Pseudopod 173: Bophuthatswana

By Lavie Tidhar

Read by Elan Ressel, voice actor for hire through

It was just before the referendum, when white people voted on giving black people the right to vote. The skies were clear, the African sun was hot on my young face, and the wild scent of earth, of renewal, was in everything. All the Stop signs had F.W. sprayed on them. Stop F.W. Stop De Klerk.

Eugène Terre’Blanche was king.

I watched the Boer Nation on TV. Eugène, big and red-faced, a barrel of beer full of righteous White-Christian indignation. Eugène and his boys. I watched the bombs flower over Johannesburg in brilliant reds and yellows, fire and blood. Eugène and his boys valiantly rode to battle with pipe-bombs and guns, and I watched it on television. I felt like I was locked up, bound within the confines of the house, the garden, the walls, the barbed wire.

A quick primer on Afrikaans slang:

bankie – a bank coin bag, or bag of similar size, in which marijuana is sold (i.e., a dimebag)
dagga – marijuana (pronounced Dacha — the gg is the sound in Spanish J or hebrew Chet)
lekker – good, excellent
moer – to beat brutally
moffie – homosexual (slur)
jol – fun, good time
kaffir – a black south African (slur)
voetsek – go away; get lost; fuck off
tokoloshe – spectre/gremlin (orig. Zulu mythology)

Edit: Listener André Vermaak wrote in regarding the above slurs to emphasize that they are possibly more offensive than any used in American slang.