I had to make another dreaded trip to OR TAMBO International Airport today, to pick up one of my son’s mates who arrived from the UK. I always dread these trips to the airport as I never know what to expect along the R21 Route from Pretoria. If all goes well the trip usually takes approximately 40 minutes, but if you encounter traffic problems then it can easily take 2 hours to get to the airport.
Nevertheless, things went pretty smoothly this morning, until I walked into the waiting zone for international arrivals, at Terminal A. I was greeted by a rather rowdy bunch of blacks waving placards, dancing, and jubilantly shouting slogans in a language I don’t understand and probably never will, - no matter how hard I try. To the left of the rowdy bunch of blacks stood a contingency, consisting of about 30 uniformed black police officers, who appeared to be monitoring the spectacle. The entire lot, the cops and the noisy bunch, completely blocked the view near the entrance.
Although I had no idea what the commotion was all about, I did experience some amusing moments while watching the passengers from Air France enter the noisy African scene. Some of the expressions on the faces of those Frenchman were hilarious! The entire mob eventually left the building, making an ear-splitting commotion in the process, in typical Xhosa-style. I overheard someone saying that it was the ANC Youth League who were welcoming Miss Teen Universe. I overheard another chap say, “well she could definitely not have been white!”
Later, while I was waiting in the queue at the pay station, where the airport commits daylight robbery at R30 per hour, I was greeted by another commotion. An elderly lady with a English-cockney accent seemed quite upset because the machine was refusing to return her ticket and also her change. “Bloedy hell, thoes is bloedy daylight bloedy robbery. What, ninety bloedy rand?” There was a help button on the machine, but when it was pressed an automatic voice simply said, “please be patient, we are busy!” The voice kept on repeating that same phrase for about 10 minutes. By then the queue behind me had doubled in length. I tried remaining calm by repeating the phrase, “This Is Africa – This Is Africa” silently in my head! My thoughts were interrupted when an Indian fellow standing directly behind me said, “This Is Africa!” He was probably reading my thoughts!
About five security guards, standing near the pay station with their hands in their pockets, thought that the whole malema-dilemma at the pay station was one big fat joke. Although I do not understand their dialogue, I do read body language. I eventually approached them and asked for assistance. “You must go to the office,” a man told me. “Where is the office?” I asked. In a typical no-care attitude he simply said, ‘that way,” and lifted his chin slightly in the general direction, keeping his hands in his pockets. The ‘office’ seemed quite some distance away so I decided to wait at the pay station, hoping for some miracle to happen. It was quite obvious that security personnel were not going to allow anyone to leave the parking area without paying first. The problem at the pay station was finally resolved about 30 minutes later. The machine refused to give me R20 change, but I wasn’t going to hang around for one minute longer.
This evening I decided to google Miss Teen Universe. Sure enough, a 16 year old lady by the name of Chante Jantjies from South Africa is the new Miss Teenager Universe 2010. She was crowned at the finale held on October 17th in San Jose, Costa Rica, where over 30 countries participated. She was also Miss South Africa Teen in 2009.
The press release by the President of the ANC Youth League, inviting the media to welcome Miss Teen Universe at OR Tambo airport, can be viewed here.
The punchline is that Chante Jantjies attends Lyttleton Manor High School in Centurion, the same school I attended between the years 1973 to 1977, when it was still an all-white school. Click here for more details concerning Chante Jantjies.