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"I can only tell you things that happened as I saw them, and what the rest was about only Africa knows." – Oom Schalk Lourens

Kensington Castle Johannesburg South Africa

Mystery at the Kensington Castle

The view was incredible, stretching the eye to Langermann’s Kop across the valley. It was dark inside. Gloomy. But in a mystical, magical kind of medieval way that ignores the horrendous hygiene, disgusting food, rotting teeth, dubious medical practise and bubonic plague more typical of the time than any cliché of marvellous masquerades and happy ever afters.

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Doors days

The best way to describe the “Doors Days” is this: any obstacle that got in the way of us getting to the club – a) before 10pm (so it was free) and b) before the first DJ set with all our favourite songs – needed to be eradicated, obliterated, exterminated—whether it was dog, car, boot or person.

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South African insect

Parktown Prawns – they’ll eat you

The Parktown Prawn is a browney-orangey-reddish colour, with long spiked legs and piranha-like teeth that it uses to eat the meat of its enemies—cats, dogs, people and the odd bird…people. Some reasons why you wouldn’t want to meet a prawn in a dark alley…

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motocross rider standing beneath blue sky

Backyard mechanic

For years, I worked hard and saved all the money I could to eventually buy the first (second-hand) Kawasaki KX125 I saw. Large, green, fast, noisy (and missing a kick-starter); I just had to have it. If there is one thing I’ve learnt in life – and I’ve learnt a few things – it’s that you need the right tool for the job…

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man-eating lion

Man-eating lion

The ndumba was not hunting as it normally would—the beast had already nabbed a couple of people and was likely to target more. Maybe it was hungry.  The boy wondered if a lion had a big enough stomach to hold an entire human—maybe a child but surely not a grown man, like dad or like Chesiwe.

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