The Number One diaries

harper2 e1362997147782 The Number One diaries

It’s Friday. The Croc and I are hammering along the road from Isipingo to Umlazi. Number One is in town. We’ve spent the morning between waiting for him to land and running around Folweni after the Commander in Chief. The elections might be in May but he’s already at it. For the Croc, it’s moneyshot time.

Mgqumeni’s scratching away. Thando. The Croc’s been a big fan since he shot Sibusiso Gcabashe’s Lazarus gig. And his Dead Man Walking’s dive from the dock after his con fell apart. I’m also bitten. That’s what thousands of clicks with only one unscratched MP3 can do.

All of a sudden there’s this rooster crowing between the guitar chords. It gets louder. I’m baffled. I haven’t been at the medicinal marijuana. The Croc looks at me strangely. He can heart it too. I check the back seat of the Golf. Nothing. Not a feather. The Croc kills the system. The crowing continues. Then the penny drops.

Earlier in the day we’re hanging at this garage in Isipingo. Filing early takes for online. This cat come wandering up to us with a beer tray covered in Bantams. One rooster and a good couple of hens. Made from wire and feathers. Chickenman tells the Croc: ‘’Clap your hands.’’

The Croc complies. The rooster starts crowing. So do the hens. The Croc’s like a kid at Christmas. All grins. He starts haggling with the cat. Croc’s a Durbanite after all. Two for the price of one and couple of shots. Chickenman’s game. The Croc gets his Bantams.

Filing gets done. Croc’s poultry ends up forgotten in the boot. We hit the road. Relatively hard. Turns out, the rooster has a need for speed. As we hit 80, he starts crowing.

And doesn’t stop. For the rest of the day. After each Number One gig, the rooster gets going. It gets maddening. Especially after we miss the Stanger turn-off on the way to his final gig that night. We end up in Mandeni and some backroads navigation ends badly. We miss Number One’s last gig for the night.

The others were edgy affairs. The Commander in Chief has brought back Mshini Wam’ for the elections. There’s lots of “remember who freed you”. Remember who gave who a toilet. Me and my members, not those dogs. Nice. Looks like it’s gonna be that kinda election.

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