A Taxonomy of Youth Culture in Cape Town

This piece deciphers the Mothers City’s Cliques, analyzing the Yuppies, the Hipsters, the Poppies and the Zef riffraff, so you may know where to place yourself – or not to place yourself.

“A Taxonomy of Youth Culture in Cape Town” is formerly known as my “Cape Town Cliques, A battle of sub-cultures” – and you may find it all at the bottom of this blog.

It has since been published by Matador Network.

Here is the Link:

http://matadornetwork.com/life/a-taxonomy-of-youth-culture-in-cape-town/

Cape Town Cliques

Cape Town Cliques

CAMPS BAY: The YUPPIE

The Yuppie is a cut-throat creature. Systematic in his plans, strategic in his thoughts and mechanical in his actions. This corporate soldier has his life mapped out for him by age 18 when he decides to become a student of commerce. The number-crunching Yuppie only takes calculated risks. They are notorious lovers of quality, luxury, inflated societal status and the dollar bill. With an overbearingly materialistic definition of success, they are the envy of every poor man and every failed creative.

     Yuppie Checklist

  • Drink Scotch on the rocks in a tumbler even though you’re under 32
  • Socialize predominantly with colleagues and contemporaries
  • Your conversations should involve weighing up McKinsey, Goldman Sachs and Investec
  • Be annoyed at administrative and managerial banalities
  • Go to gym at least every second day
  • Aspire to own an Armani suit
  • Make Suits your favourite TV series
  • Secretly envision owning property in Camps Bay
  • Find yourelf a sleek bachelor pad in the city centre
  • Watch the stock market and feel hardcore doing it
  • If you’re of colour, scramble for those BEE positions
  • Haul yourself up that rope to become CEO
  • When you get there, give money to charity in order to secure tax rebate
  • When your conscience wakes up, venture into social entrepreneurship

So remember to take your chances out there kids: high risk, high returns. But don’t worry, it’s not like UCT’s signature commerce course is saturated with over 800 students, almost half of whom drop out every year.What does the world really need? Another accountant.

BELLVILLE: The ZEF

The Mother City’s population of Zef finds itself in Bellville. Just as Joburg has its Zef population in Benoni, Bellville’s clique of CY number-plated jollers do NOT take five years to get dressed in the morning. With mal sound systems in their vehicles, it doesn’t matter what music is playing as long as it has lekker bass. With their 6 by 9 speakers and their YMCMB caps, the zef riffraff don’t associate with the Poppies and the Hipsters. Fok hulle laanies – they sturvy – wanna come keep them kwaai here.

If you didn’t know this, the phenomenon of Zef is a white trash appropriation of the phenonemon of Gam (For the laanies, Gam refers to the crassest stream of Coloured culture). Interesting fact: Die Antwoord stole Gam lingo and made it famous with their fancy record label. Anyway, enough intellectualizing, this is how you join the counter-culture.

    Zef Checklist

  • Your wardrobe should contain at least one Ed Hardy item
  • Conceal your eyes behind aviator Ray Bans
  • Drown your weekends in Klipdrfit and Coke
  • Refuse to drink anything without ice
  • Shop at Chinatown
  • Live with your parents as long as possible
  • Own at least five hoodies
  • Have a Premiere League scarf
  • Baby’s on Fire is your favourite song at the moment
  • Make sure that you cannot see Table Mountain from your house
  • Spend your very limited cash on modifying your car
  • Mow the lawn in your boxer shorts
  • Go to the shop in a vest and slippers
  • Read The Voice
  • Party in Edward Street

And you will be Zef. Is ja. Lastly, race is of no consequence to the Zef sub-culture. But if you don’t understand Afrikaans, you might wanna consider picking it up along the way. AWEH!

Bellville’s finest in his element. Papa wag vir jou.

OBSERVATORY: The HIPSTER

Now the hipster may be the opposite of a poppie, but they, too, take their time in putting together an outfit. Their most important locations include Observatory, the CBD and Woodstock. Should this appeal to you, it is non-negotiable that you appear creative and aloof at all times. But don’t let this scare you: you do not actually have to be talented. Nontheless, there’s more to this clique than simply buying an iPhone and installing Instagram. 

Hipster checklist:

  • Ball-breaking skinny jeans are an essential
  • So is a packet of roll-your-own tobacco
  • Complement this with a supply of rizzlers and filters
  • Acquaint yourself with marginal music. The Black Keys don’t quite cut it anymore.
  • Frequent the old biscuit mill 
  • Splurge at vintage sales
  • Develop a jaded anti-establishment ideology
  • But make sure you have no practical solutions
  • Read Nietszche
  • Have an entourage of privileged deviants
  • Claim to have a B.A. degree under your belt – you don’t really need to pass
  • Own a Ramones T-shirt
  • Look androgenous if you’re a male
  • Construct well-justified prejudices against commercial nightclubs
  • Deny that you know what 169 Long Street is

And you’re in. Most importantly, never look like you’re trying. But when no-one’s looking, make sure that your hair is just scruffy enough to be appealing. Don a wool cap and a leather jacket and off to Obs you go.

 

The eccentric beauty with a cigarette between her fingertips

CLAREMONT: The POPPIE

The Poppie is one of my favourite species. She is likely to be discovered in Rondebosch in a tight dress and high heels on UCT’s main campus. And let it be known, that if she is your choice of clique, you are bound to a life of glamour. You will dance to David Guetta and smile at the R60 cover fee at Tiger Tiger. This is how you do it.  

Poppie checklist:

  • Own at least three wardrobes
  • Get hair-extenstions that flow all the way down to your breasts
  • Manicure those nails
  • Date a guy who studied BComm
  • Sip only on cocktails and Smirnoff Spins
  • Invest in self-tan if you’re light of shade
  • Shop at Zara
  • Read Cosmopolitan
  • Party in Claremont
  • Become an expert with a GHD
  • Preferably study a Marketing degree
  • Be familiar with the characters of Jersey Shore
  • Develop an appreciation for Justin Bieber

And there you go. Cape Town’s very own Poppie. Not hard to achieve. Just a drag to maintain.

The glamour girl in her glory days

Vanity under Table Mountain

Cape Town’s elitist sub-cultures consist of hipsters, poppies, yuppies and zef riffraff. And yes, they are all equally exclusive. I am here to map this out for you. If you’re slightly confused as to what these things are, all will be revealed, dissected and deciphered for your entertainment. Whether you smoke hand-rolled Golden Virginia in skinny jeans or listen to YMCMB on your gevaarlike 6 by 9’s, there is a place for you in the Mother City. The Mother of all Cliques: high-heeled glamour sluts, hopeful actors, aspiring models, stoned artists, young executives, proud Coloureds, BEE-opportunists – all walk a road of broken dreams longer than the N1 highway. I will merely lay out the options. If you haven’t already done so, choose your favourite brand of vanity under Table Mountain as I guide you through my sub-culture map of Cape Town.