Mhambi has been redeployed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

We are the web

Mhambi is currently working on the strategy for a large potentially user generated website. Considering the importance of the audience of this organisation, it could be a very significant user generated website.

The key though is to make the organisation behind it realise that their audience is their greatest asset.

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Mhambi's qoutables: The English rugby press on clever Western gentlemen

Originally uploaded by fabdany.

Mhambi was reading the English Rugby press this week. In the lead-up to the England Springbok World Cup match English scribes were explaining how England could beat South Africa.

On 9 September Jeremy Guscott started on Eddie Jones, the Australian coach helping South Africa. According to Guscott Jones added a cerebral dimension to South African brawn, but his efforts could actually serve to confuse the South Africans.

"Jones is shrewd in the play-making department and, given enough time, he is a coach who can teach Habana and the South African backs the sort of precision moves we have seen from Australian backs for as long as anyone can remember. It will be touch and go, and I have serious doubts that he has had the time necessary to transform guys raised in a culture of one-dimensional, unimaginative, brutally direct back play in a few weeks.

The danger for South Africa is that while Habana is an instinctive player with great natural sprinting ability, he is not used to being the focal point of a back-line, and although he is a bright guy, Jones’s (The Australian coach helping South Africa) playbook rules could confuse him."

Who's getting it ?
Originally uploaded by fabdany.

Also on 9 September Steven Jones chimed in. He saw a solution in the danger posed by clever Mike Catt.

"Catt is one of England’s most misunderstood and most complete postwar rugby talents, a director of play, an outstanding kicker and passer (though he has drawn the odd hair-raising interception with his long miss-passing) and, still, a cutting runner, and a Cavalier among Roundheads and dunderheads. He still has composure and an ability to make line-breaks either with his quick feet or quick hands, way ahead of his rivals in the England squad.

Yet it is in the head and not the body where Catt can indeed make the difference. The body aches and fades as the years go by, but out on the rugby field, as the wisdom of the years and the hits is absorbed, the mind can become sharper. Catt’s unerring tactical nous can be a prodigious weapon, and especially in the Bok context next Friday.

In life, as in rugby, to ascribe a characteristic to a nation can be deemed at worst as racism, and at best a sweeping generalisa-tion. So it may be harsh to say South Africa lacks leadership, that so often all the power and fury goes to waste because there is nobody to shape it."

Err... ok.

Jones did however forget to mention that the Catt is a born and bred South African. A few days later another columnist did mention a South African playing for England. But it was not Catt, but Durban born Matt Stevens, who was compared to his opposite number, Os du Randt.

"Tomorrow, he will have the pleasure – or otherwise – of scrummaging against a fellow countryman. Matt Stevens, promoted from the bench as a result of Phil Vickery's two-match suspension for making the clumsiest football tackle ever seen on a rugby field, may be a very substantial individual in terms of pounds and ounces, but he is not of Afrikaans stock. Rather, he was born in Durban and is every inch the western liberal gentleman."

That was Chris Hewett's wisdom on 13 September.

Mhambi was wondering. Why are South Africans dumb but when we immigrate to England we're considered brainy and liberal nogal? Or perhaps the English press reckons it's only the brainy Western orientated South Africans that immigrate?

looking after the englishman
Originally uploaded by fabdany.

In any event, South Africa won the match. There was little confusion on the South African side, and Mike Catt played like a dullard. I had a good look but none of the South Africans gave a hint of being secret members of Sadam Hussein's Bath party or anything similar.

The Guardian reported on the post match press conference.

The South Afdrican coach was asked why at the end of the match, South Africa opted to kick a penalty, when already a record 33 points ahead? Why not rather go for a bonus-point try?

The coach replied: "The players like scoring points against England."

Funny that.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now its Faceworld

Facebook yesterday made their next grand step in being the home of individuals online.

Until now Facebook's Faces have not been publicly available. No longer. Users can now make a limited profile of theirs available to search engines like Google.

Search for name online and you get some information about a person, a book they have written, but rarely about who they are & how to get hold of a person. This feature can put paid to that.

And what about privacy? As the Machinest says:

Considering that the page is entirely under my control -- you make your Facebook page -- it's not a way to face the world, either. You know what they say about privacy in the digital era: You have none. If that's really true, you may as well get on Facebook and take charge of your info goes out.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

after the birds outside the apt. say hello

after the birds outside the apt. say hello
Originally uploaded by tetheredto.

Mhambi has long been enamoured with Olive & Rose, their pics and their prose. Allot of what they do is gorgeous and unashamedly naughty. Lovely.

there's coffee in a ceramic mug next door at the happy lobster cafe, santa claus drawn across the handle in magic marker. evaporated milk in a tiny silver pouring cup next to a saucer of raw cane sugar. there's a flat screen t.v. above the door playing only commercials sponsored by the tourism board of the government. caves and jungles and photos of impossibly shiny buses fly into and out of the silent screen.

a seven person group of australians pass around a digital camera and yell at one another, shifting naturally until a finger hovers above the shutter, and then smiling, their eyes wrinkling at the sides, someone accidentally blinking, someone else caught mid-mouth asking if there's enough light. two women hold handtowels behind the bar and stare at bottles of coconut rum while they talk, one of them touching her hair with the towel, the other one so very, very still.

a barefoot man in a straw hat sells bags of papaya and folds a basket of baby dresses on the sand street outside and waves at me when he realizes that i'm staring, when i realize that he's staring too.

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Rose and Olive does video as well

Very sexy & fun. And Olives delicious laugh. Yum!

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Rugby, parochialism and identity

Besides the Springboks, every self respecting rugby supporter should have some other teams, underdogs, to support. But how to select them? Let your sense of justice and prejudice be your guide. Mhambi is supporting Portugal, perhaps Italy and Argentina.

Why Portugal?

Well, Portugal has strong links with Southern Africa. Think Preggo roles, Bez Valley, and Nandos. And if the rugby bug bites in Portugal, it might also find fertile ground in Angola and Mozambique. And perhaps Brazil will take notice of the oval ball. Phoar!

The BBC says of Portugal's intellectual coach:

A back injury forced Tomaz Morais into premature retirement and the former international, a published author and a university professor, has since become a successful coach. He was shortlisted for the IRB's Coach of the Year Award in 2004 and has helped revolutionise rugby in the country.

So how about Italy? They have progressing nicely. And some Italians reckon rugby is the perfect antidote to being Italian.

La Republica says: Rugby, the anti-football that might save Italy

"We rugby fans have a dream: to see the representatives of the Italian
State go and watch the match on September 8th between Italy and New
Zealand in Marseille, for we are utterly convinced that Italy needs
rugby", exclaims the journalist Giusseppe d'Avanzo, as the Rugby World
Cup is about to begin in France this September 7th. "Rugby remains a
mystery for Italians. ... Often it is presented with a rhetoric that
renders it unrecognisable. ... It is everything but chaos and madness.
... It requires a community spirit and reason. It excludes cunning
artifice, arrogance and cynicism, for it is a loyal sport, despite, or
perhaps thanks to its violence. Could one imagine anything less
Italian? Each characteristic of rugby is in contrast with Italian
specificity. ... This is why we like to think that this sport, so far
from our national identity, can set an example for reform."

But no, Mhambi will cheer Argentina.

Why Argentina?

Argentina has been playing good rugby for decades, but poised to take the step up to be one of the big six countries. Mhambi likes being broadly parochial: Argentina are from the Southern hemisphere, and not another English speaking country. A strong Argentina will lead to a more diverse Rugby World.

The UK Guardian says of Argentina:

Argentina has been described as a nation of people who speak Spanish, have Italian names and aspire to English gentility. This is palpably false if you've been to the Boca district of Buenos Aires, but one English sensibility which the Pumas bring to rugby is their enduring love of the scrum and battle up front. Andy Robinson's reign as England head coach was brought to an end at Twickenham last November by a ferocious Puma pack. All are ball handlers; alongside Mario Ledesma and Marcos Ayerza or Omar Hasan, Rodrigo Roncero can take on the best front rows in the game and still find his way to the try line from 30 metres out.

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African Hairstyles

Originally uploaded by von_brandis.

Von Brandis, is a Cape Town based graphic artist and brother of Konradski.

(Konradski is one of the legendary founders of Bitterkomix. The ground breaking Afrikaans graphic novels started in the early 90's, packed with acerbic social commentary.)

Von Brandis has been uploading interesting work on Flickr for some time now.

Of hairstyles Von Brandis says: "A parody of traditional African barber signs to poke fun at bad Afrikaner hairstyles."

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ingozi: A few days to the Rugby World Cup

Originally uploaded by von_brandis.

Mhambi thinks its unlikely that the Springboks will win the Rugby World Cup (RWC), considering the difficulties they have experienced of late.

Yet, they have a team with real class and pace to go with their passion. A team that in many respects - bar the key position of flyhalf - superior to the one that won the 1995 cup.

One senses this team has not shown all they can do. And if not the favourites, they are much better placed than all bar New Zealand and France.

But such is the pessimism around the future of Afrikanerdom - the traditional font of Bok rugby - that some predict this is the Springboks last great team.

Luckily South Africa has a history of confounding pessimists. Lets hope for the best. Hoekvlag toe.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Athol Fugard joins the worried chorus

Athol Fugard has become the latest in a long line of famous South African writers, poets and playrights (many of whom with strong anti-aparthied credentials) to express his doubts about the way South Africa is heading.

He has a new play out - Victory - which has premiered in Bath.

Fugard has told the BBC how a series of violent burglaries at his home inspired him to write his latest work.

Victory, according to the BBC, paints a bleak picture of modern South Africa. It centres on a violent burglary of an elderly white widower committed by two black teenagers, Freddie and Victoria.

Fugard told BBC World Service's The Ticket programme that he took the theme after his own home was burgled on four occasions in the last two years - the last of which involved someone he trusted.

Last year authors like Andre Brink and Rian Malan lamented the parlous state of law and order in South Africa. Malan saw sad decay in the countries future. But Brink saw something far more ominous - slaughter.

Nadine Gordimer was mugged in her home, but she stayed positive, preferring to blame the violence on the government for not helping the poor.

J M Coetzee meanwhile immigrated, and when asked why, declined to comment, saying leaving ones country is a difficult thing to do and a personal matter. He now resides in Australia, but still engages with South African issues.

Pessimistic yes, but do courageous things

Fugard a while ago revealed that he is a big fan - like Mhambi - of Camus. In fact its hard to believe that any lefty South African can not feel, given his writing and personal history, some natural attraction to Camus. Camus informs Fugards attitute to life: a state of courageous pessimism. Said Fugard of Camus:

The concept that comes to mind immediately -- it remains as true for me today as it did for me back then -- what I think he defines at some point in one of his notebooks as “courageous pessimism”. The fact that the condition is ultimately pessimistic -- the one that we face as human beings in a hostile world, in a hostile universe -- but that we need courage. Given courage, there are certain things we can do which gives us dignity.

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