“I eat pussy to survive”

You know you’ve reached the pinnacle of journalism when the front-page headline on your newspaper reads “I eat pussy to survive”.

The story is a lot more harrowing then you would imagine, a family in the notorious Cape flats kill, cook and eat cats and dogs in order to survive.

The story came about after the paper learned of a protest due to take place here in Cape Town against the eating of cats and dogs as a delicacy in other countries.

The Voice’s editor wanted to get the other side of the story, the people who must eat them just to live. Later when he learned that just six people showed up to the protest he was literally bouncing up and down the newsroom with delight.

But this is what the Daily Voice is about, hard hitting news that both enthrals and appals the reader. The “pussy” headline and story did just that.

Down in the sports department there’s a bit less controversy and I’ve been working on some good stories this week.

I did a phone interview with South African cricketer Charl Langeveldt who is back in the international test squad following his controversial withdrawal last year.

The story of the spin bowler’s departure is a long one but – like most sporting controversies in South Africa – is race related. A day doesn’t go by at the sports desk without a conversation about the undercurrent of racism in rugby and cricket in this country.

Langeveldt did his best to deflect my questions about conflicts with Proteas (the South African cricket team’s nickname) coach Mickey Arthur and captain Graham Smith but the interview was a decent one and made the next day’s edition.

I also took in local rugby side Western Province’s training session ahead of their Currie Cup clash with the Blue Bulls, the best side in the southern hemisphere.

Afterwards we went to a press conference with coach Allister Coetzee and captain Luke Watson who himself was the subject of a race related controversy with the national side not so long ago.

My second week at the Voice has surpassed the first in terms of enjoyment but I won’t be there for much longer. In a bid to escape the office I’ve switched to something completely different for my last full week in Cape Town.

Next week I’m going to be working at a nursery in a local township, one of the poorest areas in the city. I’ll be looking after local children during the day in a building that the volunteer group I’m with helped to build.

As much as the journalism experience has benefitted me this is an opportunity to do something I may never get a chance to do again and give a little bit back to a country that has given so much to me this past fortnight.

This blog can also be read at Click Liverpool along with other stories from my South African adventure.

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