The things we love to hate in South Africa
WE’VE all been there — the sun is just about to start seeping into your room but it’s still too early to wake up properly, and you snuggle for another hour or two of snoozing — that is until the song of the hadedas starts.
South Africans love to hate these oversized rats of the sky, squawking their presence into your brain, and unfortunately their hellish choir made its way to the ears of another songbird — Pharrell Williams — one of the many international stars at the Global Citizen Festival last weekend.
A hadeda made himself heard outside Williams’s accommodation and the superstar was clearly not impressed, judging by his Insta-story that has since gone viral in South Africa.
With the dishevelled look of someone woken from his sweet sleep by the vuvuzela of birds, Williams is almost at a loss for words to explain the experience that South Africans know too well.
But if you’ve never been woken up in South Africa by a hadeda, were you really in South Africa? Besides hadedas, there are other South African oddities that we love to hate, but can’t really imagine South Africa without.
The vuvuzela is like the human-made version of the hadeba’s screech. Present — and even sometimes banned — at sports events, it will either drive you insane or get you pumped with its toots. There is no in between.
If you’ve ever driven through Brandvlei in the Northern Cape, you will know what I’m talking about — that one-petrol-stop type of dorpie where you either speed through on a long road trip or stop because someone is desperate for a toilet break. But they retain a certain charm that you’ll not find in the bigger towns and cities.
Hiking up Lion’s Head
A popular activity for locals and visitors alike, hiking up Lion’s Head in summer becomes more congested than the N1 at 8 am. The other half of Cape Town, however, myself included, will just get a little shudder deep in their soul when someone suggests a hike up the infernal peak before work.
You can’t really call yourself a South African if you haven’t sworn at a taxi at least a few times in your life, but they remain an important part of the country’s transport system, making for quite a love-hate relationship with commuters.