To gawk or not to gawk when you're at the urinal next to Mike Tyson

South Africans used to be cool about seeing random celebrities, but that was a long time ago - and it definitely wasn't me

12 July 2020 - 00:00 By

I remember a time, not too long ago, when the average South African did not seem to be affected by the presence of celebrity. For the longest time folks in this country seemed either too proud or too sophisticated to mob anyone because they were famous.

Sometime around 1999 I was at Louis Botha Airport in the south of Durban when none other than soul crooner Luther Vandross just happened to glide by. After I was done gathering my bottom jaw off the floor, I looked around at the other travellers, airport staff and general loiterers to confirm I was not seeing things. There were a plethora of bottom jaws scraping the floor amid plenty of pointing and whispers of, "Is that really him?"..

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