One of the advantages of being born in 1960, has been that the decades have coincided exactly with my own growth, upbringing and life, neatly packaged in bite-sized, 10-year parcels.
While I prefer not to dwell at length on the past, it often provides some insight into who I have become, and what I might turn out like in the future. Ones heroes and role-models say much for the person you are, and often provide a humorous look at what one was like.
I’ve always had a hero, and a “reserve” hero. I found this necessary in case the hero fell out of favour, or did something stupid like Jacob (kanga) Zuma. In the 60’s my heroes were Superman and Neil Armstrong. I dreamt of flying and looking down at mere mortals as I winged my way to new adventures.
During the 70’s my thoughts turned to girls and how to attract them. Music and movies were my refuge and my hero during this era was John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. The white jacket that glowed under the ultra violet lights was mesmerising. My reserve was Barry Sheene, the 500c World Motorcycle champion.
The 80’s were all about greed and power. My hero was Michael Douglas for his role as the “Master of the Universe”, corporate raider, Gordon Gekko. I also envied Sol Kerzner for his business savvy, as well as the fact that he was married to the babe, Anneline Kriel.
The 90’s was definitely Nelson Mandela, who saved my neck in what could have been a rather ugly end to the apartheid party, and Bill Gates who proved that geeks rule the world and that jocks end up selling socks !!!
This decade has thrown up some unilkely candidates, but I must go with Mark Shuttleworth (another geek with a serious amount of brains and money) and my favourite columnist from the Sunday Times, David Bullard, who some thug decided to shoot “for fun” during an armed robbery at his house on Wednesday evening. Anybody who can say, “fuck off, you’re not having anything,” to someone pointing a loaded gun at their head is really my sort of guy. Luckily he lived to chirp another day, with the bullet missing vital organs and lodging in his abdomen.