“Can you cook?” a politician asked me a few days ago. I considered saying yes but realised the truth would be easily established if he decided to invite himself to dinner. I cannot be bothered to fake cooking skills — or anything else for that matter. My inability to conjure up spicy marvels in the kitchen is just one of the things that conflicts with the stereotype of who I am supposed to be. Recently I bumped into a schoolteacher of mine. The conversation did not go well — nothing like the heart-warming stories most people tell about their encounters with their old teachers. “Oh hello. I thought you would be locked up by now,” he said. “What? What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked. “Nothing … I saw you on TV the other day … at the [Zondo] commission.” “I’m reporting on it, not appearing as an accused in state capture,” I scowled. “I know. Still …” he trailed off. It would be mortifying if I had been a conformist in a House of Delegates education system in the apartheid state. Bein...

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