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Friendzone: Sibusiso Nkomo

Picture a warm  New Year's eve in Cape Town where you'd spent the entire day chilling and drinking wine with friends and gatecrashing people's parties only to remember that someone in the (step) Mother City had actually invited you to a "red cup" party.

Yep, that was me, last year.

But I eventually made it to the "red cup" party where my friends had taken the matra "party like a journalist" and multiplied it by 100. Because in that red cup, is the most lethal punch I have ever had a party. Like ever. But it was so delicious. Damn. Think, drunk people everywhere. It was hilarious like a scene from American Pie or something.

So, of course, I had more than one cup.

Which explains why I think I am hugging Sbu, in the picture below, but I may have been strangling my poor friend. I don't like taking pictures that much, not especially drunken ones, but this one always makes me smile.

Sbu and I (like many of my Cape Town friends) met in 2010 while doing an internship at Independent Newspapers' Cadet School (hence the name of this blog, by the way, it just grew a life of its own after outgrowing it's usefulness for Cadet School purposes).

When I met him and found out that he grew up in Joburg, I wasn't convinced that we'd hit it off. It was only when we started talking and debating during our internship that we hit it off. Like me, he has a really dry sense of humour and he loves to read.

I remember how he actually followed the news, not out of duty because he was a budding journalist, but because he was really interested in the world and how things were connected. I think he got me to look at things I found boring at the time - politics and business - a bit differently and for that I am eternally grateful as all of that is coming in handy, five years later.

Although we were both from outside of Cape Town, we made it into the Cadet School as Cape Town candidates because we'd been based there by the time the cadet school started.

When the other interns went back to different cities outside Cape Town, Sbu, Michelle, Wendyl and I became a tight clique. The shadowy picture above is one I took while we chilled on Michelle's balcony probably drinking and bitching about work, our messy love lives and who knows what else.

What I love the most about Sbu is that he is the kind of friend who is there when you need him. He always knows. I don't know how.

We now live in different cities and he is always out of the country but whenever we chill, all those months melt away and the dry sense of humour kick in and its like 2010 all over again.

And did I mention that he has the best voice ever? like ever? Ok. Now you know.


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Five Questions with Neo Maditla

First published on

Neo Maditla is Editor in Chief of Design Indaba online, South Africa's leading design and creativity platform. features some of the best talent on the African continent and from around the globe. Not only is Neo passionate about African art, but she's also a seasoned writer with experience in print, TV and online. We just had to have her on the Rise Art Prize panel for Africa and the Middle East.

1. What’s your favourite art gallery?
I love the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. It has a massive collection and I always go there, alone or with friends, and I just spend hours on end looking through the work. It's located in massive public park where one can go for a picnic, visit the restaurant or even take a stroll down Government Avenue so see the monument commissioned by Design Indaba in honour of Archbishop Tutu called Arch for Arch.
Cape Town's Iziko South African National Gallery.
2. What’s your favourite …