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Humour

6 new South African stereotypes - are you one of them?

With our tongues firmly in our cheeks, we've invented quirky sub-species of South Africans to spot next time you're people watching

01 October 2017 - 00:00 By Yolisa Mkele
The wannabe Instaceleb, the Anorak and the Bryanston.
The wannabe Instaceleb, the Anorak and the Bryanston.
Image: Keith Tamkei
Wannabe Instacelebs tend to congregate at rooftop parties.
Wannabe Instacelebs tend to congregate at rooftop parties.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE WANNABE INSTACELEB

If you are lucky enough to roll in glitzy circles you will probably have come across some folks spending an inordinate amount of time pouting at a camera. They are usually flanked by a small clique of less-good-looking friends who serve as photographers and the production crew for impromptu photo shoots. The thing is, you're not quite sure what this person does and neither is anyone else at the party.

What they're likely to look like: pretty, overdressed, immensely concerned about something while posing.

Where they hang out: Maboneng, rooftops and media events.

What they listen to: PartyNextDoor, Travis Scott and whatever else is deemed cool in the mainstream hip-hop and R&B scene.

Books they always quote: whichever celebrity most recently release an autobiography.

Drink of choice: high-end brand-name cocktails that they are sure to order loudly, for example, "A double Inverroche and tonic".

Most likely to say: "Does this filter make me look fat?"

The Anorak's closet is filled with plaid shirts.
The Anorak's closet is filled with plaid shirts.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE ANORAK

This is a person who knows way too much about one particular subject and is far too willing to lecture anyone who asks about it in excruciating detail. Their most common iterations are those of beekeeper, classic car enthusiast and craft beer brewer and they can be most easily spotted by the look of suicidal boredom on the face of whoever they are talking to.

What they're likely to look like: bespectacled, bearded and mildly dishevelled.

Where they hang out: artisanal breweries and anywhere that welcomes plaid shirts.

What they listen to: folk music and Metallica.

Book they always quote: an idiots' guide to beekeeping/beer brewing/whatever their speciality.

Drink of choice: anything that was lovingly crafted by a bearded man on a nearby farm.

Most likely to say: no one really knows, one tunes out after 20 seconds.

The Bryanston will typically have a thick private-school accent.
The Bryanston will typically have a thick private-school accent.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE BRYANSTON

The affluent Johannesburg suburb is not the only place to find them, but it does seem to boast an unusually high concentration of this type of person. They sport thick private-school accents and are alumni of schools where a vial of blood and induction into the Freemasons are required for entry. Everyone in their social circle, except their coke dealer, is wealthy and they really like dogs.

What they're likely to look like: a gym membership brought to life by hair products, tight clothes and generational wealth.

Where they hang out: places that would use the word "glam" to characterise themselves in neighbourhoods that let just enough of "them" in to seem edgy but not so much that their upbringing forces them to start slinging false accusations.

What they listen to: EDM, whatever pop music complements cocaine.

Books they always quote: self-help books by billionaires or people in marketing.

Drink of choice: tequila.

Most likely to say: something about how lazy poor people are.

The Problematic One tends to hang out by the braai at parties.
The Problematic One tends to hang out by the braai at parties.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE PROBLEMATIC ONE

Everyone knows at least one of these people. They're folks who believe they're confronting "uncomfortable truths" and battling the rising tide of political correctness, but are really just making everyone uncomfortable by preaching from their deeply offensive soapboxes.

What they're likely to look like: early 30s and beyond, with a tinge of smugness and a dress sense that suggests comfort.

Where they hang out: you can usually find them lurking in a backyard somewhere near the braai stand, ready to pounce on someone with their take on what's wrong with society today.

What they listen to: country music, R Kelly, anything involving a banjo or harmonica, vast amounts of early-to-mid-'90s rap, and classical music.

Book they always quote: Long Walk to Freedom, Martin Luther King jnr's "I have a Dream" speech, an article they read on Facebook.

Drink of choice: the tears of "libtards".

Most likely to say: something about the "good old days", casually drop the f-word (not fu*k), or explain at length how he/she has nothing against them but ...

The Non-Gender Binary Woke has a quirky sense of style.
The Non-Gender Binary Woke has a quirky sense of style.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE NON-GENDER BINARY WOKE

The anathema to the problematic one, this person is so woke that they quote revolutionary African leaders to describe the weather. They are ostensibly well-read and will make sure you know it with a magniloquent flurry of big words and decolonised concepts. Be careful, they catch fire easily.

What they are likely to look like: alternative. There will be a haircut that needed a fair amount of instruction to achieve and clothes that would make your grandmother scratch her head.

Where they hang out: Braamfontein, universities, fancy coffee shops and anywhere hosting djembe-drum-backed slam poetry sessions.

What they listen to: Kendrick Lamar, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, Fela and Femi Kuti, and Mos Def on nostalgic days.

Books they always quote: anything written by Frantz Fanon, Steve Biko, Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral, bell hooks.

Drink of choice: non-binary transgender beer (yes, that is a real thing), red wine by Tall Horse.

Most likely to say: a lot. Primarily about how your preference for Manchester United as opposed to Orlando Pirates is a direct result of neo-colonial capitalist forces infecting you with the deeply patriarchal self-loathing that is typical of cis-het men.

The Loud Sports Bro tends to shoot his mouth off.
The Loud Sports Bro tends to shoot his mouth off.
Image: Keith Tamkei

THE LOUD SPORTS BRO

One of humankind's most perilous social situations is finding oneself at the epicentre of a sports bro-nado. This is when the opinions of a flock of loud sports bros collide in a small space to create chaos. Is Romelu Lukaku a donkey? Was Pieter de Villiers a better coach than Jake White? None of these questions will be definitively answered, but you and all your neighbours will marvel at the noise that three men and a TV can make.

What they're likely to look like: an out-of-shape affiliate of whatever team they support.

Where they hang out: living rooms and pubs.

What they listen to: SuperSport Blitz.

Books they always quote: their favourite players' sports biographies.

Drink of choice: vast amounts of beer.

Most likely to say: "The ref is a bloody communist!"

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