Aakash Bramdeo is a former colleague from e.tv news who moved on to the SABC before being offered the editorship of Post in Durban — which was the newspaper which published my first story back in 1980. Before accepting the job, Aakash picked my brain as to what he could do to make the paper relevant to a wider readership. "Get a columnist who reflects the audience you're trying to attract," I said.

Shortly after accepting the position of editor, Aakash called me and asked, "when can you start?"

"View from the Top" ran in Post every week from 1 May 2011 to 9 April 2014 (which coincided with Aakash's departure from Post to edit the Sunday Tribune).

Toss a coin . . . and a cripple walks!

6 February 2013

A guy comes up to my car window with a large garbage bag tied around his neck. He pauses and looks entreatingly in my direction. He then moves his hand to his mouth presumably to indicate hunger (although in Italy, the same expression generally translates to "what the f… are you doing?"). He then clasps his hands together and does a half-hearted curtsy.

Is there some kind of begging school somewhere that teaches guys this stuff?

How are eggs yo(l)ked to Easter?

3 April 2013

Did you ever stop to wonder why Christmas is always on 25 December but Easter is kind of a moving target? In 2011, Easter fell on 24 April. Last year, it fell on 8 April. This year, it fell on 31 March. Next year, it falls on 20 April…

This thought process kicked in when I was tiptoeing around my home late on Saturday hiding Easter eggs for my soon-to-be 6 year old daughter to find in the morning.

The Iron Lady showed her mettle

10 April 2013

On June 16, 1989, London newspaper The Guardian published a report under the headline "Thatcher 'in plan to force Pretoria deal'".

The substance of that report, strenuously denied by the ANC at the time, subsequently proved to be correct. The process that would lead to the Nelson Mandela's release from prison barely seven months later had already begun.

It's the amazing thing about history – what one believes is true at the time later turns out to be idealist naiveté.