Friday, August 20, 2010

"Zanzibar o Zanzibar"

Ettiene Le Roux was one of the most influential and also controversial South-African writers and a key member of the “Sestigers” literary movement. His work often contained mythological elements and he specifically had a weird fascination with dwarfs and the goddess Isis. Le Roux was silent for 4 years before Magersfontein O Magersfontein saw the light which contained very few of the fascinating creatures of his earlier works. The novel plays off in Magersfontein where in December 1899, Generaal Cronje and De La Rey defeated the British troops during the Black Week of the Second Boer War.

So what does any of this have to do with Zanzibar? ABSOLUTELY nothing, except for the one fact that because of the content of the novel and the way in which it differed from his earlier works, Magersfontein O Magersfontein needs to be pronounced with a certain type of melancholic, yet authoritive voice…well, at least in my mind! Something like the infamous, speculating Hamlet quote “Do be, or not to be”… “Magersfontein o Magerfontein”…get it? And THAT is how “Zanzibar O Zanzibar” should be uttered. For no other reason than I think it is the right way to do it! This most exotic, most alluring, most magical island conjures up so much emotion, a little nostalgia and a hint of respect is required.  So, after the above useless piece of information…all together now…”Zanzibar O Zanzibar”…sigh…

I spent a glorious two days with friends at the Tanzanite Beach Resort in Nungwi, right in the north of the island. The beautiful and bizarre elements that made up the weekend ranged from (claimed) Rohypnol infused trances, camp fires, Lady Gaga (not the real deal), snorkeling in the bluest water imaginable, Cinderella losing her shoe in the ocean and Prince Charming failing miserably to find it, a fish braai on the beach, MC Hammer, sea urchins, Osama freakishly appearing in a lighter, mini breads and off course Konyagi - the drink, not the cat.

Back in Dar life resumes as normal and it is good. But I do think longingly about the island of slaves, spices and sunsets..."Zanibar O Zanzibar"...



  1. Keep these experiences close to your heart, you are going to need them in the future.

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