Max says:

    @stig – slow clap

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  13. ive read worse things says:

    “I still scheme you should operate from a humility default, you know what I mean? You never know who you going to be dealing with.”

    could this be prophetic

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  14. Anonymous says:

    lank edgy bru

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  15. Inspector Ras says:

    Sweet pic, Mr Bronkhorst. Fully the ageing creative checking his email and stripping his moer. Old skills.

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  16. Sashimi says:

    But the problem isn’t just that this article is inappropriate or lazy – it’s also that it isn’t any good. The slang is abysmal, the story itself must be one of the more worthless and inconsequential anecdotes I’ve ever read… and I’m also repulsed by the fact the writer seems to think he has some ‘edgy’ ear for slang or something.

    What sort of a world do we live in? vernacular has become just another gimmick easily converted into cultural capital for uninventive writers.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Here we have a winner for lamest paragraph, both in style and content wise:

    What I am not prepared to forgive, though,” he tunes Mark, “What I am not prepared to forgive, is a lack of respect. I believe that is the foundation of many of our country’s problems. I’m sure you’ll agree that respect is what makes a man, as indeed does integrity, not so?”

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  18. Andy says:

    Hey Sashimi and Anonymous (same IP… interesting that. Are you singularly trying to show that there’s a groundswell of negative opinions towards this piece?) Try remember, it’s easy to criticise on the internet under a fishy pseduonym. it’s not like you’re giving anyone the opportunity to come and check out your creative production to see how it compares. This is a vignette, a slice of the Jozi working life written in a colloquial, conversational style. Thanks for taking the time to say you don’t like it. Twice.

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  19. Sashimi says:

    Just forgot to write my name on the second post! no need to get conspiratorial. Even if I was posting twice, how would two comments, one a criticism and one a quotation from the piece, constitute a groundswell against the article? Other people have already said sufficiently negative things about the piece. I don’t like it. I think it’s cheap, I think it’s gimmicky, I don’t know what’s its point is. I’m sorry that I don’t like it. I’ll be sure to try harder to like it next time, baas.

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  20. deon says:

    Sounds like an oke I worked for at Flick.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Mahalas best response: call out one dude who posted twice, ignore every other comment saying how shit this article was.

    Cause it really was.


    This was terrible. Will it make you feel better about me hating it if i gave you my name too?
    Are you going to research me and gauge the wealth of my opinion before deciding whether or not it’s going to be worth anything? Context over content? Fucking empty plastic spineless social heriachy retards.

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  22. Andy says:

    angry on the internet much? Does it help to vent such spleen? If you don’t like the story engage with the story. Explain why it’s bad, why it sucks, beyond just pointing a finger and going, duh, he used slang. That’s so parochial and lame.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    No, angry at life much, but this works as a diversion of hate.
    I think it was summed up above in at least 2 proficient comments which were ignored in the face of a double post by 1 user. Hectic mah bru.

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  24. Andy says:

    This is part of a series Hagen’s working on. Let’s call them Mzansi Vignettes, contemporary slices of life. South Africana. This piece is not going to win a pulitzer but it’s also not shit. Based on reality and only ever so slightly fictionalised. Stoked you all reacted in one way or the other. Despite the work he does for FHM, Hagen is one of my favourite South African authors. My advice is to read his novel Greener Grass before it comes out on film…

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  25. Sashimi says:

    Can I flip the tables here real quick? Instead of me telling you what I dislike about this piece, can you try telling me what you like about this piece? think about it seriously: what makes this “not shit”?

    There’s nothing “Mzansi” about the story that’s going on here. It’s an old cliche, a staple of Hollywood comedies, about a subordinate who doesn’t realise he’s badmouthing his superior, so in terms of substance I think it fails.

    Another thing is that you can imagine the sort of guy who tells stories like this, in (approximately, I don’t think the vernacular is handled properly anyway) “real life”, and he’s not the sort of person you a) keep listening to, or b) give a shit what they say. They’re shit talkers, they’re unfunny, uninteresting and banal when you meet them, and the translation to the written word (robbing the rhythm of the spoken word) is a worse off medium.

    Most seriously, I think the slang thing comes across as SERIOUSLY gimmicky. Especially given that it’s the only point of interest in a story which is content-wise, quite empty.

    Alright, your turn. Let’s hear the defense. 🙂

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  26. whatever says:

    cultured?i say clutterred,slurred not prefered refered nerd ever so slightly disturbed.everyone’s playing slang with their wang tang.where

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  27. pwned says:

    i think sashimi’s totally, like, dominating this argument.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Haha Andy says we got to back up our opinions for them to have weight, but he lays on the ‘it’s not shit’ title like it aint no thang!

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  29. Zweli says:

    What utter bull! Is tha point of this article (if it can be called that) to show the effects of bantu wducation, or maybe the results of incurable writers block? There’s 5 minutes I’ll never get back. Fire this idiot!

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  30. Warren says:

    This commentary board smacks of exactly what the world at large hates about Mahala. Bitter artists (and I use the word loosely) with the belief that they haven’t “sold out”, and not a lot else to their credit, attempting to tear down someone who is making, or has made, something of their life.

    If you had ever actually written for anything more than a school magazine, or your blog, you would know that writing for a living often means taking on pieces, jobs or even books that you don’t necessarily believe in, so that you are able to pay the bills and yet still do the thing you love.

    The day will come when some of you may get the opportunity to write a piece for a huge salary and this version of you will complain bitterly and attempt to tear you down. The truth is you will take that chance, no matter how strongly you feel that you won’t, because the alternative is to take a job at a bank and spend your life wishing you had become a writer.

    And what is selling out anyway? Who started this belief that real artists starve? I’ll tell you who; starving artists. The reason they’re starving is generally not because they are undiscovered diamonds in the rough, but rather because they are shit. Analyse the writing, not the writer. Working at a big magazine does not make you any worse, or deserving of less respect, than the writer who is methed out in a shit-heap in Hillbrow.

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  31. Sashimi says:


    Can someone say non-sequitur? where did the “selling out” angle come from?

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  32. Zam says:

    I just wanna point out the irony about people harshly commenting on an article on the internet who may not have the gusto to act the same way face to face with the author on an article about a person harshly emailing a client and them not having the gusto to act the same way face to face with formentioned client.

    Strangely interesting, innit? If done on purpose (which I hope, yet don’t believe) gives the article quite a poignant feel.

    However, not the greatest article I have ever read. I do see the whole creating a “microcosm of south African banter”, I just think with all our diversity, opinion and culture it could have had a little more substance. Plus, personally, anyone who does speak THAT colloquially I will avoid at all cost (as I think someone has already mentioned)

    Great writer, not necessarily the best piece. But hey, I am yet to meet or hear of ANYONE great that is perfect 100% of the time.

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  33. Megan says:

    Ok enough already. Now you’re all filling my email with all this and it wasn’t worth it in the first place! Sheesh my broers.

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  34. MyPE says:

    Sorry Hagen, but the piece went anorectal via the perineum after your 7th word in the first sentence.

    I thought one was supposed to build to a climax – pretty difficult after your first line which is what got everyone here in the first place; “Oooh he said POES, it can only get better from here.”

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  35. Lame-o says:

    Talking in that kind of vernacular slang just makes you sound STUPID.

    And then when the story’s inconsequential and uninteresting, well…

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  36. K2 says:

    Lol all round. Seriously unserious.
    Dig the illustration – essentially individual, and yet somehow harks of the kind of sketch Ralph Steadman made in the presence of that HST chap.

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  37. i dont give a fuck says:

    So what is the point of this article kont kop

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