Northcliff Corner — the now grotty face-brick shopping mall that has lurked at the intersection of Milner Ave and Beyers Naudé Drive in Johannesburg since forever — was, for a (white) child in the 1980s, a pretty nifty place. There was a Milky Lane. There was a putt-putt golf course. You could go to the FNB ATM and flash your own Bob-T bank card. You’d eat the best jam doughnuts in the world at Café Albrecht, and you could blow all your pocket money on a BA Baracus jewellery set at the Hobby Horse toy shop. At some point, from about 1987, there was a Steers — and for as long as I can remember there were at least two video stores within 300m of that mall of pleasure in the pre-M-Net era of home entertainment. It was a simple time and we had simple tastes. Flash forward to 2018, and in my family not much has changed. But everything else has: after M-Net came DStv, then Showmax and Naspers’s fiendish assault on the video store of my youth — BoxOffice — and finally Netflix. That is how ...

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