Shit (some) South Africans say

When the ubiquitous “Shit (People) Say” meme was still popular, and after seeing the genuinely funny Shit Nigerians Say video, I thought about making a video myself about shit South Africans say. Then I saw that someone had beaten me to it. Watching it, I literally laughed out loud, but for all the wrong reasons. The rest of the time I was mostly just cringing.

The most obvious critique (besides the fact that there is almost no comedic or satirical value) is that the video is called “Shit South Africans Say” and yet it should have been called “Shit some English-speaking White South Africans say.” The only Black guy in the video is the one who the lead male character said was “checking him skeef” (that is, looked at him funny).

This blatant error would have been forgiveable if it wasn’t made by an actual commercial production company, Mercury Productions, whose clients include Levis, Coca Cola and The City of Copenhagen. Surely they could have come up with something that was a little more representative and funny. If not, they could have at least named the video in a way that doesn’t propose that all South Africans sound like a relatively small portion portion of the population. Somebody should let Mercury Productions know that there are Black people in South Africa too (besides the “bergies” or homeless people they refer to in the video). South African film has a long history of exclusion, and it’s really frustrating to see this being carried forward into the Youtube age. But then this is South Africa.

However, I found this low-fi DIY video made by two young girls who call themselves KK and MM. Despite the poor production values, it’s a lot funnier, and way more genuine. It’s also a lot more aware of shared South African experiences that cross race and class barriers. There is still hope:

Comments

comments

Dylan Valley

My DVDs weigh a ton. Capetonian in Johannesburg. Also Film and Video Editor at Africa is a Country.

9 Comments
  1. I thought I recognised the ‘actress’… it’s Tessa Jubber of such gems as Backstage, Binnelanders and, um, Cavegirl. According to IMDB she will star as an “air hostess” in the upcoming chronicle “Winnie”, on the life of the Mandela’s: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1339181/

    I guess it’s only up from here…

  2. I love the shit people say to other people videos, I can’t believe people really say those things to other people. The second video is much funny and accesiable to people outside of South Africa unlike the first video I guess you’d have to be a white South African to understand fully. The world has a long way to go before real equality can exist.

  3. Hi, My sister made this video,
    the point was to do just one perspective of south african people (this one being white)
    so that if it does well enough she can do other clips focusing on other people in our country.
    We have so many different languages and cultures its impossible to get it all in there, so rather do more videos.

  4. The “shit south africans say” video featured in this post is a direct (unsuccessful) copy the original “shit south africans say” by a youtuber called Casper Lee (his account name is dicasp).

    1. Actually it isn’t, Casper posted his on youtube before this one but my sisters script was written weeks before he posted his video. Its a popular meme, of course more than one person is going to make this kind of video.

  5. U need to understand how difficult it was for me to include all south african cultures into a single 2 minute video made for a young non south african audience.

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