All posts in Writings

Lunatic perfectionism!

            Jeez, there are some shit bands. Don’t get me wrong, any band is a worthwhile exercise. You get to have more fun than adults should be allowed to have, you get to express yourself and ideally entertain some other people. But most of them are actually […]

The People Behind the Street Names

[This piece first appeared in True Love magazine.] By Hagen Engler As our young democracy grows into a vibrant, multicultural society, it’s crucial to remain aware of the contribution made by those who came before us. South African street name policy is that only in exceptional cases will a street […]

Wonderboom: The Santana Sessions

Wonderboom are the Rolling Stones of South Africa. Their unbroken career rocking the country stretches back to 1996. So this year they’re building up to their 20th year in the game. To mark the occasion, the rock legends are re-recording several of their classic tracks and filming videos. The project is called […]

Racist Rehab

This is an excerpt from my book Marrying Black Girls For Guys Who Aren’t Black (2013). It is my contention that we are all racists, here in South Africa. It is the national pastime. And it is worth understanding that you can certainly be a racist without realising it. While explicitly not wanting […]

Robin Auld – That Warm-Blooded Thing

Master musician Robin Auld is a storyteller too. He has also served his time as a pop star, rock star, shop assistant, local hero, guitar shredder, mystery expat troubadour, surfing waterman and more. He is also a white South African from the coastal provinces, so his musical and lyrical output reflects those cultural […]

Bacon, I think we were scared of you…

In the old days, before Lorraine Primary built the new section, the school was basically just a quad with classrooms running around it. The kindergarten classes were in a wing running off the one side, and the headmaster’s office opposite that. So it was really like a big capital A. […]

Shifty Records 30th Birthday Show

By Hagen Engler When Shifty Records was originally making its contribution to South African history, it might not have seemed so glorious. Sure, it was brave, and for the time it was visionary. But I imagine there was a lot of pretty unromantic, musos-in-a-studio type of stuff. Sound checks. Driving […]

The Collaborators

Despite being populated by independent stand-up artists, the vibrant SA comedy scene is rife with collaboration. That has been the key to its success. This piece first appeared in Wanted magazine By Hagen Engler The Late Nite News brainstorm room at the Diprente offices in Braamfontein is an intense place. […]