Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bang Bang Club

This morning I took Sophia in for a major service in preparation for our Sani Pass adventure in three weeks time. While I was at the Vespa workshop I notice this Vespa above. It is been built for a chap that is wheelchair bound. He can easily wheel his wheels onto the ramp, hop over onto the Vespa and scoot away. Very impressed I was.

Later in the evening, I went with a group of friends to the South African premiere of the Bang Bang Club. It was a great evening spent with friends watching a movie that just portrayed the times so vividly. So far it is the closest of any movie that I've seen that just tells what happened as I remembered. The movie is based on the lives of four South African photographers, Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich, Ken Oosterbroek, and João Silva during the apartheid years just after the release of Nelson Mandela.

As I remember there was a lot of violence and instability in the townships and in the cities during this time as different groups were jockeying for power. It was a sad and uncertain time for many of us South Africans. Whites were fleeing the country or were thinking of it.In the townships violence was everywhere. I can even remember were I was as I watched the News video showing Ken getting killed by the Peace Keepers.

Only two members of the Bang Bang Club survive today, Greg and João. Last year João lost both his legs in an landmine explosion while on patrol with US soldiers in Afghanistan. While watching the movie this evening, I was thinking about João and this Vespa with the wheelchair sidecar. If you haven't seen the movie and are not squeamish, then this is the movie you need to watch to understand what a miracle the 1994 elections were and what could have been.

3 comments: said...

Cool photo and great post.

Bob Priest said...

I have a good friend with MS here in Bali where Vespas are prevalent. He want me to help orchestrate the build of a sidecar like this one, Where can I find out more information on who built it and how it was done? Thanks - Bob

Jerome West said...

Hi there, Vespa South Africa did the build. Email Louw at Send the link of this page to jog his memory.

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