TBR: Fast & Furious

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RULE 1: Have a reliable pit-crew. Punctuality and communication are key.

“I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself,” Ferdinand Porsche.

Racing cars is not just sport, it’s become integrated into South African culture ever since I can remember.ย My first experience of racing? Sitting around and waiting for my parents to get off medical duty at race circuits around South Africa. I was only 7 years old and had no idea that one day I would be one of those women screaming, sighing and laughing nervously in the pits. My parents often shared their worst-case-scenarios of quadriplegics, stabbed jugulars and cindered off body hair… It was normal at our family dinners.

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RULE 2: Have a reliable car. Drive it with passion!

“Everyone in life is looking for a certain rush. Racing is where I get mine,” John Troutmann.

Ironically, my boyfriend’s favourite hobby is building and racing cars. His team? Team Beer Racing (TBR). Don’t get the wrong idea… It’s so much more than just a bunch of guys drinking and talking cars, it’s a brotherhood.

You risk your life at the hands of others. While one is great at giving advice, another is great with his hands and another with the wiring. It’s intricate. It’s time-consuming. But, best of all, it’s self-made.

After weeks of late nights and hassling our neighbours with loud grinding noises as well as early morning revving, my boyfriend’s car was ready for the African Endurance Series at Kyalami, 9 May 2015. 22 years later, all those family dinners flashed back with my nerves.

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RULE 3: Have an amazing support system.

I will never forget that date, as it was etched into our daily lives: “The engine has to be rebuilt… 30 days left,” “Sh*t! The left back tyre is loose… 10 days to go.”

Ladies, I warn you – you must have the patience to share your man with his machine. He will devote most of his free time to it and then come to bed smelling like petrol. Well, it’s okay! Support him with your kindness and smiles. I tried learning some car jargon, but quickly got lost…

Gentlemen, be patient with us women who support you. We are as tired as you, waiting patiently in cold beds… But it’s okay, we love you for your ambition and dedication. True men stick to the their rims!

“A smooth race never made a skillful driver,” Anon.

Kyalami, I thank you for the most stressful, yet adrenaline-packed, two hours of my life
, watching the love of my life at high speed amongst 40 cars. I will never forget the look on his face as the engine was finally finished: surprise. As the car ran: relief and as he finished the race with his partner: ecstasy.

Endurance racing is not really about winning, it’s about finishing. It’s about showing the other guys you did a great job building your car, that the endurance of building such a sweet piece of machinery was worth it.

I thank you, my racer, for allowing me to be your pit-girl but, most importantly, for teaching me the importance of self-discipline and fraternity. I’m so proud of you.

Braamfontein: Joburg’s creative hub

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There’s something magical about Braamfontein, Johannesburg’s creative hub; home to the Joburg Theatre, Neighbourgoods’ Market every Saturday and an array of funky art and coffee shops…

Save the rhino, ink yourself!

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The year 2012 has already exceeded all past records in rhino poaching, with 570 rhinos killed this year alone (as of November) in South Africa, compared to 333 in 2010. The population has plummeted by 90% since the 1970s, with a rhino poached about every 16 hours. Poachers have access to vast resources and are technologically advanced, even using helicopters to track and kill them. The investigative piece done by eTVโ€™s 3rd Degree two weeks ago showed how all members of society could be involved, even game rangers themselves.

rhino tattoo

HELP US: The proposed rhino tattoo that will be launched this Saturday in South Africa, to help save the rhino, by funding anti-poaching units and raising awareness amongst the public. PHOTO: provided

The only solution would be to guard each and every rhino individually, which would cost a lot of money in training guards, setting up night vision, purchasing horses, maintaining specialised vehicles and a helicopter.

Project Rhino describes the situation:

โ€œWhen a country goes into battle they have massive war chests available to them, the war against poachers instead is reliant on an outraged public to get us our funding to take the battle directly to the poachers. We need to get serious and stay serious!โ€

Skintrade tattoos and โ€œSpace for Elephantsโ€ who are co-founders of โ€œProject Rhinoโ€ have put together an initiative that will display the publicโ€™s concern and get people talking, as well as raise the funds necessary for the equipment. โ€œMark of the Rhinoโ€ is a permanent tattoo that will preferably be placed somewhere visible on your body, to get people talking. It will officially be launched this Saturday (1 December).

It is hoped that thousands of people will go through with this initiative, showing that rhino poaching is not an environmental problem but an EPIDEMIC.The Mark of the Rhino ย will be around 6-8 centimetres. It is a silhouetted, tribal-style tattoo of a rhino, designed to represent the black, white and even Sumatran rhino, and a unique code beneath it in Roman numerals. The code will be individualised for every donorโ€™s tattoo.

Along with the tattoo, they will also receive a certificate with their name which will also be placed on the website next to their individual number. Their own names, companyโ€™s name, or a pseudonym can be used. Companies can also buy multiple โ€œmarksโ€ and give them out to suppliers, staff members or customers. Individuals can buy marks for family and friends and it is believed they will make great Christmas gifts: a gift that you canโ€™t lose or break and that will make a difference in the war against poachers.

The mark will cost donors R900 and take around 10 to 15 minutes to get done and will have a lifetime guarantee. It takes around a week to heal and does not require much aftercare.

The โ€œmarkโ€ can be purchased at any Skintrade Tattoosโ€™ shop.They are award winning artists and have done plenty of shows and tattoo conventions, including the BMX World Championships, international tattoo conventions in South Africa, and the Sexpo show, to name but a few. They are located in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, but they will also be doing roadshows around South and Southern Africa. They will be appearing at shopping malls, festivals, fairs and markets in many areas.

Addresses for these shops can be found on the website www.skintrade.co.za and details of the roadshows will be posted there too. It will be launched in the three main cities to start with and rolled out nationally, and then internationally. We have a number of celebrities that are already lining up to get their โ€œmarkโ€ and a lot of the Project Rhino members will be at the launch getting theirs.

Project Rhino believes the war against rhino poachers can and will be won:

โ€œA militant stance towards the poachers themselves, driven and fuelled by public funding and a trained, armed and adequately equipped crew dedicated to this very difficult task, will see the rhino population rebounding within the next few years, provided we ALL participate in the fight in one way or another.โ€

50 Shades of Sexpo South Africa

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The following article was written as a news piece for News24.com… It is therefore very unusual to Chica Papillon’s usual content. Sorry for offending any readers.

Pulse boys

WET WET WET: The Pulse boys from Joburg take to the main stage after dressing up as Baywatch lifeguards. Copyright: Vanessa Smeets

One of South Africaโ€™s most anticipated events, SEXPO (Health, Sexuality and Lifestyle Exhibition), took place this weekend, with thousands of people gathering at Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, to see what 2012 had to offer. Normal tickets cost R199, while VIPs were selling at R299 and included a lucky packet filled with info and a naughty DVD. My friends won tickets, so I was dared to go with them. Shewโ€ฆ

Pulse dancer

LAP DANCE: A lucky audience member is given a personal lap-dance. Copyright: Vanessa Smeets

Interestingly, I spotted more women than men walking around. Also, you canโ€™t help staring at certain couples: a pair was walking around completely naked, while another pair walked around in chains and latex.
The Ladiesโ€™ Lounge was by far the most popular spot for both sexes. The Pulse boys from Joburg gave their version of Magic Mike (the SA Edition), by tearing off their kits (until their thongs) in front of dozens of screaming fans. There was even a blowjob competition, where girls were ordered to ummmโ€ฆ suck a banana. Those too keen broke their bananas several times. Adventurous-looking girls were dragged on to the stage to be given a public lap-dance.

Mark Anthony

SLEEP! World famous hypnotist Mark Anthony unleashes a disgusting smell in audience members’ subconscious, which leaves them reeling. Copyright: Vanessa Smeets

The Pulse boys also took to the main stage, dressed as naughty schoolboys, police officers, lifeguards (to the music of Baywatch) and other delightful female fetishes.
For those a little more conservative, there were aerial artists, hypnotists (including the famous Mark Anthony from Australia), comedians and rollercoaster rides.

Stalls Nasrec Expo Centre

TASTES FOR ALL: The stalls in the main hall catered for all tastes… Copyright: Vanessa Smeets

This year included a Fetish Ball for the first time, inspired by 50 Shades of Greyโ€ฆ With a secluded section sealed off for whipping, lashings and โ€œthose kind ofโ€ piercings.

The main hallโ€™s products included a variety of perfume, hair equipment, gels, creams, naughty outfits, lingerie and new devices. Several stalls, for example, were trying to sell โ€œthe menstrual cup,โ€ which they claim is more environment-friendly than the pad and healthier to use than the tampon. Youโ€™ll have to Google how it works exactlyโ€ฆ

Pricasso

TALENTED: Auzzie Pricasso, the only artist of his kind in the world, entertains audience members with his tough talent. Copyright: Vanessa Smeets

The P*ssy Room was almost full constantly, showing short films from various countries. But, to many South Africans, the films were too long to bear. Many exited the cinema during a film about a woman masturbating in public. People were also shocked by the extreme close-ups of a couple, dressed in spandex from head to toe. They cut holes in their outfits at various intervals, until the Grand Finalรฉ.

I met people who go to Sexpo just to see โ€œPricasso,โ€ a talented Australian who enjoys doing portraits of his audience, celebrities and politicians with his, yes, penis and does the final touches with his buttocks. You can get your portrait done at R300 or a double portrait of you and a friend at R400.

The Playboy Lounge was also hugely successful, selling five signed copies of the magazine at R100. Jade Fairbrother, 2012โ€™s Playmate of the Year, was the friendliest playmate claiming my guy friends would โ€œlove me foreverโ€ if I was daring enough to get them some copies. Weโ€™ll have to see about their reactionsโ€ฆ

Jade Fairbrother

PLAYBOY PEN: SA’s first playmate ever, Jade Fairbrother, kindly poses with us daring girls. Copyright: Vanessa Smeets