Old Spice: Humble pie for naysayers | memeburn


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Old Spice: Humble pie for naysayers | memeburn

We recently featured an article about the massively popular Old Spice social media campaign. In the article I sung the praises of this campaign like a 10-year-old, braces-sporting teenage girl commenting on the latest Justin Bieber music video. I was a fawning fanboy of the Wieden + Kennedy executed campaign. In the article I stated that I would “do a swan dive into a hot tub” if the campaign hadn’t boosted sales.

As with any popular campaign you’ll immediately draw out the naysayers, the hype heathens and the old media mavens who desperately don’t want to believe that this nerdy new media platform can deliver real world results.


40 Ton Whale Bodyslams Yacht


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This Southern Right Whale off the coast of Cape Town reckons "Jou ma se BP!" and body slams a yacht.

A visit to Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope


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Last night Kassie and I were privileged to visit the girls at Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope. Thanks to Jayne Davies, who introduced me to Home of Hope. A bit of background: Jayne is mom to Tanya (Kassie's best mate). Jayne told us about Home of Hope and I said I would volunteer to start a Facebook group and do some social media marketing. So that's how I got involved in the beginning.

I then embarked on my High Five Challenge for Mandela Day, spending 67 minutes giving out Free High Fives (see image gallery HERE). I managed to raise around R3500 for the Home and was truly chuffed with this small contribution that I managed to make.

Jayne then mentioned that she and her family would be going through to Home of Hope last night to make dinner for the girls, and we were invited too. The Home is pretty strict about who gets to visit, since the girls have been in very vulnerable positions, and the Home even performs background checks on visitors, such is the determination to keep these girls safe, many of whom have been victims of human trafficking and child prostitution.

The "Home" is situated in Berea-Hillbrow, a stone's through from the famous Ponte building. The girls occupy two flats. One they use for sleeping with 24 bunk beds, and the other they use as a living area. The living flat is located on the [redacted] floor and you'll have to take stairs as pretty much none of these buildings have lifts that work. The sleeping flat is on the [redacted] floor.*

* Removed the floor numbers just in case

I was a little nervous about driving into the area, especially since I had Kassie with me, but you can't be too precious about these things. Just because I live in Sunninghill and I'm white does not mean that stepping a foot into Hillbrow will immediately put a cross-hair on my back. I also, despite not being religious or spiritual, somehow believe that doing something good gives you some form of immunity. Nevertheless, this is their reality and I wanted to see what it was like.

We parked outside on the street and climbed the stairs to the flat. The building isn't in horrific shape, but certainly isn't in good shape. Walking in to the flat, we are met by the 50 girls, including about six babies and toddlers. We get a wonderful welcome as Jayne tells them that I'm the High Five Guy and started their Facebook group. Such a feeling of warmth and happiness and buzz at this place. Jayne and her daughters have been there since half past four preparing "chicken a'la king" for the girls. We got there at 18h00.

We cook a massive 5Kgs of rice in a pot on the stove. Only two of the plates on the stove work. They have a new stove, but the plug doesn't work (Any electricians out there?). The rice cooks in a big pot on the two hot plates. We must turn the pot regularly to distribute the heat evenly. We cook the chicken on a two plate portable "stove" on the floor in the lounge.

We've given the girls a task of making "Dream Diaries". We've got pens, glitters, stars, glue, scissors and plenty magazines. The girls are asked to create "Dream Diaries" for themselves, where they write down their hopes and dreams, cutting out pictures of where they see themselves and where they want to be. It's a really positive message for them and hopefully these dreams can manifest in their lives. They are SO bright and clever. I saw a 10-year old doing homework... from a Tolstoy novel! The girls LOVED the Dream Diaries exercise and they all made pretty books and covered them. Some wrote about being doctors or teachers and one 16-year old is adamant that she will be a pilot.

Dinner took three and a half hours to prepare. 5kg of rice is a mission to cook! And we're cooking for 50. Remember this is one flat, one tiny kitchen, one bathroom, for 50 girls. They have a TV, which was only switched on after dinner and then 3 fold up tables and plastic chairs where the girls do their homework and eat dinner.

They don't even have enough cutlery. You'll see girls sharing plastic forks. The vibe is happy, warm and filled with camaraderie and love. It is one HUGE happy family. The girls are impeccably behaved, polite, friendly and very clever.

The girls asked me to help with some homework. One look at the maths and I ran off to fetch Kassie (senior bookkeeper and more numerically minded than I will ever be). Kassie got roped into accounting homework, while I managed to help with Grade 6 maths (after Kass showed me how to do it). The girls loved showing us their good marks. Ten out of ten on most tests! Wow!

Dinner turned out great, luckily. We were a bit nervous that we had totally stuffed up the rice, but it was delicious and we all ate heartily. We followed it up with ice-cream!

We left at about 21h00, but we really felt like we were at home and could have stayed longer. When we said goodbye, we got some extra special hugs from some of the girls who clearly enjoyed our visit. It really affects you and you can't help but get a lump in your throat.

It's impossible to describe how grateful we are for our blessed lives. These girls have endured absolute hell and they still smile. They don't even have hot water, or a microwave, or a DVD player, let alone a fully functional stove and oven. They do, however, have each other, and Mam' Khanyi the founder, as well as the other "mothers" that look after them. True angels!

They stole our hearts and we are determined not to make this a once off thing. I think our lives are now permanently intertwined.

We can't stop thinking of ways to improve their lives. Although they still need so much in their current place of living, the MOST IMPORTANT thing right now is getting them out of there.

Please go to the FB group and read under the Discussion tab, as well as look at the photos (or read THIS post). We've found a new spot for them where they will have FOUR kitchens, more bedrooms, a place to play, live and call a real HOME! Once this place is owned by Home of Hope they will also qualify for a government grant of R700 per person per month. Unfortunately, the screwy law states that they must own the property to qualify and currently they only own one of the flats in Hillbrow, and rent the other.

So please can anyone help in any way:

Account Name: Berea-Hillbrow Home of Hope
Bank: ABSA
Branch: 74 Market Street
Account Number: 405 319 3353

Tel: +27 11 331- 4466
Fax: +27 11 331- 4467
Cell: 073 250 2086
NPO Registration #:019 – 857

It's really heartwarming and humbling to be able to see that whatever small gesture you make goes directly into helping 50 human beings escape the clutches of hell on earth. You may be only one person, but you can impact the lives of these 50 people in such a fundamental and profound way. It is personally rewarding beyond measure.

Guillaume Nery base jumping at Dean's Blue Hole


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This is such an inspiring video. Just love it. Epitomizes living life to the full. Just leap! :)

How the Troupant got its name


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upantEnglish Name: Lilac-Breasted Roller
Afrikaans Name: Gewone Troupant
Latin Name: Coracias caudatus
Setswana Name: Letlêrêtlêrê
Zulu Name: iFefe
German Name: Gabelracke
Portuguese Name: Rolieiro-de-peito-lils
French Name: Rollier longs brins
Dutch Name: Vorkstaartscharrelaar

The Lilac-breasted Roller is one of the most gorgeous birds on the planet, with colours reminiscent of a unicorn's regurgitation.  It has a Roberts number of 447 and you will find a full description of the bird on page 169 and also a picture of the Lilac-breasted Roller on page 192.

A bit about the Roller from this website:

The washed green head is large, the neck is short, the greenish yellow legs are rather short and the feet are small. The beak is arched and hooked-tipped. The tail is narrow and of medium length. The shoulder of the wing, outer webs of the flight feathers and the rump are all violet. The base of the primaries and their coverts are pale greenish blue and the outer tail feathers are elongated and blackish. The chin is white, shading to rich lilac of the breast. The underparts are greenish blue. The bill is black and the eyes are brown.The sexes are alike in colouration.

Rollers get their name from their impressive courtship flight, a fast, shallow dive from considerable elevation with a rolling or fast rocking motion, accompanied by loud raucous calls. Its flight display shows the bird flying upwards 10 metres, and then falling with closed wings, gaining in speed by flapping. Flying very fast, it rolls to the right and left four or five times in a couple of seconds, and it sweeps again with closed wings, losing speed and repeats the roll.

Their call is a loud harsh squawk ('zaaak'). They are partly migratory, but in some areas they are sedentary. They are territorial, also defending temporary small feeding territories. They drive off many species from near their nest hole, even after breeding.

Lilac-breasted Roller performs a wonderful courtship flight, with fast and shallow dive from very high elevation, with rolling or fast rocking motion. It actually breeds “on the wing”. All rollers appear to be monogamous and highly territorial.

The Lilac-breasted Roller nests in natural cavities in trees, or in termite hills. It may use woodpecker’s and kingfisher’s holes. The nest is unlined. Female lays two to four white eggs. Incubation lasts about 22 to 24 days, by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defense of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. At nineteen days the chicks are fully feathered and grayish brown.


Lilac Breasted Rollers inhabit acacia country with well spaced trees, rolling bushy game lands, riverside areas and cultivated land, but they do not associate with human habitation.

The Lilac Breasted Roller feeds on grasshoppers, beetles, occasionally lizards, crabs, and small amphibians. Lilac-breasted Roller perches on dead trees to survey the area, searching for prey. It also preys on animals fleeing from bush fires. To feed, it swoops down from a high perch close to the prey, and as it eats the insect on the ground, or it returns to its perch to batter it before swallowing it whole.

In Culture

In African lore, the Lilac-breasted roller is the bird of peace and reconciliation. The beautiful ‘bird of the sun’. The Lilac-breasted roller was often sacrificed by kings who were making peace. One of these little birds was taken and its throat was cut with a battle spear, which was thus purified of evil and sanctified with the blood of the ‘bird of the sun.’ The spear was ceremoniously broken by the two kings and buried in a hole and then the bird was buried on top of this spear and thus peace was made.

But why Troupant?
This is the story that I have heard on many a bird drive, but I can't seem to find any documentation to back it up. The reason the Roller is called a Troupant in Afrikaans is that it's a corruption of the word: Trouband, or in English: Wedding Ring.

The story goes that young men wanting to get married will harvest the sticky gum from the Leadwood tree (Combretum imberbe), for example. They will find an appropriate dead branch, where Roller's often sit, and will place a "bolletjie" or wad of this gum on the branch. When next a Roller sits on the branch his feet get stuck and he is effectively trapped. The man then catches the Roller. He will remove a stunning blue feather from the bird. This feather is then offered to the bride-to-be and is wrapped around her finger. The blue from the feather will stain her finger.

So, apparently, according to game ranger legend and tale, this is how the Lilac-Breasted Roller came to be called the Gewone Troupant in Afrikaans.

Do any of you have anyway of corroborating this story? Please post comments. It's a great story, but I'd like to know if its just a yarn or if it really is a cultural practice. How else would it get the name Troupant, unless it is somehow related to wedding ceremonies?

Some stunning pics by Callie De Wet:

Old Spice guy and his viral media coup are social media game-changers | memeburn


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Old Spice guy and his viral media coup are social media game-changers | memeburn

My latest article on Memeburn and by far the most entertaining.

When Old Spice is mentioned it is practically synonymous with that stuff you bought your dad on Fathers’ Day. A traditional, old-fashioned, classic eau de cologne. A stagnant brand, relegated to the nostalgic shelf.

That perception is on the brink of doom as Old Spice’s latest marketing campaign has lifted the bar on e-marketing, changing the way we execute social media campaigns forever.

Click the link above to read the full story :)

MY99 - Easy, affordable websites


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A good mate of mine (Andrew Sanders) recently launched his own company called {MY99}. It's a brilliant concept and I wish him great success. Simply put, you get a website for R99 per month! Yup, that's it.

No catch! You get your own website (within 10 days) for only R99 per month and you don't even need to sign a contract.

It just went live this week, so get in there before the rush. Ten days from now you could have your website!


  1. Free hosting
  2. Free domain registration (.co.za)
  3. Free support
  4. 10 Free Email addresses
  5. They do everything
  6. They guide you step-by-step on how to put up your content
  7. Your brand new website will be up and running in 10 days
  8. R99 per month
  9. No hidden costs... Know exactly for what you're paying
  10. Image, Audio, Video and Gig guide Add-ons available to enhance your site 

Such a cool idea! So if you're in need of a website, or were toying around with getting one, then here's your opportunity. He's just launched, so there may be a few bugs to iron out and he's going to be adding more and more templates as he goes along, but go check it out. If you know of anyone looking to get a website, please refer them to {MY99}.

I've developed a few sites with Andrew (My friend Sonja's B&B site for example - http://www.villabotanica.co.za - basic site, but it serves her purpose) and he's a fantastic web developer, so I know {MY99} is gonna do well. Honestly, the prices people are charging to develop websites is astronomical. Here's the solution to all that.

PS: I'm not getting any kickbacks :) so this is an honest and unsolicited opinion.

What do you think of the idea? 

Africa. My sweetie. My darling.


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Tjovitjo! Fuck it. I don't know what that really means, but I'll say it nonetheless. Heita! Hola magents! Shap shap! uGrand! uGrand grand! Ayoba!

Am I some isiphukuphuku mlungu attempting to get down with the lingo? Could I be trying to shake off my white guilt by attempting to pick up the street slang or the lingua franca of the masses? From an outsider's point of view, maybe. Yes, I'm a white man in Africa. Not exactly a new thing is it? The pale race has been stomping around here for centuries. We stole it from them, they stole it from those guys, they were here first, we came after them...


I'm a white man in Africa and I love it.

I don't need to quote grandiose presidential speeches that proclaim: "I am an African!" It would be an insult to me to infer otherwise. I understand that my so-called heritage, blatantly betrayed by the colour of my skin, is in fact European. So what? I'm pale. I'm white. But I am African. To the core.

I'll tell you why I'm African.

It's in my blood. It seethes through my spine. Every breath I take is the air of Africa. Every morning I wake, it is to the sounds of Africa. Every sunrise I witness, every sunset I admire. Every blade of grass I bend; every grain of sand I disturb, is African. I was born African. We were ALL born African (study your anthropology/archeology/evolution you idiots!).

There is an absurd, magical magnetism to Africa. Perhaps, as a so-called interloper, I feel this even more than most? Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe I'm finally home. Home to a place that some of the self-appointed indigenous people take for granted. I'm 3rd generation South African. I am African to the very marrow of my bones. Perhaps my pioneering forefathers were simply coming home? Drawn by this mystical magnetism that is Mother Africa.

Beyond any other anthropological discovery, this is the home of humanity. It belongs to all of us. Its beauty. Its enthralling embrace is nothing but the welcoming arms of a Mother. Shit went down.

If you care to study the history, just take a look at Mfecane - The Crushing. The less said the better. Apartheid? Yeah, same shit, different race.

You can't OWN Africa (Caveat: nín hǎo to my Asian brothers and sisters).

Africa OWNS you.

There's an acronym that has distinguished itself from the swarm of acronyms in this world and it is: T.I.A. This Is Africa. Some try and make it disparaging and accompany it with a shrug and the usual Afro-pessimism. Fuck you!

T.I.A means This Is Africa.

When you're standing on the balcony of your Llandudno Villa staring at the African sun casting pastels over a silvery-sheened ocean, maybe you should consider what is so BAD about this place? When you're on a game drive and the silence is deafening, but suddenly punctuated by the deep roar of a male lion... perhaps then you should consider why this is such a BAD place? When you're lazing in your hammock, contemplating the awe-inspiring sight of a clear Milky Way, maybe then you should consider why this is such a terrible place to live?

When you pull up at a petrol (gas) station and someone fills your tank, checks your oil and washes your windscreen... perhaps THEN you should think about the green, green grass of Ireland? When you're only earning a middle income and your domestic servant and gardener rock up at your pad to make sure your life is as comfortable as possible (after travelling 3 hours via public transport at 5AM)... yeah, maybe that's a good time to think about how blessed you are to live in this paradise?

When you're spending 8 hours a day moaning on Facebook about how it's impossible for a white man to get a job, while you're supposed to be doing yours... well, then, that's just a perfect time to whine? When you're driving in your luxury car (alone) on your way to an exclusive gym, while listening to your iPod... yeah, why not whine and complain about your terrible life?

The problem with my race - and the entitled classes - is that they can't see past their privileges. They have absolutely NO idea about their fellow man, let alone how to associate, empathise and connect with their fellow man.

They are ungrateful.

They do not count their blessings.

They most definitely don't realise that they are African.

Next time someone says T.I.A. as if it's a curse.. please bitchslap them. Make them count their blessings on each finger.

Africa is not for pussies. If you want to live a "first world" existence, with a mommy-coddling state where everything "works" and life is just clockwork peachy, then go there. Really! Africa is not for sissies. It's a wild, unadulterated, raw, beautiful, awe-inspiring place. If you can't handle it, if you can't count your blessings, if you can't live without your fucking iPad, if you can't survive one night, alone, in the African bush... then go to where you feel your heart belongs.

My heart, my soul... is African. It is within the people. All of them, whomever chooses to call themselves African. Anyone who sets foot on this continent and when they leave, they leave a piece of themselves behind. That is the power of Africa. I never want to leave a piece of myself behind. My soul is African. It is within the very soil under your feet. It flows in the rivers and the breeze off the ocean.

I am African.

Feel it. It's always been here.

PS: If Europe calls, tell them I've gone native.

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