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Rural sex bomb's hilarious pursuit of stardom

By unknown | Oct 31, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Book: Miss Kwa Kwa

Book: Miss Kwa Kwa

Author: Stephen Simm

Publisher: Jacana

Reviewer: Itumeleng Motuba

It has been a while since I read a South African book this funny. I almost got stomach cramps, I was laughing so hard. This book gave me hope for South African literature.

It all revolves around the life of Palesa. She lives in the fictional village of Kwa Kwa and has won a beauty pageant and the crown of the 11th Miss Kwa Kwa. She comes across as the boldest girl ever and she's bright.

Her plan is to get out of Kwa Kwa and go to Johannesburg, where she will start her acting career. She finds it difficult, though, to get out of the small town and hit the big time.

Then there is Mr Dippenaar, the leading businessman in town. He is a regte boer: he has a farm, owns shops and is responsible for staging the Miss Kwa Kwa pageant.

Palesa weaves her web around this sexually starved white man, who has a secret fetish for this voluptuous, ebony-skinned woman. Palesa takes advantage of his fetish and Dippenaar eventually falls in love with her.

TV's Special Assignment tells the story of how she won the Miss Kwa Kwa title - and later Palesa gives the show a juicier story, marking the beginning of her new life and the end of Dippenaar's.

Then, voila - she is in Johannesburg. The only problem is that she now has to prove herself.

She finds a television job, presenting a kids' programme, Kwa Kwa Kids. On her first show, which is broadcast live, she starts campaigning for more jobs, which results in her being fired. After that, she has to struggle, using her charm and her looks.

What I love about the book is that it raises social and political issues with fabulous satirical humour.

I love Palesa's little lessons for would-be stars, like: "Super Stardom Lesson No. 13: Keep it real. Nobody likes a phoney, except on Top Billing, apparently."

Little gems like this are dropped throughout the book and give it life.

Miss Kwa Kwa is a must-have. She is the girl we all think we know, but actually we have no idea who she really is.

Go on, go get it: it's well worth it.


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