Escape plans, prenups and pointing fingers: Ndumiso Ngcobo’s top read columns

Three chuckle-worthy reads from one of our most popular writers

20 July 2021 - 13:19
Ndumiso Ngcobo is one of the Sunday Times' most popular columnists.
Ndumiso Ngcobo is one of the Sunday Times' most popular columnists.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

Each week, Ndumiso Ngcobo tickles the nation’s funny bone with the witty column he writes for the Sunday Times Lifestyle supplement.

In case you missed them, here are Ngcobo’s top read columns from the past three months:

Take me away to anywhere but here

I’m writing this on Wednesday July 14 2021. Today is my daughter’s birthday. I’m at my mother’s house in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. My daughter is hardly 15 minutes away, in Sherwood. Getting to her is a bit tricky.

There are burly, hairy and exceedingly angry men blocking Old Main Road in Botha’s Hill. Last night they had six or seven women lying face-first on the ground, next to a van laden with plasma televisions. All the women had been stripped naked. In freezing 5°C weather.

I was told by the commanders of the roadblock that these were looting proceeds. Frankly speaking, I wanted one of those plasma TVs, but hey, I don’t have R20,000 lying around. And I have no reason to doubt the word of these straight-shooting, responsible citizens. They spoke very good English.

As I drove down the winding road towards KwaPhothwe Hardware (or Valley Trading, as it is called now), I had an epiphany. I actually don’t want to be here right now. SA. And no, I don’t think there’s a better place to be. But borders are closed. And from what I hear, things are worse in my preferred destination within the borders of SA: Pongola on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Read the full column here

My prenup fantasies have been stoked by Bill Gates

Every human romantic relationship has three phases: the beginning, the middle and the end. This is why it boggles the mind that so few of us bother with prenuptial agreements.

I know I’ll have been married for 17 years this August, but I want my prenuptial agreement now. I was pondering this as details started emerging around Bill and Melinda Gates’ split, after 27 years.

I couldn’t be bothered about how they divide their R2-trillion fortune. That won’t change the temperature of my Castle Lager after 45 minutes in the freezer. I’m far more interested in the fact that Bill had the foresight and audacity to negotiate a clause allowing him an annual getaway with his ex-girlfriend! Or, as I like to think of her, the wife he didn’t marry.

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Image: Aardwolf

I’ve never been impressed with Bill before. The 12-zeros gap between us aside, I have not thought he was any better than me. Now, he could start the Church of Gates and I would forsake my Sunday morning sleep-in to serve at the altar of Microsoftlanding.

Why did I not think of this myself? It has taken me all 17 years of my marriage to negotiate my right to not take a bath on Sundays when, back at the ranch, that unforgivably geeky son of a Window has been jet-skiing with his concubine in the Mediterranean!

This revelation has given me the cojones I needed to renegotiate the terms of my own belated prenuptial. Or is that a postnuptial? Wait, that has a past tense ring to it. My during-nuptial maybe?

Read the full column here

South Africans love wagging a finger (or raising the middle one) to others

On my way to a meeting, I am using GPS to get to my destination. Following the instruction of the Waze lady, I turn into a road and drive up. About 200m in, I am met by an avalanche of vehicles coming at me. The first car is driven by a hulk of a bearded fellow. Confused, I duck into a driveway to let them go by. As it happens, the driveway leads into a complex he wants to go into.

He gets out of his vehicle and spews an angry rant that would have rivalled “that” rant by Game of Thrones’ Khal Drogo, complete with chest thumping. I calmly point out that I hadn’t noticed the “No entry between 1.30 and 2.30” school sign at the bottom of the street because I was concentrating on the Waze prompts.

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Image: Aardwolf

Seeing as I can neither go forward nor back, I sit there until he is done. After promising to burn down my entire village and mount all the women there, he gets back into his car and, wonder of wonders, drives comfortably into his complex.

Of course, none of this matters as much as the fact that I made a mistake and broke a rule. But the incident did get me thinking about the average South African’s stock response to being berated by fellow citizens for breaking societal rules.

Read the full column here


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