Tag Archives: johannesburg

getting my poker on. proving more lucrative than freelance.

Rei, Rei’s copywriter Justin and i mooched on over to Jody’s quaint seapoint palacio to play poker on thursday night. the night began with chips and beer, peaked at imported butter biscuits with chocolate on them and shuddered to a climax with bags of woolies gum sweets and some coke light. the life of the young and the risky.

The flailing neck in the corner is Jody. His contortion followed him mumbling something about a bald spot.

The flailing neck in the corner is Jody. His contortion followed him mumbling something about a bald spot.

things went really well considering it was the first time i played for money. in fact around half way through the evening i was a veritable mogul and the rest of the players were wagering their iMacs, their Flickr Pro accounts and one brave sod offered up a removable hard drive to make up for the fact that they didn’t have any chips left. then i went and did what every overconfident, sugar-rushing poker players does; i started abusing my power and making silly bets that i didn’t even care that much about when i really should have folded until 10 minutes before cutoff time and then forced the remaining chips out of the corners of my dwindling foes. but i didn’t do that – i lost my wealth and my power, miserably. i went all in and came out all out. but it did teach me a few very valuable lessons that i can apply to every day agency life.

Head down, game face on, dignity left at the door. A bit like presenting a concept to a client who doesnt like concepts.

Head down, game face on, dignity left at the door. A bit like presenting a concept to a client who doesn't like concepts.

lesson #1: if you don’t have money to start with, you’re not going to make money. you might make a little money. pussy money. but this is not going to make you rich, and you should keep visualising that wine farmer / applying for a management position / ‘moving into PR’.

lesson #2: once you click how the game works, you will think you own it, and that it’s your bitch. the game, like advertising, is not your bitch. it will lull you into a false sense of confidence in your wildly wonderful creative skills / card flare / luck vibes, but ultimately, you will spend a lot of time beating yourself up for folding before you saw the cards / doubling up the blinds when you were rich / talking like a texan oil baron because that’s the effect money has on you.

lesson #3: the person to your left, whom you call a friend during daylight hours, is fucking you over and cheating you out of your money. i don’t even need to put an advertising spin on that one.

lesson #4: the drunker you can be while playing, the better. sucks for me, since i still haven’t decided on a brand alignment or signed an endorsement deal with an alcopop. 2 cans of coke light down and you get a little jittery. you get annoyed that you have to keep telling the person to the left that it’s their turn. when you tap out your host thinks there’s someone at the door and when he jumps up to answer it, you want to kill him, so you shove a handful of woolies sweets in your mouth and make a resolution not to eat carbs tomorrow. gah!

lesson #5: poker is way better than ad agency-based book club. and i don’t just say this because the king james book club has rejected my application to join them in their naff little meets in the library on fridays. i don’t even want to join their bookclub. i already have a bookclub, even though it’s in jozi, and i hardly get to see them, but i get to watch them on tv because they are so fabulous top billing and the like enjoy following them around. i say this because when we play poker, we all start out as equals, whereas agency bookclub seems to have some sort of strange heirarchy built into it involving a chairman who doesn’t even work at the agency and looks like stephen king. i’m not bitter. i’m just saying.

getting to grips with recent paranormal political activity – please email through any sightings or information you may have

so there’s some sTrAnGe things happening in Southafricaland. Um, basically overnight we’ve got a new president. his name is… er… hang on i have never heard of him before so i need to do some research… Kgalema Motlanthe. yes. that guy. this is what he looks like:

Kgalema Mot-Mot is on the left. The guy on the right is the politician everyone makes fun of the whole time.

Kgalema Molanthe is on the left. The guy on the right is the politician everyone makes fun of the whole time.

first things first, that’s a major mouthful of a name for a president. it doesn’t roll of the tongue the way Mandela or Mbeki does. so he needs a nickname – I’m going to Christen him unofficially as The Mothman Prophecy from now on. because he is a bit like a Mothman Prophecy – he emerged from the deep ANC forest in a way that can only be described as science-fiction / paranormal activity.

this article about him says he digs the Broederbond. FYI, this is like a secret boys club that was a big part of the Apartheid regime. The Mothman Prophecy says he thinks they knew what they were doing. that’s quite weird because i thought we didn’t want things to be like apartheid, but anyhooooo… maybe that is just part of his hotheaded youth.

he also used to be down with that whole weirdness about HIV not causing AIDS… do you think there’s any link between a country who’s ex and current president questions whether HIV causes AIDS and the fact that 1/3 of the country is dying of AIDS? just a question…it says he has changed his Mothmind.

anyway this is a really long article, and even though i am educated it’s taking a lot out of me just to find out who exactly this Mothman Prophecy is, the president of Southafricaland. so i skipped to the end of the article and it says no one has anything bad to say about him in the ANC, and that both the Mbeki peeps and the Zuma ones like him. which is cool. it sucks when no one likes the president. i felt a pang in my heart watching the ANC be mean to thabo mbeki.

Go well Thabo. You should start a new party up with Helen Zille. It can be the United Educated Front.

Hamba kahle Thabo. You should start a new party up with Helen Zille. It can be the United Educated Front.

In my youth I used to be very politically hotblooded, and I might have blogged passionately ALL IN CAPS about What This Means. in my old age though i have calmed down somewhat and am only really concerned with 2 things:

1) how am i going to explain this to all my online friends? (seriously, they won’t understand) and

2) how is this affecting my own personal brand indirectly (ie. I am a Southafricalander, how do people perceive me now)?

i won’t bother with question 1 since that is the purpose of this post, but i will address question 2. the political instability could make people think i am stressed out and unstable, like my country. they could also see me as someone who does things with little regard for other people’s feelings, like my country’s leadership party. to answer my question, i guess it doesn’t affect how people perceive me at all then. although they could also think that i am someone who voted for The Mothman Prophecy, which would remind them of that really bad movie —> just because my President is now The Mothman Prophecy does NOT mean i liked that movie. please understand that nobody voted for The Mothman Prophecy, and he was simply put in front of us like The Rib Burger at Spur and we were told to eat. which is NOT always a bad thing! I’m a person with a taste for life, ok? nom nom rib burger.

**********My Personal Message to The Mothman Prophecy a.k.a. Kgalema Motlanthe a.k.a. The President of Southafricanland****************

Yoh man! Bet last week you didn’t think you were going to be president of the whole of Southafricanland this week? Bet you just thought you’d fit in some golf if the rain let up (which it didn’t – i hear political debates are great on rainy indoor days).

i don’t have much to say but these few humble points:

– everyone’s really nervous right now because no one knows what to believe about the ANC in the media. apparently some people are saying the ANC was behind the plane that never crashed into the pentagon and that an ANC ship crashed at Area 51 back in the 60s. now whatever the truth is, please just be honest with us and don’t do anything dodgy. we’re all just trying to make a life for ourselves and everyone just wants a president we can trust.

– please make smart business decisions. i just had to renew my Flickr Pro account and $25 dollars is a lot more than it used to be. plus i have maxed out my credit card on tinned food just in case there’s a paranormal invasion so you need to help the interest rates go down in whatever way you can. i am aiming to get a new MacBook Pro in December so it would really help if you could help me pay off my credit card so i can fill it up with debt again.

– please take Southafricanland’s brand into consideration when you speak in public. we know that not everyone does this which is why Europe thinks we take showers instead of using condoms and why no one will shake Southafricanlander’s hands at customs when we are going on holiday to Disneyland in Australia.

welcome on board Sir Mothman Prophecy. I hope you like your nickname – i thought it had a regal air about it, as if you are descended from paranormal royalty. i look forward to your reign and hope you will make friends with Helen Zille as her brand is the closest one i can identify with as a young educated lady in Southafricaland. so you guys should do a Crossover Brand Collaboration and in that way you will get access to audiences you never had access to before.

some fine examples of this can be seen in Opel Corsa’s collaboration with Morgan and all sorts of brands on TV at the moment. Also look at what Phillipe Starck and Puma have done together. Adidas and Diesel are making rad jeans love. Just think what you and Helen Zille could do? Maybe a fragrance, just to get things started?

A good fragrance collaboration could boost the South African economy and restore its citizens faith in the leading party.

A good fragrance collaboration could boost the South African economy and restore its citizens faith in the leading party.

Much love and good luck with leading the country and being president and getting the kids under control again. I really do have faith in you.


Love Jozi now online

Love Jozi, a fashion label i’ve been watching for a while is now online. they have a bunch of super cool stuff, ranging from clothing to collaborative wallpaper. i’m a fan.


why people don’t get much done in Cape Town





new IG Jozi office

and it’s this beautiful old house at 52 Bompas Street, Rosebank, near to Fournos bakery. we share it with an ad agency and a production company. very cool since it’s central but still has that working from home feeling, plus a big old oak tree and a pool.



where the cool kids are: south africa

a local version of lastnight’sparty, introducing we-are-awesome.com. flipping rad, ek se.






christmas in jozi, jozi style. hosted by the terminally stylish genevieve melville.












late night server stumbles: grass pics

the way our company works is we have a bunch of trendspotters – we call them ‘grasses’ – who we give cameras to so that they can go take photos of their lives. here are some cool pics i’ve found while doing a bit of work this evening:



“don’t cry we’ll make you a design”


Says an SA Creative Collective that hails from Jozi called TeamUnCool“. here’s some of the stuff they do:


SL cd cover

chinxxx is an electronica dj and producer it would seem (described on the site as OI-LEE – drawing + flash animation + live visuals + kungfu kicks + huggs) and has all these rad pics and gifs on her myspace. worth a peek.


and this is designer / illustrator / sound designer kidu’s I Love Zulu book:


and Chris Saunders who is a photographer:

chris saunders1

chris saunders2

cool stuff i’ve seen around

self-portrait at Johnnie Walker Red Party in Carlton Hotel, Johannesburg.

johnnie walker red party

rad colours found in a parking lot in Groote Schuur hospital in cape town a few years ago on a shoot.

groote schuur parking lot

ring by Olive Green Cat for a friend of mine.

rocket ring

3 cities, 3 flights, 2 days

snapshots from a whirwind brainstorm tour of joburg, pretoria and durban. also, proof it’s possible to get jet lag in one timezone. will upload more from the pics once i get them from Nosisi.

durban airport spur

spur at durban airport. to me, spur embodies that feeling of beginning or ending a journey.

nosisi pretoria

tourbuddy nosisi. she used to be the singer in Kwani Experience.

driving joburg

somewhere along jan smuts going into town. and below, nelson mandela bridge. i love taking driving shots.

nelson mandela bridge

below is kulula’s camo plane, as we landed in durban. it got the passengers in my plane all talking and gawking.

kulula camo plane

after our session we went to Society in Florida rd in durban and had some drinks and danced a bit. good times. here’s Lavanya, Timmy and Nosisi. and then there’s me and Lavanya in the bathroom

society lav tim nos

bathroom society

cool stuff i’ve seen around


sneaker goodness, old pic of mine from a shoot. shoes and legs belonged to Leannie, the stylist onĀ  set.

wolf shirt

wolf shirt! i want to start a wolf shirt picture collection, send me yours if you have any. this was in a strange little bar in pretoria on my first night in joburg.

pokemon shoes

emma brought these back from topshop in london, but they didn’t fit her so she was giving them away. sadly they didn’t fit me either.


another rad thing from the design files of my friends jean and stuart, this giant rubber duck was floating in their pool at their housewarming, also from @Home. it doesn’t look giant but it’s big, trust me.

cupcake friday – courtesy of Ash

thank you so much to one of our super grasses – Ashley Crosson – who totally surprised us by firstly, rocking up at the Cape Town office a few fridays ago (she lives in Jozi) and secondly, bringing us branded IG cupcakes, which she missioned to take with her on the airplane for us.

amazing ash

polkadot packaging




dan all over his box

ian gets modest

you are amazing ash. thank you from all of us.

Ash got the cupcakes from a bakery in Jozi called LoveSome, who have been featured in Cosmo, Elle and Food & Home. Click here to find out more.