Skip to main content

Airlines and Business Class

Flying business class. 

Let’s call it first class because airlines have no proof that passengers are travelling on business.  Maybe the destination is gigabyte fun masked as business, at the company’s expense.  Worse still, the business might be political, travelling to overthrow an unsuspecting government.

I once had a taste of flying first class.  To tell the truth, I was upgraded from economy.  I don’t know how that works but I can’t describe my joy.   I was going back home after a disastrous business trip in Birmingham, U.K.  The air stewardess showed me a seat at the front of the plane.  I did a double take on the ticket and yes indeed, the seat number was in first class.

I put my carry-on  luggage in the overhead bin and organised myself.  I was fastening the seat belt when glasses of champagne and orange juice materialized before me.  The juice was definitely freshly squeezed because of the pulp.  I’m a great pulp fan.  I took a sip and looked at the economy neighbours trooping past first class to take their seats behind the blue curtain.
I finally uncovered the behind the iron curtain, no, blue curtain secrets.  The menu.  The stewardess brought a menu so that I could order dinner.  Sorry, no chicken or fish question in this side of town.  Linen.  Crisp white napkins, just like mama’s.  Hiding inside the napkins was gleaming cutlery, just like mama’s. 

I also enjoyed the real estate.  There were only three of us in the row, not long semi-detached houses like Coronation Street, the British television series. Leg room.  My legs could not believe it.  They were not forced to behave. They had room to breathe.
Most of all, airlines don’t paste UPGRADED PASSENGER stickers on your forehead.  I could get used to this pampering in the clouds.

By:  Nonqaba waka Msimang.


Popular posts from this blog

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Black Panther Casting

Chadwick Boseman sure looks like a younger John Kani in Black Panther.That is why the movie won the Best Casting category in my little awards.  Envelope please!

Kani plays King T’Chaka.Boseman is T’Challa, his son.What a striking resemblance.It reminds me of my arrival in New York City some years ago.I used to stare at African Americans because they looked like a cousin, uncle, neighbour, teacher, friend, doctor or someone on the bus. Sure, we learnt about slavery at school, how slave traders stole Africans and how internal wars between chiefs also led to humans being taken to another continent in chains. But being in America, seeing people who look like your world, in Africa, was painful.

“Death is better than bondage.” That is what one character said in Black Panther.Was it Erik Killmonger?I’m not sure but I will double check when I go back.Yes, again.The movie is a cinematic buffet.Don’t talk with your mouth full, as mama would say. We gave the film the Best Casting category for other…

Riyadh and The Hollywood Screenplay

Black Panther is going to be part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s entertainment history on the 18th of April 2018, when Saudis go back to school.Delete that, make it go back to movie theatres.

It will be the first film, adult Saudis will see after 35 years without popcorn.Public cinema was banned because the country believed that it corrupted the mind. No doubt Black Panther’s gala opening in Riyadh will be attended by the rich and religious, but women will not be wearing gowns that show top and bottom flesh.It’s haram (forbidden). They will be wearing the abaya khalijia and make-up will be picture perfect under the head cover known as the shayla.

It is back to the cinema for Saudi Arabia, but it is also a wake-up call for producers.It is not business as usual in terms of the screenplay.Hollywood and Netflix should throw out the tired dialogue and come up with something original that will be enjoyed by the whole world, across racial, cultural and religious lines. Black Panther, directed…