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Coconut Kelz: BEE(tch), please! How to be a madam

By Book Extract Time of article published Sep 10, 2019

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Coconut Kelz is a young Caucasian woman trapped in a black woman’s body. Kelz lives in and tries to never leave Sandton and is a staunch member of the DA.

With handy tips for how to achieve the white right standard of beauty, deal with your family in the lalis, pick the best suburb to live in and nab yourself a white guy, Kelz offers a complete guide to a full Causasian conversion.

Through the mask of her character Coconut Kelz, whose apparent adoration of all things white has riled up many an unsuspecting viewer of her online videos, Lesego Tlhabi speaks straight to the heart of this country’s strong residue of prejudice, framing potent truths to incredibly funny effect.

BEE(tch), please! How to be a madam:

In life, there will be several moments when you’ll realise you were born to be a boss. If you are white, this will happen at birth; depending on whether you are English or Afrikaans, you will be boss or the more prestigious baas.

If you are not white, however, this will be something that you will have to practise as part of the programme to lead you up to and through the pearly gates on Mount Caucacity.

As with most goals mentioned in this guide, becoming a boss is achievable but not always easy. As some black rapper probably said, “It pays the cost to be da boss!”, which I suppose can be translated as, you have to sacrifice in order to achieve significance.

For instance, there will be moments when you will have to be quite harsh to people around you but who said it was easy to achieve boss status?

As with most things in life, there are different categories of bosshood, so I will discuss how to be a boss both at home and at work. Let’s first look at how to be the boss at home.

The first thing you are going to need here is staff. Now, the wonderful thing is that staff are no longer limited to visibly white people.

Even the darker-hued citizens of our country have invested in someone to clean for them.

The thing that makes this type of labour so necessary is that we live such busy lives. Even those of you who are lucky to be home executives (previously known as housewives) will be doing yoga, shopping or supervising the gardener.

Having staff is your right. After all, this is what we fought for as a nation. The right to exploit human beings for our own comfort.

Now, when you are on the hunt for your very own sisi, you must try to find one with a backstory that is desperate enough for you not have to pay her a fair wage, but not so desperate that she steals from you.

Obviously, nanny cam will take care of any suspicions you might have; so you become either an amazing detective who saved her own belongings, or a weird voyeur with a feather-duster fetish.

Where was I? Ah yes, finding your very own sisi. The best places to look are in your friends’ little black books (the books are not necessarily black, although they can be, but the “black” here refers to the service providers).

The second-best place to look is at bus depots. My favourite is Park Station. I am way too aware of crime in our cities to go myself, but I will send a driver or my ghetto cousin to go scout for me.

She also knows more languages than I do so she can approach them and explain what we are looking for and are offering.

This is a good thing to keep in mind, by the way. Even though you want to escape the black hole that was your upbringing, there are a few key people from your past who will prove to be assets, so you should keep them around.

Mostly, they speak English well, went to a former model C school and have some kind of job so that you know they are not there to tshontsha (steal from) you. They must also be family, so that there is a bit of an obligation to hang out with each other.

Another place to look for a new maid, helper or domestic worker, as these overly politically correct agents want you to call them - I mean, it doesn’t change the fact that we are going to continue to underpay them so much so that their work could be confused for slave labour, but yes, let us focus on what we call them. Honestly, you guys!

Anyway, you can also look for your sisi in the homes or phonebooks of your friends - poaching is perfectly fine. It’s not like they’ll recognise them when they come over anyway.

We don’t look staff in the eye: so that they always remember their place, and to prevent familiarity. Cleaning is usually genetic, so when you have found one, keep close to her family so that should she die or just get lazy, you can lahla her (throw her away) and get her sister or daughter to come fill her incompetent shoes.

Okay, so now you have hired her. “Where will she live?” you may ask yourself.

There are two answers, depending on your tax bracket. The first option is that she will live in a very small room at the back of your huge property.

We call this the servant’s quarters (because “slave quarters” has more of an American ring to it: #LocaliseIt). She may have a child or two whom you allow to live there. This gives you the opportunity to take them to school, which will make you feel better about the fact that you pay their mom close to nothing.

She dare complain, though, because you have let her stay (in a room probably bigger than her shack) and nothing will stop you from enjoying your moment of feeling pretty damn generous. Hello! Free board!

Having someone live in a small room at the back of your property also comes in handy in the event of a break-in.

Of course, since you will lock the burglar bars and gates of the main house, you will literally have nothing to fear. Either her screams will alert you and you will still have time to get away, or the thieves will get so distracted by taking her stuff, they won’t even get to you . . . So, it goes without saying that you should stock up her room with unnecessary but crime-attracting items.

The second option is for her to commute. This depends on where she is from and/or how resourceful she is.

My last sisi was from Zimbabwe, so commuting wasn’t an option. That is, until we totes introduced her to one of our security guards and they hit it off (helpful Cupid tip: maids love gardeners and security guards, and vice versa).

Now she is living somewhere that still makes her late for work, but at least keeps her off the property until I can build that trust, which will probably be never.

The only thing about the commuting girls is they rarely arrive on time and have oh so many excuses for why they are late with my sunrise cuppa.

Without it, I am a stress ball and she knows it, so why she won’t wake up earlier, I don’t know. Almost like she doesn’t appreciate this amazing opportunity. Anyway, her disciplinary hearing is next week and good luck to her!

Coconut Kelz’s Guide to Surviving this S***hole is published by Jonathan Ball publishers and costs R195.

About the Author:

Lesego Tlhabi is the comedian behind the satirical character Coconut Kelz. Lesego completed a BA (Honours) in theatre at Brunel University London, UK, in 2014.

The previous year she obtained a diploma in musical theatre from the New York Film Academy and a diploma in TV writing from Columbia University.

She works as a content producer and scriptwriter for a variety of entertainment news shows and reality competition shows, including V-Entertainment and All Access Mzansi. She writes and shoots all the Coconut Kelz videos herself.

The Saturday Star

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