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GQ South Africa - May 2018

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0
A
30
O
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5 | EDITOR’S LETTER
6 | FEEDBACK
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CO N T E N T S
Style
Motor
87 FASHION
Style off the streets
100 ADVICE
Loud, proud plaid coats
104 GROOMED
Wealth
Prep your face for winter
108 FITNESS
What’s the perfect body now?
110 HEALTH
Hack your timing to optimise
your life
111
48
Turning
heads
68
112 B C
e
Cover g
Toni Ga n
‡ gqd
ot
frica
c
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frica ‡ gqdot
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98
Style
spotlight
@gq
so
, Lik
Follow
be
ri
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b
Su
to
stay up
o
at GQ.c
a
oz
@gq
so
Must-have
winter
essentials
a
oz
TARRYN HATCHETT, TOM KIRCKPATRICK
G
S
14
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NIQUITA BENTO, BRYCE THOMPSON,
C O
W
39
The second
coming of
Nakhane
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EDITOR
*VSSLLU.VVZLU
MANAGING EDITOR
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CONTENT EDITOR
9\I`7HYRLY
COPY EDITOR
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SYNDICATION MANAGER
2LLUHU1LWWL
JUNIOR DESIGNER
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FASHION ASSISTANT
*65;90)<;05.,+0;69:
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*65;90)<;69:
Rusty Beukes, Mark Anthony Green, Megan Gustashaw, Stuart McGurk, Charlie Burton, Sam Schube,
Benjy Hansen-Bundy, Garrett Munce, Sophie Saint Thomas, Piet Smedy, Mark Bouris, Kevin Powell,
Eleanor Halls, James Vlahos, Ian Allen, Clay Skipper, Bill Prince, Adam Hurly,
Caitlin Harrington, Oliver Franklin-Walls
READ
ON THE
MOVE
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Dan Woodger, C’Écile Dormeau, Tarryn Hatchett, Annalize Nel, Tom Kirkpatrick, Paul Solomons,
Jeff K Kim, Gavin McBain, Ori Toor, Niquita Bento, Arnaud Pyvka
(+=,9;0:05.:(3,:+09,*;69
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Go to
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ISSNs: 1562-4366
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | FEEDBACK | GQ ONLINE
SLAY,
KING!
P
Follow my journey on Instagram
@YatiKhumalo
icture this: you’re relaxing on
a Saturday morning, peacefully
minding your own business,
maybe eating a bowl of
Strawberry Pops, and knowing you’ve
worked hard all week and could use
some time doing nothing. Whether
or not someone’s lying next to you,
you’re perfectly content, knowing
you’re free of any obligations for two
full days and can just relax. Somewhere
halfway through your bowl of Pops,
you casually pick up your phone and
eventually end up on a social app.
Suddenly, you’re confronted with how
dull your morning has been. The first four
posts you see contain the flawless, happy
faces of social media superheroes who’ve
climbed three mountains, not only fed
and walked but also adopted an extra
three dogs, assembled a four-course
gourmet breakfast, then picked up three
different kinds of artisanal chutneys at
Neighbourgoods and all but solved the
Middle-East crisis before the thought of
a bowl of cereal even crossed your mind.
So begins the fast and furious downward
spiral: I’m not as active as FitnessFreak858!
Maybe I should have climbed the mountain
today? Why am I letting myself down like
this? But then I need to get new hiking
shoes. Oh, but I bought new running shoes
last month. Can’t I just wear those? But then
I can’t do a post wearing the wrong shoes.
Ugh, now I’ve spilled these Pops! I should
have made an egg-white omelette. Or green
juice! Why didn’t I make a green juice?!
Soon the need to DO SOMETHING is
overwhelming. You don’t even know
where it came from, but suddenly you
feel behind, lacking, inferior. Surprise:
that’s the intention behind each of those
posts. It’s the power of the new breed of
celebrity: the influencer. Of course, all that
power comes with lots of responsibility,
a baton wielded for good by this month’s
cover stars Michael B Jordan (p62) and
Toni Garrn (p74).
And the new world of influence can be
not only fun but – when more ’grams equal
more revenue – quite lucrative. Learn how
to play the influencer game on page 68,
and try it out if you’re keen – just don’t let
anyone take your Pops away.
Nkosiyati Khumalo
Editor
CONTRIBUTORS
Niquita Bento
Photographer
Page 87-97
Niquita Bento
is a fashion
photographer
based in Cape
Town. She first
stepped onto
the scene as
a street style
photographer
and her images
have since
appeared on
magazine covers,
in editorial
spreads and
in campaigns
for national
fashion and
beauty clients.
Stefanie
Wharton
Production
Manager
The office
mermaid,
Stefanie started
her publishing
journey at the
tender age of
19, and has been
the Production
Manager at
Condé Nast
SA for over a
decade. Among
other things, she
does all the print
and production
planning, as well
as making colour
adjustments
on our covers.
Writer
GQ Man
Page 62-67
Kevin Powell
is one of the
leading political,
literary, cultural,
and hip-hop
voices in
America. He
is the author of
13 books, and
his 14th will be
a biography of
Tupac Shakur,
who he had
interviewed
many times at
Vibe magazine.
Follow him
on Twitter
@kevin_powell.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 05
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR | FEEDBACK | GQ ONLINE
FOLLOW
US ON
THE HIT LIST
Five co-working spaces that will
make you want to go freelance
@GQDOTCOZA
1
@GQSOUTHAFRICA
GATH E R E
Recent update
With panoramic views of the Kramerville Design
District, this industrial-style space is the ideal meeting
place for creatives looking to collaborate and trade
ideas. In addition to unlimited Wi-Fi and coffee, Gathere
also offers access to a photo studio and gallery space
– for both members and daily drop-ins. gathere.co.za
1 029
2
The N OVA BY WO R K & CO
Ever been to one of Cape Town’s scenic spots like Signal
Hill and wished you could move your office there for the
day? Now you can, thanks to Work & Co’s Nova mobile
office pod. Completely self-sufficient, the pod comes
equipped with Wi-Fi, solar electricity, running water, and
more – basically anything you’d want from a traditional
office, anywhere you like. workandco.co.za
3
@gqsouthafrica
Not even the sky is the
limit for this dynamic
media personality
The J OZ I H U B
This tech incubator is geared
towards young entrepreneurs
and startups. The space comes
equipped with all of the usual
amenities, such as member
workspace and boardrooms,
with the bonus of being
plugged into a community of
like-minded tech innovators.
722
44stanley.co.za/jozi-hub
5
@zola_msizizola_
Phenomenal does not
begin to describe the
experience I had at the
@vcmasterspolo
The QSL
MEMBER’S CLUB
4
The
B U R E AU X , WOO D S TO C K
Located in the creative hub of the Woodstock Exchange, The
Bureaux mirrors its hip surroundings. The modern, loft-like space
offers desk rentals for the solo entrepreneur, or private office
space for small startups. thebureaux.co.za
06 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
QSL is a worldclass new private
member’s club in the heart of Jozi.
In addition to the designer interior,
individuals lucky enough to make
the cut will have access to business
facilities, as well some luxury
additions like a made-to-measure
tailor service, spa, rooftop bar
and kitchen with a Michelinstarred chef. qsl-sa.com
@MINI South Africa
Congratulations to the
VHPL²QDOLVWVLQWKLV
year’s @SAFW
WORDS BY RUBY PARKER. POSTS EDITED FOR GRAMMAR AND LENGTH
@CNWorldwideNews
Pushing the limits with
@LewisHamilton for
@GQdotcoza
THIS MONTH
ON THE NEW
<
STYLE: Up-to-the minute fashion and runway news, daily style
upgrades and more exclusive behind-the-scenes action
<
celebrities heating up your Instagram
GROOMING: All of your grooming concerns
narrowed down so you can face them head-on
<
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ALLY FATHANA, COURTESY OF GIVENCHY, COURTESY OF THE NED
<
WOMEN: Get to know the models and
CULTURE: The latest developments in the entertainment, business,
food, fitness and tech industries
<
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 07
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Available at selected stores only. While stocks last. E&OE. Prices correct at time of going to print. View complete store directory online on http://www.matandmay.co.za/storelocator.
E
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY TERI ROBBERTS
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Success
is never an
accident, you
either put in the
work and set
yourself up for
it, or it will
elude you
@g
qs
a
oz
tc
@g
qs
Visit GQ.co.za
for more
interviews with
your faves
frica ‡ gq
tha
do
ou
10 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
frica ‡ gqd
tha
ot
ou
za
co
I was 17 when I had my first
behind-the-mic encounter.
By 20, I entered the world
of commercial radio and
I’ve never looked back.’
Still, she never entirely left
the world of academics behind.
While pursuing a career in
media, Ng’ambi also completed
a qualification in Digital
Strategy and Social Media
Management – no small
achievement. But how does
she manage to juggle such
a high-profile career with
studying part time?
‘Time management is really
important, but I wouldn’t be
able to do what I do without
the amazing support
structure that I have,’ she
confesses. ‘Being surrounded
by people that not only
believe in me but have such
a crazy work ethic helps keep
me on track and motivated.’
It is clear that people are
a driving force in her life, and
she sites meeting individuals
from different walks of life as
the best part of her job. ‘It’s that
connection that inspires me
to continue to do what I do.’
It is these everyday moments
that stand out most to her –
not the glitz and glamour
of the media industry. ‘It’s
those serendipitous meetings
in the mall or at the gym that
really fill my heart with joy.’
Other career highlights
include walking in her first
Fashion Week show. Indeed,
her CV of extra-curricular
activities is equally as
impressive as her work
in radio. ‘I’m involved in
mentoring young girls with
their academics, as well
as those wanting to pursue
a career in media.’
Ng’ambi has also recently
started her own YouTube
channel, which she admits
is keeping her very busy. But
it is that constant hustle that
has gotten her to where she is
today. ‘My dad taught me that
success is never an accident
– you either put in the work
and set yourself up for it,
or it will elude you.’
So what is next for
this multi-talented media
personality? ‘I’m currently
in the process of fi nally
completing my architectural
studies, so hopefully
graduation!’
With Ng’ambi’s work ethic,
we have no doubt about it.
There is nothing accidental
about this success story.
DOLCEGABBANABEAUTY.COM
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THE
MO T
12 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
essentials
MAN OF THE MOMENT
GQ: You established
yourself in the music and
entertainment industry
when you started Showlove,
SA’s longest-running hiphop events company. What
initially inspired that venture?
Tebello Motsoane: The name
Showlove stems from my late
uncle’s supermarket franchise,
Thanda Bantu (love all people).
The concept of my events came
from my complaints: I loved
hip-hop and dressing up and,
at the time, no events catered
to that. I created a platform for
my passion and others fell in love
with it. The biggest hip-hop DJs
and artists in SA have all been
part of Showlove.
GQ: You’ve most recently
delved into the launch of your
own MCC, Atelier. When did
you first know you had an
interest in the food/wining
aspect of entertaining?
TM: The interest has always
been there. My boredom with
the entertainment industry
made me really dig deep in
terms of my next moves. I took
a lot of time to learn the game
and I’m still learning. I also
invested in the process, found
partners and developed my
network. South African MCC
is world-class and I want to be
a part of the wave. I also want
GQ: How do you think
your specific background
in music has allowed you
to thrive as a host?
TM: Music is a journey. It’s like
sharing the perfect playlist. Being
an awesome host is the same.
How you choose your spaces,
guests, food, drinks and the
synergy – it’s like music.
GQ: You were selected as
The Macallan’s Master of
Hosting. What does this
honour mean to someone
like you that’s been in the
business for some time?
TM: The Macallan is the finest
whisky in the game. A product so
refined that it remains subtle while
always making an impression.
It’s what I aspire to be and our
relationship has been seamless.
GQ: How has the industry
changed for both the
better and the worse
since you started out?
TM: The industry has become
bigger business, which is great.
In the same breath, I think it’s
become too easy to get into
and that has people taking it for
granted and not focusing on the
craft and the fans. Longevity in
the game is now even more rare.
GQ: What’s the hardest
lesson you’ve learnt
from failure?
TM: Failure can consume you.
It can delay everything if you
allow it to consume you. It’s
taught me about contingency
and it’s also taught me that
in life you have to make many
comebacks. Failure is merely
a lesson. Learn and move on.
GQ: What do you love
most about what you do?
TM: I love that I get to be myself
and truly push my passion. I get
to share my outlook, my concepts
and I get to challenge myself.
Watching my ideas coming to
life will always be my drug.
GQ: What’s the best bu
advice you have been g
TM: Andile Khumalo taugh
me to understand leverag
My late uncle taught me
to understand demand: yo
have to constantly build it
My father taught me abou
knowing when to scale do
and kill the ego. Euphonik
taught me how to use the
low hanging fruit to subsid
the things that you actual y
want to do. And people h
taught me about people.
to be at the helm of involving
more black people in the game.
Atelier is the beginning.
Tibz partnered with Wildekrans
Wine Estate to create Atelier MCC
‘
GQ: What advice would
you give to aspiring
entrepreneurs, especially
South Africans?
TM: Find what you enjoy,
not what you think makes
money. Learn everything
about it and then share it
with the world. Always
back yourself and never
be cool about marketing.
Push every day.
L I F E Y O U H AV E T O
K E M A N Y COM EBACKS’
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 13
14 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
99
&
GUCCI
PRODUCTION BY LUKE RUITERS. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SIMON DEINER/SDR PHOTO
ALC
S mon & Mary at
T ead & Miller hat R899
WINTER
IS
COMING
c a
oo
Hugo Boss watch R4 995
A/W
ACCESSORIES
GUIDE
A
M e
Prada bag R36 100
A
Tread & Miller socks R75
P ada be
Markham scarf R130
H&M gloves R429
OR
essentials
PREVIEW
Make like the
Starks and get
ready with these
hot new essentials
jeans, a thick cardigan,
respectable sweats, and
a navy suit. (And no, the
suit isn’t optional.)
READER How do I pull off a
T-shirt under a suit without
looking like a club owner?
GQ Thin solid T-shirt. Slim,
soft-shouldered blazer. Keep
things tonal. (Black on black
is an easy way to start.)
READER How do I pull off
a shirt and tie without
looking stuffy?
GQ A neck tattoo. Easiest
way to never look stuffy.
A slim tie is another, nonpermanent option.
GQ&A
Your style FAQ
A
s a GQ man of
style, the benefits
are decent – I get
most fashion
holidays off: Paris Fashion
Week, Prince’s birthday, etc.
And you guys are always polite
with your sartorial insecurities,
whether you’re tweeting at me
or stopping me mid-green tea
order. But every job has its
negatives. And this exercise
in answering the entry-level
questions about men’s style
is the toughest part of the work.
Why? Because I don’t want to
tell you exactly what to do. But
what I hate more than anything
is to leave you hanging. So, here
is a lightning round of the
questions I get the most.
How far should my
pocket square peek out?
cuffs. Showing them off
is douchey.
GQ One centimetre, at the
most. Always style the pocket
square with your jacket off. It’ll
give you a better perspective.
READER Where should the
bottom of my topcoat hit?
READER
GQ The simple four-in-hand.
Please stop it already with
the big, fat Windsors. [Takes a
deep breath and e-mails HR a
hostile-workplace complaint.]
…and the cuffs of my shirt?
GQ Your knee. Give or take
a few centimetres.
READER Belt or no belt
with a suit?
One centimetre, too. Especially
if you have monogrammed
…and the bottom of
my pants?
GQ No belt. If your pants
need a belt, they’re too big.
Pass! (I get one pass, right?)
It’s totally up to you. I have
handsome ankles, so my pants
are usually cropped.
READER What things
should every university
guy have in his closet?
GQ I went to Morehouse
College, where students get
dressed up for class. I expect
the same from you. Nice dark
Send your style questions to style@condenast.co.za
16 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
READER What tie knot
should I use?
READER I’m going to a
black-tie work event. It’s
important that I make a
good impression. How can
I make my tux even bolder?
GQ I say don’t. But only
because if you’re asking the
question, chances are you’ll
feel self-conscious the entire
QLJKW-XVW²QGWKHVKDUSHVW
black tux you can afford.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TERI ROBBERTS. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JANNE IIVONEN
Mark Anthony Green attempts to tackle your
most-asked style queries
essentials
G E NTLE MAN ’ S COR N E R
Puff
daddy
Beat the cold this season
– and look on point – with
a padded puffer jacket
Words by Megan Gustashaw
What it is
There’s nothing like the first
winter storm to reveal all of
the glaring holes in your coldweather wardrobe (literally
and figuratively). If you need
a slightly warmer winter coat,
a puffer will give you all the
insulation you ever wanted,
and then some. Luckily,
menswear designers are
really feeling the staple right
now, so there are plenty of
un-boring, ethically made
options on shelves.
Why we
like it
Bold-colour puffers look good
over your sweats going to and
from the gym. Just make sure
you bring a lock; a coat this hot
is likely to get nabbed in the
locker room! When you want
to keep things low key, not
to mention warm, a parkainspired puffer is a good idea.
Between the length, big hood,
and ample pockets, you’ll feel
like you’re still in bed. Go with
classic black or shake things
up with a flashier style.
Zara jacket
R2 199
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 17
JOHNVARVATOS.COM
essentials
S TAT U S SY M B O L
The
end of
ageing
Double-up on
that beauty sleep
Words by Bernd Fischer
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20 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
PHOTOGRAPH BY TERI ROBBERTS
T
he Swiss are known
across the board
for superior quality
and performance
– whether it’s
the timepiece you’re rocking
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entrusting – you just know
something feels right when its
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the tiny European country.
Now, if you’re surrounding
yourself with the ultimate in
luxury where all other aspects
of your life are concerned, why
shouldn’t the same be applied
to your grooming regimen?
Well, La Prairie has come
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in Swiss laboratories, Platinum
Rare Cellular Night Elixir was
birthed, and our skincare
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enlist one of the earth’s
most precious elements –
platinum – in a quest for
a product that promises
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The dropper applicator
dispenses precisely the right
amount – just one dollop –
that works to amplify the skin’s
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it detoxify, be nourished, and
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its immunity. The result?
Youthful-looking skin that
feels like cashmere.
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WAT C H T H E S E R I E S O N Z E G N A . C O M
S A N D T O N C I T Y D i a m o n d Wa l k B o u t i q u e U 2 2
Te l : + 2 7 1 1 3 2 6 7 7 6 7
essentials
TH E TA LK
‘Alexa, I’m sorry. Siri
means nothing to me.
Please let me back in!’
The case for the
not-so-smart house
When everything gets voice-activated,
where will we go for peace and quiet?
Words by Nkosiyati Khumalo
F
rom 2001 until about 2010,
no TV show was more actionpacked and tension-filled than
24. Its to-the-minute setup was
designed to make you feel as if
the terror was happening in real time, and
in a post 9/11, super-patriotic America, that
was the recipe for good television. And
a perfect recipe for suspense – each ‘beep
beep’ of the countdown clock would bring
the scene close to the very edge of disaster,
leaving you waiting to see if the world’s
most long-suffering and duty-bound
counterterrorist agent, Jack Bauer,
really could save the day.
I love suspense, and a roller-coaster ride
like 24 provided all the suspense I could
ever need. I remember watching the
season five finale in 2006, where Jack
finally catches the villain behind
22 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
a multitude of events going all the way
back to season two. It was a MOMENT
– and I was fully engaged, screaming ‘GET
HIM JACK GET HIIIIIM!!!!!’ at my TV and
gesturing wildly enough to safely guide
a Boeing into its parking space.
(My sister chose that exact moment
to come home, and almost called the
police when she heard all the screaming.
Trust me, it was a good episode.) I know
myself, and when I’m that involved in the
goings-on on screen, I can’t really control
what my reaction will be. I almost threw
my damn TV out the window when Rachel
went back to Ross.
So you can imagine my dismay, when
I learnt tech companies were developing
gesture TVs. Imagine screaming ‘YASSS’
at the TV, with your hand in the air, only
to inadvertently change the channel at the
most crucial moment. Disaster. Luckily
those TVs have gotten smart enough
t ignore my histrionics; the same goes
f r gesture controls in a few new cars.
The idea of voice recognition technology
then, is a lot more comforting – to a point.
It’s something I’ve been obsessed with
since watching Knight Rider, or any one
of several spaceship-centric shows – each
AI computer system reacted smartly when
prompted and ignored you otherwise.
But the best thing about those systems
is that one benign personality controlled
every function. If Michael Knight needed
to weave through traffic, apprehend
a criminal, or just find the nearest
McDonald’s, Kitt was there to help him
through it all.
Of course all these things were imagined
for a soon-to-be-realised future: the 2000s.
In the non-fictional world, our cars are
still learning how to drive themselves,
and we can talk to them slightly, even
if the understanding is still a bit off (try
battling with ‘Say a command!’ 17 times
while negotiating traffic on the M1).
But now we’ll be yelling at absolutely
everything. Hey Siri! Ok, Google! Alexa!
Morning, Russell Hobbs! When did all
these people move into my house – and
where does it end?! Will we be yelling at
our fridges to ask how long until the milk
goes bad? Or chastising the tap on the
kitchen sink for springing a leak? God
forbid you add an ADT system to that mix
– lights and sirens will be going off every
time we sneeze. We’ve all laughed at our
parents for calling the wrong child’s name
(‘Why did you come? I meant the other
one!’) and now that will be us.
And if 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL
9000 taught us anything, it’s that all these
devices will catch feelings. Siri already gets
snotty if you swear at her, and now Alexa
has taken to CACKLING randomly in the
middle of the night. What’s next? Will your
fridge lambast you for not sticking to your
eating plan? Imagine dimming the
bedroom lights to get busy when all of
a sudden your alarm clock says ‘I don’t
THINK so! You have an early morning!’
All I ask, dear tech companies, is that
you do whatever engineering you need
to do to remind these devices that we’re
the ones in control. There’s enough sass
in my house already – no one needs
a toaster with an attitude problem.
TECHNOLOGY
Sine by Audeze
This pair of stylish cans scooped a Red Dot Design
Award last year and we can see why. As well as their
slick charms, they also neatly fold away for travel
storage and offer terrific sound thanks to their bangup-to-date ‘planar magnetic’ drivers. As good for the
recording studio as they are for a long-haul flight.
R6 599 takealot.com
Flash
in the
cans
As Apple ushers in a new
era of jack-free handsets, a
wave of headphones come
with Lightning connectors
so you can still plug in.
These are the best…
Words by Stuart McGurk
and Charlie Burton
P9 Signature by Bowers & Wilkins
One of the best over-ear Lightning ’phones money can
buy – Bowers has retooled its classic P9s for the jack-free
world. The build (Saffiano leather pads and a thick steel
band) is sublime; and the sound (deep and expansive)
is just out of this world.
R20 381 importitall.co.za
Data hit…. Rather than traditional jack, this crop of must-have headphones
have a Lightning connector, which plugs into the universal socket on all new Apple devices.
24 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Triple driver headphones by 1More
As in-ear buds go, little-known UK manufacturer 1More
has set a benchmark that even the likes of big-hitter Bose
cannot quite match. Its headphones are weightier than
Bose’s sturdy set, but worth it for a sound this rich.
R2 995 wantitall.co.za
Urbeats3 by Beats
We haven’t always been the biggest fan of Beats’ bassheavy numbers – but for its in-ear urBeats3, the Apple
influence is now clear. From the small-form factor to
sleek styling, there’s a lot we like in these buds. It still
doesn’t hit all the right notes, but few look this good.
TBA
iSine10 by Audeze
Yep, they don’t exactly look conventional. But then, these
aren’t conventional headphones. The bigger size enables
them to offer a deep, robust and detailed sound – and,
at this price, you would expect nothing less.
R4 894 ubuy.za.com
They might be on the
cheaper side of this
high-end group, but
Pioneer’s in-ear buds
still pack a punch. With
small noise-cancelling
and nifty features such
as auto-pause (thanks
to the powered Lightning
connection), these are
a solid and stylish option.
R3 635 wantitall.co.za
@g
qs
For the latest
tech trends,
head to
GQ.co.za
a
oz
tc
@g
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tha
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY MATTHEW BEEDLE
Rayz Plus
by Pioneer
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 25
essentials
TA S TE
RAISE
THE
BAR
Pick up some tools
of the trade – and
learn how to stay
on your bartender’s
good side
Words by Nkosiyati Khumalo
Y
ou could call Joe
Petch a career
barman – or, as
he’s more likely
to put it, someone who’s
permanently on a gap year.
After school, his passion for
great hospitality took him
from working in bars to
running a consultancy that
provided drinks service to
major events all over London
26 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
– and landed him in his
current post as brand
ambassador for Monkey
Shoulder, currently the
number-one ranked
bartender’s favourite whisky
worldwide. It certainly seems
like the most natural fit,
he says:
‘This is a brand I’ve worked
with since beginning of my
bartending career. Amongst
a handful of brands, it really
kind of spoke the bartender’s
language, and fed the hunger
for bartenders have for
education.’ During a break in
the action at the Cape Town
leg of the brand’s Ultimate
Bartender Competition, Petch
gave us the lowdown on why
bartenders love Monkey
Shoulder – and why you
can never have too much ice.
a lot of other competitions
aren’t. So this isn’t just about
presenting one drink in 10
minutes to a group of judges.
There’s nothing wrong with
that, but Monkey Shoulder
isn’t the standard or the
norm. It’s about reinventing
these conventional events.
We worked with bartenders
to create a competition for
bartenders. There aren’t any
judges, there are only referees.
There’s no prejudice or
favouritism or anything. It’s
a pure and fair way of judging
these guys. And some people
are stronger in one area, and
that means they can go back
and focus on another.
As a bartender, where
does that hunger for
education come from?
I think everyone is more
and more discerning about
what they’re drinking, and
the ingredients they use.
Bartenders aren’t unlike chefs,
and there are some good
things about globalisation in
that there’s access to amazing
ingredients and new things
we didn’t know existed before.
People want to get their hands
on them – so bartenders are
hungry for knowledge: they
want to know about the
ingredients, they want to know
about the alcohol, and they
want to know about the
community. Years ago, people
had their one thing they drank.
Now people have a repertoire
of things they like. Monkey
Shoulder has always been
a whisky that bartenders
go for because it’s really
accessible, it’s easy to explain
to people, it’s approachable by
anyone that doesn’t think they
like whisky or doesn’t even
know what whisky is, and
it’s the right price. Most bars
can afford to put it into drinks
without charging a crazy
amount. It’s a combination
of those things.
How does that character
relate to the actual
whisky?
Our master blender Brian
Kinsman has continued the
work of his predecessor, David
Stewart. His challenge was to
create a blend of single malts
that stands up amazingly well
on its own as it would next to a
single malt, but also maintain
its flavour character in a mixed
drink, at the right price. You’ve
got older whiskies in there that
really bring out the roundness
and the smoothness and
richness of the whisky, and the
younger whiskies make it more
vibrant and playful.
What’s different about the
Ultimate Bartender
Competition?
We want to be everything that
‘I think everyone is more and more
discerning about what they’re
drinking, and the ingredients used’
What do you think makes
a great bartender?
Hospitality. You can teach
anyone how to mix drinks
together but you can’t
necessarily teach everyone
how to be nice, polite,
courteous – that’s the most
important thing. Hosting,
really. Being personable.
It often seems cocktails
keep getting more and
more complicated and
theatrical — smoke, foam,
insane presentations.
Monkey Shoulder’s created
a ‘Lazy Old-Fashioned’
— did that come from
a desire to return
to simplicity?
I went to a few competitions
chock full of molecular, mad
ideas. We made an edible glass
with a drink in it – the Houdini
Martini. You drank the drink
and ate the glass – it was
a disappearing act. It was fun
but very time-consuming; it’s
hard to get the right balance
of textures and liquids. But it’s
fun. People want experience
and that’s why those ornate
serves are so popular. They’re
very photogenic, and they
taste great. As far as the Lazy
Old-Fashioned – we’re very
proud of that really. It’s >>
HOW TO MAKE
A LAZY OLDFASHIONED
What you’ll need
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What you’ll do
Add all ingredients
into a mixing glass.
Add ice and stir.
Once sugar is
diluted, strain into
glasses and twist
an orange peel
over each. Serves
12 (60ml servings).
Monkey Shoulder
is named after the
shoulder strain injury
sustained by distillery
workers who turned
the barley by hand
as it malted.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 27
essentials
TA S TE
ARE YOU BEING
SERVED?
We asked Mike
Stephenson, owner of
Umhlanga’s Lucky Shaker
and winner of the Ultimate
Bartender Challenge, to spill
the beans on what makes
a great customer
DO’S:
a great solution for people on
both sides of the bar. If you go
to a busy bar on the weekend,
especially a few years ago, and
asked for 10 Old-Fashioneds,
the bartender would smile and
say yeah sure, but he wouldn’t
be thinking that. Traditionally
they’re stirred for quite a few
minutes. So this helps with
speed and also consistency.
Which gives you more time
to serve someone else, talk
to that guest, or anything.
There’s always one in my fridge
at home. It works at both bar
and home. And it’s easy –
anyone can do it.
‘It’s always
funny when I
meet someone
who says they
don’t like
whisky. My
response is
always, wow.
You’ve tried
them all?’
Where
we’re
drinking
Chinchilla
28 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Be clear about your order.
If it’s a large round, get
everyone’s orders together
before trying to get the
bartender’s attention. This
will speed up the process
and allow them to make
rounds of shots, cocktails,
etc at the same time, which
is much simpler. This also
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you want your drink served
a certain way or with a
particular brand. ‘Monkey
Shoulder on the rocks with
water on the side’ is clear,
simple and reduces the
need to ask questions
about glassware up front
and extras afterwards.
Be polite. Manners are
always welcome.
DON’TS:
Shouting, whistling and
waving money are a quick
way to show you have no
respect for the bartender
and the other guests.
Putting your used gum
under the bar counter
is one of my ultimate pet
peeves. Rather just ask
the bartender for a napkin
and then throw it away.
What other skills work
great at home?
Always having enough good
ice. And great basic tools.
You don’t need a full bar
setup. A mat, strainer, shaker,
pourers, jiggers, and ice is the
most important though. And
nice glassware. You could put
the most amazing drink in
a paper cup and it won’t ever
have the same effect as it
would in nice weighty
glassware with a decent block
of ice. It’s the same with food.
You first taste with your eyes,
and then smell.
Are you an ice purist?
No, you just have to have
enough. In bars, it’s nice to
have clear ice but that’s just
an aesthetic. It always makes
me laugh when people ask for
‘that cocktail, but with less
ice’. You’re not going to get
any more drink. And you’re
going to have a worse drink.
People underestimate why
you have ice in the drink.
Is a big focus for you to
equip bartenders to be
able to educate new
whisky drinkers?
That’s a big part of it. A lot of
people might not like whisky
because they tried a bad
whisky same with any spirit.
It’s always funny when I meet
someone who says they don’t
like whisky. My response is
always, wow. You’ve tried
them all? Just because you’ve
tried one doesn’t mean
there’s not one out there you
like, you just haven’t found
it yet. Keep trying.
For capturing that endless summer feeling, but in a much more slick
way than whatever the constant throng of sunburnt European tourists
gets up to in Camps Bay, few places beat Chinchilla. It earns immediate
cred as latest addition to the Kove Collection of restaurants (see
Blanko, Umi, Bilboa), and supplants that with a can’t-go-wrong view of
WKHED\DGULQNVWDSDVDQGPDLQVPHQXWKDW¬V³DYRXUIXODQG²OOHGZLWK
Trump-sized portions; and a setup that’s less see-and-be-seen and
more kick-back oriented. chincillarooftop.co.za
The new status symbols
How to be better than everyone else in 2018
We’re not sure
when it happened,
but sometime in the
past few years, all
WKHROGVLJQL²HUV
of wealth got
³LSSHGRQWKHLU
heads. Uber
replaced the sports
car, and running
a bootstrapped
start-up is cooler
than heading
a Fortune 500
company. Now
status is all about
experiences, man.
And getting lots of
sleep. To help you
make sense of the
newfangled yet still
hyper-competitive
world of being
better than other
people, we drew
XSD²HOGJXLGH
Just remember:
it doesn’t count
if you don’t
post about it
on social media
Words by Sam Schube
and Benjy Hansen-Bundy
Illustrations by
Dan Woodger
Practice gratuitous
wellness
30 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
CORE BELIEF
No problem in life
can’t be solved
through meditation
or, in trying times,
a fresh bowl of acai.
PATRON SAINT
Gwyneth Paltrow –
Goop empress,
purveyor of jade
yoni eggs, conscious
uncoupler, goldfoil facial masker,
juice innovator.
LOCATION OF LAST
TRANCE VISION
A sound bath in
New Zealand run by
a jet-setting shaman.
FIRST OF FINANCIAL
INDULGENCES
Overpaying for
those sacredgeometry tattoos.
2018 RESOLUTION
Finally get that fecal
transplant that was
recommended by
your nutritionist,
Celerie. It’s the key
to rejuvenating
your microbiome.
INSIDE INFO
Eat your way
to heaven
D s upt t a !
CORE BELIEF
Modern life is a bunch
of nails. My start-up
is a hammer.
PATRON SAINT
Evan Spiegel – Snapchat
don, billionaire.
HABITAT
Treadmill desk (with
an exercise-ball chair
for backup).
DREAM JOB
Running the fourth-mostdisruptive mattress
company in the Valley.
SECRET BEDTIME
READING
That awful Google
memo. (‘He makes
some good points.’)
2018 RESOLUTION
All-liquid diet.
e
CORE BELIEF
DJ’ing is a valid form
of artistic expression.
PATRON SAINT
Virgil Abloh –
creative director,
human ampersand,
vibe curator,
air-quote innovator.
PLACE OF
WORSHIP
Late-night party,
followed by earlymorning gym,
followed by Hillsong.
NATURAL HABITAT
Airport, 300 days
a year.
Count your abs to calculate your existential value
LIVING AVATAR
7KH5RFN§²WQHVV
enthusiast, legday observer, last
true movie star,
triceps god.
NATURAL HABITAT
Worship in
the church
of Supreme
WOULDN’T BE
CAUGHT DEAD IN
An outdoor store,
except if buying
camping supplies to
stay overnight on the
sidewalk outside Kith.
LATEST FASHION
CHOICE
A fanny pack diagonally
across the torso.
LITMUS TEST FOR
NEW FRIENDS
Proper pronunciation
of ‘Vetements’.
CHILDISH KEEPSAKE
KEPT AROUND FOR
SENTIMENTAL VALUE
Homemade Kanye West
Fan Club card.
UNIFORM
Latest Yeezys,
Apple Watch,
limited-edition
graphic tee (‘My
friend made this’),
tattoo by Kendall
Jenner’s favourite
needle artist.
LIVING AVATAR
Blue Hill chef (and
food-waste advocate)
Dan Barber.
FAVOURITE LINE AT
COCKTAIL PARTIES
‘Prebiotic is the
new probiotic.’
GO-TO APPETIZER
Fried crickets: the
protein of the future.
It’s time to get over
the squeamishness,
people.
WILL SPLURGE ON
Iranian beluga caviar.
2018 RESOLUTION
Adopting a total
alt-diet: dairy
alternatives, meat
substitutes, glutenfree wheat.
CrossFit.
SPARRING PARTNER
Next year’s breakout
model, who has
a mean right cross.
SUPPLEMENTAL
INCOME
Hawking supplements
that contain some type
of banned ingredient.
SUPERPOWER
Turning wholesome
family photos into
thirst traps.
Travel harder than anyone else
CORE BELIEF You
can’t truly experience
a foreign city until
you’ve taken and
posted a number
RIVHO²HVQR²OWHU
LIVING AVATAR
Anthony Bourdain –
trotter of globes,
slurper of noodles,
Twitter personality.
FAVOURITE
POSSESSION
It’s not about
possessions, man.
(But if I had to pick?
My Leica M240.)
DESTINATION
OF CHOICE
Tulum, Iceland,
Portugal.
DRUG OF CHOICE
Ayahuasca, but
only with a week
to properly fast
beforehand.
NATURAL HABITAT
Air-conditioned
yurt with Wi-Fi
at AfrikaBurn.
PETRIFIED OF
Waiting in line.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 31
essentials
GROOMING
Ready, set, groom!
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8QGHUQRFLUFXPVWDQFHVVKRXOG\RXVKDYHDQ\WKLQJLQWKHJ\PEDWKURRP
/HWRXU*URRPLQJ(GLWRUJXLGH\RXWKURXJKWKHPRVWHI²FLHQWSRVW
ZRUNRXWURXWLQHHYHUGHYLVHG
Words by Garrett Munce
H
it the showers after
a workout with
a monomaniacal
sense of purpose.
Otherwise you’ll stand
around waiting for hours
as a menagerie of vanityimpaled gym stereotypes
hog the sinks, blow-dry their
chest hair, and trim their
pubes. It’s a human safari
you did not sign up for.
Sadly, most locker rooms
offer a paltry selection
of personal-grooming
products. Even the fancy
gyms don’t dole out matte
face moisturisers (matte
being the opposite of pizza
face). That’s why we’ve
endorsed a BYO policy.
Because top-shelf multi-use
products – once relegated
to dandruff two-in-ones
but now churned out by
leading brands – are the key
to minimising your time in
half-dressed purgatory.
So take a deep breath
(through your mouth) and
move quickly.
Get in!
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LQGLYLGXDOO\ZUDSSHG1LYHD'DLO\
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FULL BODY
Lather up with $PHULFDQ&UHZLQ
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Wash (250ml R270) in less time than
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PIT STOP
FACE STUFF
'HUPDORJLFD2LO)UHH0DWWH
Moisturiser with SPF 30 (50ml
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Deodorant (150ml R32)
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in T minus one minute.
VICTORY!
STAY FR ESH AF
Back to the office or heading on
a date post-workout? Whatever your
next move, this woody aromatic
accord has you covered. Hugo Urban
Journey by Hugo Boss, 125ml R1 155.
32 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
HAIR STYLING
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RI The London Grooming
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SDUNLQJORW
TALK OF THE TOWN
The Ned in London is undoubtedly one of Soho House’s most elaborate
ventures to date Words by Bernd Fischer
essentials
D E S TI N ATI O N
D
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE NED
espite only celebrating its
one-year mark this month,
The Ned has already hosted
exclusive parties for all sorts
of industry elites, and created
enough Insta-envy to inspire
fear of missing out in even
the most reserved individuals.
To understand the allure of
London’s most-talked about
hotel and member’s club, you
have to appreciate the rich
history of its neoclassical
structure, built in 1924. Located
in what was once the Midland
Bank building, developing The
Ned was a daunting project
from the get-go.
It stood empty for a decade
before Soho House founder
Rooms have a cocktail-making
station in case one of the hotel’s
15 bars do not suffice
and chief executive Nick
Jones, Sydell Group founder
Andrew Zobler and investor
Ron Burkle turned it into
today’s hot property, naming
it after the architect, Sir Edwin
‘Ned’ Lutyens.
As you enter The Ned, you’re
instantly captivated by the 92
African verdite columns and
the original walnut banking
counters. These components
were initially deemed one
of the greatest challenges in
developing the hotel and club.
They ultimately dictated how
the former banking hall would
be transformed into the lavish,
3 000-square-metre ground
floor that now hosts nine of
The Ned’s ten restaurants, each
separated by the countersturned-partitions. (The tenth
eatery, located on the rooftop
– where you’ll also find a
Soho-style staple rooftop pool
– is for members only.)
The eleven-storey
architectural marvel is
decorated in Twenties and
Thirties design, drawing from
the building’s banking heritage,
notably seen in the 252 rooms
that range from intimate crash
pads to expansive suites (the
former offices of the bank
chairmen and directors).
Rooms have a cocktailmaking station, in case one
of the hotel’s 15 bars do not
suffice (unlikely). A standout
includes the member’sonly underground Vault Bar
and Lounge, with its entry
through the original 25-tonne,
metre-thick circular door,
and walls made up entirely
of 4 000 safety deposit boxes.
Built around the second pool,
you’ll find Ned’s Club Spa,
which includes the gentlemanly
Ned’s Barbershop, solely
dedicated to men’s grooming
needs – ideal for a cleanup after
your workout.
Expect to be charmed
throughout your stay by
The Ned’s urbane character
that’s bound to have you
book again soon.
Book your stay at
The Ned London now via
thened.com
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 35
essentials
S E X & R E L ATI O N S H I P S
The gentleman’s guide
to post-hookup etiquette
WHAT DO I DO WITH
THE CONDOM(S)?
Tie the condom up so your
manly expulsions don’t spill
everywhere, and throw it
in the trash like an adult.
Definitely don’t flush it down
the toilet, because that could
clog their pipes (keep that
for the bedroom, heh heh).
Thank you, come again
Y
ou’ve probably
done a lot of
research on what
to do during sex.
Which is to say,
you’ve probably watched a lot
of porn. But porn doesn’t teach
you much about what to do
after you’re done hooking up.
When a new person invites
you back to their place, there is
post-coital etiquette you must
follow to show that you are
not only a good lover but also
a decent human. So read on to
learn how to politely dispose of
condoms, when to head back to
your place, and why you must
text the next day – even if it’s
just a one-night stand.
WHEN CAN I GO HOME?
To spend the night or not spend
the night post-smashing is
a personal decision. As an
36 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Words by Sophie Saint Thomas
insomniac, I empathise with
people who don’t spend the
night after sex. Plus, I have cats.
I don’t bring my Ambien with
me or leave out food for my cats
unless I want to marry you or,
like, you flew me to an Airbnb
in Paris. Try to make it clear,
before you go home together,
that you’re not staying over.
If they invite you over but you
know you want to sleep in your
own bed, just say, ‘I’d love to
come back with you, but I have
to get up early for work and
have trouble sleeping in new
places. Do you mind if I don’t
spend the night?’ If you’re
sincere, it shows. After sex,
cuddle and bask in the
afterglow. Talk. When your
heartbeat has returned to
resting and you’re both getting
sleepy, say something like, ‘I
had a wonderful time with you.
I’m going to head back to my
place now, but I’ll text you later.’
WHAT IF I WANT
TO SLEEP OVER?
Ask them if they’re cool with it.
WHAT IF THEY
HAVE ROOMMATES?
Good for them, they sounds
like a hardworking and
self-sufficient person without a
trust fund. Their roommates
are adults and they know the
drill: You’re the boy who just
banged their friend. Put on
a shirt (yes, even you gym rat)
on your way to the bathroom.
Smile and wave. You can say,
‘Hi, I’m Pat’ (or whatever). But
don’t make it weird. Don’t try
to be cute or chime in on what’s
going on if they have Riverdale
on. Just smile and pee.
PUT THE SEAT DOWN.
WHAT IF I WANT TO
TAKE A SHOWER?
If you’re a Virgo or a Catholic,
you might be itching to
shower after sex. But don’t
bounce off to the shower the
second you pull out. That will
make your bedfellow feel like
a used receptacle. Don’t
shower alone at their place,
either. It reeks of ‘I’m going
home to my wife’. Why not
extend the naked time and
shower together? If you’re
tuckered out, you don’t have
to bone again, just scruba-dub-dub and then return
to bed fresh and clean.
WHAT DO I DO
THE NEXT DAY?
Text them. Yes, even if it was
casual or a one-night stand.
Why? Because intimacy is
not exclusive to ‘serious’
relationships. Casual sex,
when done properly, is hot
and lustful but still intimate
and respectful. You just have
to be an adult about it, and
understand that the person
you’re boning is also an adult
with thoughts and feelings.
So text them to check in,
to simply say you had a nice
time, to ask if the hand prints
from the spanking are still
there, or to ask them out again.
Once more, with feeling:
PUT THE SEAT DOWN.
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essentials
THE EDIT
MUSIC
Second
coming
Amidst the local backlash
over his starring role in
Inxeba, actor, singer and
author Nakhane remains
steadfast in the name
of his art – and himself
Words by
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TARRYN HATCHETT
Bernd Fischer
GQ: Congratulations
on the critical acclaim
following the release of
You Will Not Die. How
does it feel now that the
album is finally out?
NAKHANE: Thank you very
much. It took a year to
release, so it’s surreal
having people listen to it.
My drama teacher always
said: ‘Once you’ve released
the work, it’s no longer
yours.’ I’m trying to
remember that and to
have a distant relationship
with it, but I don’t know
how possible that is. >>
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 39
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GQ: Tell us more about
the album artwork.
N: Initially I wanted a cover
that either didn’t have my
face on it, or something
that obscured it, somehow.
And maybe that’s because
I felt quite ‘exposed’ by the
music. Tarryn Hatchett, my
photographer, played to my
vanity, and I went back home
and cancelled all ideas of
obfuscation. I’m an extremist,
so I thought, well if I’m going
to be on the cover then let’s
be on the cover. Let’s use this
moment as one of power and
visibility. I wanted colour,
I wanted sensuality, I wanted
there to be something a little
bit discomfiting And also to
leave enough room for the
audience to come up with
their own interpretation.
40 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
@g
qs
o
Read more
about Nakhane’s
journey at
GQ.co.za
ent
@gq
so
‘When the
process begins,
I shut out the
world and allow
the ideas to use
me... I don’t
particularly
think much of
the audience
when I’m
creating work’
It’s influenced by Ren Hang
and Rotimi Fani-Kayode’s
photography and Bram
Stoker’s Dracula.
GQ: Your sound has been
compared to the likes of
David Bowie and Frank
Ocean, but which musicians
inspire you?
N: Every time I say to my
boyfriend that something
is a favourite, he always says:
‘But you have hundreds of
favourites.’ And it’s true. I’m
a stan. If I love something,
I love it obsessively. For this
album, the list of musicians
that inspired me include Busi
Mhlongo, Can, TKZee, David
Bowie, Grace Jones, Prince,
Rachmaninoff, Mbongwana
Star, Simphiwe Dana and
Thandiswa Mazwai.
GQ: Sexuality and religion
are clear themes throughout
the album, and are very
much part of your own
personal story. How did
you hope this would
translate to listeners?
N: To be honest, when the
process of ideation begins,
I shut out the world and
allow the ideas to use me.
It’s always after the work is
almost done, and I’m starting
to come up for air that I see
patterns. It’s at this point that
I see what I’ve been writing
about. Yes, there’s agency, but
I also allow something else
to be at work. Something
more atemporal. Th is means
that I don’t particularly think
much of the audience when
I’m creating the work. Yes,
there are moments when the
songwriting is going really
well, and I get excited for
the world to hear a melody
or a lyric. It may sound
selfish, but art is selfish.
That selfishness becomes
generosity when the audience
inserts itself into your story
and makes it theirs.
GQ: The music video for
‘Interloper’ is shot pretty
straightforward, but is quite
heavy on symbolism. Or are
we reading into it too much?
N: It’s seething with
symbolism. My director
Mark Middlewick and I were
having so much fun putting
these things together. It felt
like we were creating our own
occult language, and we were
the only ones who had access
to it. We always have many
ideas when we decide to
create a music video, but
then the end result is always
a much more stripped-back
version of what we had on
paper. Th is time around,
we wanted to have fun.
GQ: The video for
‘Clairvoyant’ depicts a love
story between two men, a
rarity not only in the global
entertainment industry, but
especially in South Africa.
What’s the response to the
video been like?
N: Except for it having an
age restriction on YouTube –
which is a suspicious move
– it has been really positive.
I love that video. Working
with Tebogo Malope was
incredible, and easy. The
positive feedback has been a
blessing. It’s a beautiful video
that nods heavily to Wong
Kar-Wai’s Happy Together.
GQ: There seems to have
been a surge in toxic
masculinity globally.
How do you think we can
combat this in 2018?
N: It’s up to us men. We are
the problem. We are toxic.
So we must change. I do
think that men pretend
that this is rocket science.
It’s really not. It’s simple.
We just need to stop.
The album cover here of
‘You Will Not Die’ by
Nakhane, photographed
by Tarryn Hatchett
essentials
M OV I E S
ACTION
PACK
Three reasons to go to
the movies this month
Words by Evert Lombaert
DEADPOOL 2
Directed by David Leitch; with Ryan
Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin
THE TITAN
Directed by Lennart Ruff; with
Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling,
Tom Wilkinson
In the near-future, with Earth’s
resources rapidly running out,
authorities look towards colonising
Titan as a solution. Against this
backdrop, a group of volunteers
are chemically enhanced in an effort
to prime them for their off-world
environment – but not all goes
according to plan.
Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington)
quickly proves himself a stand-out
subject in the experiment, while
his wife (Orange is the New Black’s
Schilling) watches the changes
from the sidelines. While the plot
is admittedly predictable, the film
nonetheless offers impressive
visuals with some well-paced
action sequences.
While not exactly a must-see on
the big screen, you could spend
worse time in the cinema.
After the original proved itself a box-office
juggernaut, all eyes were on David Leitch
to capture lightning in a bottle for the
second instalment. While Leitch only
has three films under his directorial belt,
he more than proved his action chops
with both John Wick and Atomic Blonde.
Reynolds once again shines as the
antihero Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool)
– a wise-cracking mercenary obsessed
with pop culture.
This is the perfect film if you’re tired
of the same old superhero shtick. An
ideal one to watch with the lads before
a big night out.
+++++
Released 18 May
BEIRUT
Directed by Brad Anderson; with Jon
Hamm, Rosamund Pike
Director Brad Anderson has found
a killer combination in Hamm (Mad
Men) and Pike (Gone Girl).
Set in 1980s Beirut, the story
follows Mason Skiles (Hamm),
a former US diplomat forced to
return to duty to save a colleague
from a group responsible for the
death of his family. Pike plays Sandy
Crowder, the CIA agent tasked with
keeping Mason out of harm’s way.
Tense, intelligent and relevant, it
will keep you pondering long after
the credits have rolled.
+++++
Released 11 May
+++++
Released 4 May
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 41
essentials
THE EDIT
BOOKS
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE...
These authors have been writing for decades, but you’ve just noticed them.
That’s okay: now’s the time to settle in and enjoy their body of work
Words by Cayleigh Bright
Margaret Atwood
Zakes Mda
Kazuo Ishiguro
What you’ve heard Well, it’s more
about what you’ve watched – probably
The Handmaid’s Tale or Alias Grace
(currently showing on Netfl ix and
Showmax, respectively).
What you’ve heard He’s been retweeted
onto your timeline giving insightful
opinions on everything from Trump to
Inxeba – now you’re regretting skipping
your assigned school setworks.
What you’ve heard Ishiguro won the
Nobel Prize late last year so he’s kind
of a big deal. If you’ve seen his name
around but don’t know where, that’s
probably why – and time to change that.
START HERE
START HERE
START HERE
The Heart Goes Last
Black Diamond
Never Let Me Go
(R187, Little, Brown)
Imagining a near future
featuring a financial
crash, sex robots and
a residential prison
(we’ll let the author
explain), this novel
is eerily relatable.
(R185, Penguin SA)
Centred on one man
whose girlfriend’s
ambitions have always
outstripped his own, this
is a tale of crime and
trying to stay honest
and free in modern SA.
(R187, Faber & Faber)
In what looks like a posh
boarding school, things
are a lot messier than
they seem. There’s
a good movie version
of this one, but read
the book first.
MOVE ON TO THIS:
MOVE ON TO THIS:
MOVE ON TO THIS:
The Blind Assassin
Ways of Dying
(R208, Little, Brown)
A simple story about
Canada in the recent
past. Seems normal until
the tongue-less virgins
held prisoner on the
planet Zycron come in!
(R209, Picador)
Mda’s first novel features
a main character with
an unusual career: he’s
a professional mourner,
in a city in just-postdemocracy SA.
Faber & Faber)
What seems at first
to be a dull account
of a long drive turns
into a tale of World
War-era conspiracy.
NEXT UP:
NEXT UP:
NEXT UP:
The Handmaid’s
Tale (R189, Vintage)
Sometimes There
is a Void: Memoirs
of an Outsider
The Buried Giant
We don’t need to tell
you much about the
totalitarian world in this
one – you’ve probably
seen the series, and
read the think pieces.
42 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
(R385, St Martin’s)
Now that you’re a fan,
find out where the
author comes from,
in his own words.
The Remains of
the Day (R187,
(R187, Faber & Faber)
Critics were divided on
this one, so best to
decide for yourself.
Expect a Game of
Thrones-esque setting
and very polite dialogue.
essentials
THE EDIT
SERIES
SCREEN
QUEENS
What the GQ team is
binge-watching right now
JESSICA JONES (SEASON 2)
Words by Ruby Parker
THE GOOD FIGHT (SEASON 2)
The first season of this spin-off saw The
Good Wife’s Diane (Christine Baranski)
lose her pension in a Madoff-like scam,
forcing her to reinvent her career as a
partner at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad.
The second season further explores
the dynamic of being a black-owned
legal firm in Trump’s America, delivering
the same smart social commentary.
After a two-year hiatus, our
favourite female anti-hero is finally
back in action. The series kicks
off – pardon the pun – with Jessica
attending court-ordered anger
management therapy. When a
mysterious figure from her past
returns, Jessica is forced to
confront painful truths. Will her
violent temper derail her career
as a Hell’s Kitchen’s strongest PI
or will she conquer her demons?
QUEER EYE
IZOMBIE (SEASON 4)
HOMELAND (SEASON 7)
The funniest zombie show on TV is
back for another season of murder
mysteries and revoltingly delicious
brain recipes. Now that the zombie
is out of the bag, Seattle is on
lockdown with Fillmore-Graves
keeping the peace. But as tension
keeps rising in the city, will Liv and
the gang be able to prevent a
full-brown zombie apocalypse?
From falling in love with a domestic
terrorist, to saving Berlin from Islamic
extremists, we’ve followed Claire
Danes’s award-winning performance
as CIA operative – to eventual ex-CIA
operative – Carrie Mathison for seven
years. Now, while still battling her
personal demons, Mathison is in
Washington DC taking on a Trumplike administration with special guests
– the Russians.
44 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF NETFLIX
The latest Netflix reboot sees the new
Fab Five take helpless heterosexuals
under their wings and give them the
tools to change their lives. More than
just a makeover show, it manages to
completely transcend its genre, focusing
on the inner transformation that takes
place in most of the ‘straight guys’.
We dare you not to cry.
essentials
PROFILE
Battling the
darkness
Meet Blessing Ngobeni, the award-winning
artist turning tragedy into triumph
Words by Piet Smedy
Photographs by
Annalize Nel,
Courtesy of Circa/
Everard Read
46 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
he life of Blessing Ngobeni,
like his work, is complex.
There’s a deep-rooted
poignancy to it. There’s anger,
too. Lots of it. Every piece he
creates is a visceral snapshot
of a scarred psyche. It’s pretty
heavy-going, but he’s not
having it any other way.
‘My childhood experiences
haunt me to this day. I would
be being dishonest with
myself and, frankly, unfair
if I neglected my past,’ he
says. ‘It plays a huge role in
my work because I wouldn’t
exist without having been
in those circumstances.’
Given up by his mother and
repeatedly beaten by his uncle
with a chicotte (this would
become the artist’s most
recurring motif), he ran away
and lived on the streets until,
for his part in an armed
robbery, he ended up in prison.
It is here that Ngobeni
discovered art, developing
his style from Renaissancelike naturalism to a mix of
montage, paint and
phantasmagorical figures.
‘The characters you see in my
works came from a dream,’ he
explains. ‘At first I was terrified,
I couldn’t understand them.
And so I started drawing them
on my canvases and the fear
slowly started to disappear.’
What has appeared in the
place of fear is a resolute stand
against oppression and the
disenfranchising of the poor
by the kleptocratic elite.
‘Current affairs jump into my
creative process, it’s almost
impossible to ignore them,’
Ngobeni says. ‘The struggle –
and the fight – for existence
still haunts the human race.’
In both concept and
execution, it’s easy to see the
uncanny similarity to works
such as Guernica or the style
of Basquiat (comparisons in
biography here are also too
easy), yet Blessing had never
encountered these artists. ‘But
since discovering them they
have inspired me and now
contribute to my work,’ he says.
What success and good
fortune he has today is
certainly not the product of
divine intervention but the
result of his iron will and
determination not only to
survive but to triumph.
For upcoming shows,
visit everard-read.co.za
Exhibit A
Three artistic events to add
to your diary this month
Warmblooded
by Katrin Coetzer
Where: Salon91, Cape Town
When: 4 April to 19 May
What to expect: In a homage
to British naturalist David
Attenborough, Coetzer
explores the natural world in
a modern context through
drawing, painting and collage.
Winter Sculpture Fair
When: 12 and 13 May
Where: Nirox, Cradle of
Humankind, Krugersdorp
What to expect: The gardens
of the Nirox sculpture park
is open to the public for
a weekend of food, wine and
contemporary art – against the
beautiful Highveld backdrop.
Botanical Art Worldwide
When: 17 May to 9 June
Where: Everard Read,
Johannesburg
What to expect: 83 local artist
will participate in this worldwide
exhibition of contemporary
botanical art, based on the
theme of indigenous plants.
‘ M Y PA S T PL AY S A H UG E R OL E I N M Y WOR K
B E C AU S E I W O U L D N ’ T E X I S T W I T H O U T H AV I N G
BEEN IN THOSE CIRCUMSTANCES’
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 47
TURNING
HEADS
Photographs by Tom Kirkpatrick and Dieter Losskarn
48 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
BMW added another member
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BMW X2 sDrive 20i
& xDrive 20d
ENGINE
2.0-l. turbo petrol/2.0-l. turbo diesel
paired with a 7-speed/8-speed
Steptronic and front-wheel/
all-wheel drive
POWER
141/140kW and 280/400Nm
PERFORMANCE
0-100km/h in 7.7/7.7 seconds;
top speed 227/221 km/h
PRICE
R644 252 for the M Sport trim petrol
to R723 854 for the M Sport X diesel
bmw.co.za
I
n a couple of quick
outlines, BMW designer
Hussein Al-Attar puts
the X2’s genetic essence
to a piece of paper. I am
sitting next to him at a dinner
table in Lisboa’s new hotspot
Village Underground, the
Portuguese equivalent to Jozi’s
trendy Maboneng Precinct.
‘What we didn’t want to do,
was create a smaller version of
the X6. I tried that, but it didn’t
work’, says Al-Attar. Indeed,
the X2 differs significantly
in style from its older and more
settled brethren, the X6, X5
and X4. It slots between X1,
on whose platform it is based,
although slightly smaller, and
the more grown-up X3, which
is less sporty.
The X2 looks different from
all the others, but is still easily
identifiable as a BMW. It takes
on the likes of Mercedes GLA,
Audi Q2, Volvo XC40 and Range
Rover Evoque in the attractive,
small SUV crossover segment.
It’s what Al-Attar describes as
a coupé-style sports activity
vehicle (SAV) with genes from
both genres, enabling a higher
seating position with a dynamic
driving feel. The BMW badges
on the C-pillar pay homage to
some legendary BMW coupés.
The 3.0-l. CSL and 2000 CS
wore their blue-white propeller
badge on the side with pride. >>
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 49
DRIVE
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coupé is planted
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50 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
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Village Undground
Lisboa, Portugal
YXOLVERDFRP
The all-new X2 appeals to
a younger generation than
the other Xes. Judging by the
reactions in the streets of
Lisbon, it is definitely a head
turner. Even standing still,
the extroverted X2 attracts
attention with its unusual
design: there are the 90mm
twin exhaust pipes for instance,
or the rearward sloping roofline
and the inverted kidney grille,
which broadens at the bottom
not the top. Further eyecatching features are the
massive air inlets in front,
the powerful bumper and
the prominent side skirts 
especially striking in frozen
grey, like on the Galvanic
Gold version I am driving,
with the optional and almost
obligatory) M rear spoiler.
There are two other cool and
unique X2 colours available:
Sunset Orange and Misano
Blue. Wheel sizes range from
17 to 20 inches, where the
latter ones obviously fill the
squared-off wheel arches in
the best possible manner.
The drive along the winding
country roads around the
Portuguese capital doesn’t
disappoint either. The
standalone coupé is planted
fi rmly on the tarmac, no
matter how fast you approach
the corners. And another big
plus for the new generation
of buyers: BMW Connected
Drive merges their smartphones with their ride.
And what is next for Hussein
Al-Attar? After an initial
hesitation, he mentions he is
busy with the update of the X6,
due in 2019. Judging by what
he did with the X2 design, I’m
sure the iconic first-ever BMW
SAV will receive an appealing
and adequate face-lift.
GREAT DRIVE
Words by Dieter Losskarn
Giulia in heels
Fed up with stars, four rings and blue-and-white propellers in your street? Here’s your
chance. Go Italian with the Stelvio, Alfa’s first commercial SUV in its 100-year history
The new Alfa
Romeo Stelvio
might look like
an SUV on the
outside, but
inside it is all
Giulia, from the
steering wheel to
the sleek interior
cockpit design
52 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
frica ‡ gq.co
ha
.z
ut
rs
ca
a/
@g
qs
o
Head to
GQ.co.za/cars
to see the
new Range
Rover Velar
rs
ca
a/
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T
ired of always
seeing the mighty
German SUV
foursome cruising
through Sandton
and Constantia? What about
some Italian flavour? A while
ago, mother Fiat finally took
notice and decided to lure
Alfisti back. It worked bellisimo
with the Giulia, which was
launched a while ago to very
high and well-deserved praise.
Will Stelvio, the first-ever
commercial SUV in 100 years
of Alfa Romeo, impress as well?
The Italian SUV is sharing
its platform with Giulia,
you’re just sitting 19cm higher
 a Giulia in heels, if you will.
And what about the name?
Stelvio Pass, or, as the Italians
call it passionately, Passo dello
Stelvio, is one of the Alps’ most
The Stelvio will
do the same
for Alfa Romeo
as what the
Cayenne did for
Porsche – it will
revive the brand
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
ENGINE
2.0-l. 4 cylinder turbo petrol,
paired with 8-speed auto
POWER
206kW and 400Nm
PERFORMANCE
0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds;
top speed of 230 km/h
PRICE
R810 000 for the Super Model
(18-inch wheels) to R946 000 for
the First Edition (20-inch wheels)
alfaromeo.co.za
The Teutonic competition:
Mercedes GLC
Audi Q5
BMW X3
Porsche Macan
challenging mountain passes.
And the highest one in Italy.
Built in 1825, it has attracted
motorists ever since the birth
of the automobile, with
48 tight hairpin turns on
the Northern side alone, 75 in
total, snaking up to a breathtaking altitude of 2 757 metres.
In German, the pass is known
as Stilfser Joch. Imagine for
a moment BMW had named
their SUVs that, instead of Xes.
BMW Stilfser does not quite
have the same resonance
as Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
And I must admit the Italian
stallion is beautiful to look at
as well. Inside, it is all Giulia,
from the steering wheel to the
interior. The quality does not
quite reach the level of the
German competition, though.
But the drive convinces:
sharp and spontaneous, with
just the right amount of tail
happiness in dynamic mode.
It is the lightest mid-size SUV
in the segment, using lots
of aluminium and even
a carbon-fibre drive shaft.
And there is more power
on the way. As with the Giulia,
there will be a hi-performance
Quadrifoglio version as well.
The Ferrari-derived 2.9-l. V6
bi-turbo with 375kW/600Nm
will be available towards the
end of 2018.
The Stelvio will do the same
for Alfa Romeo as what the
Cayenne did for Porsche –
it will revive the brand.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 53
frica ‡ gq.co
ha
.z
ut
What’s COOKING?
Don’t miss our exciting new features, interactive theatres, the launch of Braaitology brought to you by
Chad-O-Chef & so much more. Visit our website and social media for more info.
This ticket allows you complimentary access to
Fire & Feast Meat Festival on Friday the 8th of June
2018 ONLY. This ticket is valid for one person & one
day only.
Wealth
WORDS BY DAVID HALLIDAY AND DAMIEN WOOLNOUGH. PHOTOGRAPHS BY REX FEATURES/INPRA
The smart money: H O W T O N E G O T I A T E L I K E A D I P L O M A T s K E E P U P T O D A T E W I T H T A X I N C R E A S E S
IT’S TIME TO
FIND A MENTOR
Because your career deserves it and it’s not just
about standard lessons between teacher and
student, as industry guru Mark Bouris explains
I
t’s not often we fly in
the face of Mahatma
Gandhi’s sage advice
– after all, he had cred,
barefoot swagger and
that whole ‘peace unto others’
thing going on. But his
musings that ‘Those who
know how to think need no
teachers’ arguably comes a
little unstuck in the modern
business pantheon.
Because to achieve
professional success in
today’s heaving and fastchanging environment is
to embrace teachers and
explore the lessons of others.
It means getting a mentor –
someone respected and
accomplished, ideally,
and an invaluable guide to
hopeful future achievement.
Mentors come in many,
varied shapes. Today’s
digitised environment means
unequivocal access to inspiring
leaders who previously sat
locked away behind large
wooden doors, in offices of
leather and glass. Not now.
Want to bask in the business
nous and savvy of Richard
Branson, Jeff Bezos or Larry
Page? Well, they’re but a simple
Google search away (the latter
likely pleased with the use
of that specific search engine).
But mentors also abound on
this side of the screen – from
within the same, or similar,
sector you’ve adopted, or
walking through the same
office you already spend
too much time in.
Leading Australian serial
entrepreneur Mark Bouris
believes the best mentors
can be akin to a great coach.
‘Look at [rugby coach]
Wayne Bennett,’ says Bouris.
‘He’s a great mentor to the
players because he’s always
asking questions of them,
“What are you going to do
today?” and, “How are you
going to get to where you need
in the next six weeks?” And it’s
the same with mentors and
business professionals.’
Questions are key to any
successful mentor-protégé
relationship. And they must
be direct, firm and likely from
an unexpected point of view.
‘The best mentors are not
the people who give answers –
they’re those who ask
questions,’ says Bouris. ‘You,
the business owner, or you,
the professional, you’re the one
who must have the answers
– and if you don’t, then you
need to develop or come up
with them. And a good mentor
will ask the hard questions –
they’re not saying “Well done,
you’ve reached your goals,”
because that’s bullshit; you
need someone who says,
for example, “What’s it going
to be like in 25 years if you’re
still doing the same job?” They
must challenge you and make
you think, “Shit, he’s right –
where will I be?”’
In business, adds Bouris,
questions should be built
around cash flow.
‘Is the cash coming in
equalling the cash going out?
How’s the timing of it? What’s
the velocity of the cash coming
in compared to the velocity
of the cash going out? If you’re
looking for a good mentor, then
you want someone who’s going
to challenge you the whole
time – someone to hold you
accountable. It’s a bit like going
to a psychologist – they’ll ask
you questions so you can work
out what’s wrong.’
Unlike a ‘business coach’
or career advisor, who offer
structured rudimentary
teachings about the day-today, from setting up an ABN >>
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 57
wealth
ADVICE
to company structure, employment rules,
and so on, a mentor is ‘that guy or woman
who challenges your total objective. The
one asking, “What the hell are you doing
this for?” Let’s say you’re a professional
working in finance – you’re over it and
want to cash in your long service leave
and all redundancy payments to open
a cafe on the beach. It’ll cost R3 000 000
and make R1 000 000 a year. Well, the first
question [from a mentor] would be, “Are
you buying yourself a job?” Because that’s
what you’re earning now, so why spend
R3 000 000 to earn what you’re earning
now? You’re buying yourself a job.’
Too often, adds Bouris, professionals
seek a mentor too late – when difficulty
and distress has descended.
‘That’s the mistake people make –
thinking they only need a mentor when
they have a problem. The reality is you
should always have someone around
you who can question what you’re doing,
someone to check up to make sure you’re
not going down some track where you
think you’re great, but you’re actually
doing something stupid.’
Given his own successes, Bouris
admits he receives daily e-mails and
LinkedIn requests from those wanting
him as a mentor.
‘And it’s not that I don’t want to help
people. I’d like to help everyone but I can’t
– there are only so many hours in the day
and I’ve got my own businesses to run.’
And he laments that so many expect
assistance and guidance without
coughing up some cash.
‘To be honest, one of the big problems
with mentors is that people never offer
to pay – it’s a time-value thing.’
the opportunity to feel how much
better the world could be, if everyone
had a stronger ability to connect,
reinforced the importance of what
we were doing.’
EXPERT ADVICE
Mark ‘The Boss’ Bouris’s
top tips on mentorship
1. Prepare to be grilled: ‘A good
mentor will ask you the tough
questions – the things you don’t
want to be asked.’
2. Have an open mind: ‘When
someone is asking a question,
know they’re not attacking you –
they’re trying to see if you thought
of certain things.’
3. Ask for guidance: ‘Even if it
means seeking out a boss or the
person you’re reporting to and
making them aware you’re open
to being questioned.’
4. Pay for it: ‘People expect it to be
free – it really shouldn’t be, as it’s
about time-value.’ For valuable,
no-nonsense business advice, listen
to Bouris’s weekly podcasts at
markbouris.com.au; ybr.com.au
MASTERCLASS
Five key mentorships that shaped famous
figures – and what to learn from them.
Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg
Think outside the box
During Facebook’s early years, Steve
Jobs suggested Zuckerberg travel to
India to open his mind – an experience
that had shaped Jobs’s own approach
to business. Zuckerberg said, ‘Having
Lil Wayne and Drake
Don’t begrudge their success
In 2009, Lil Wayne signed the rapper to
his Young Money Entertainment label.
In 2010, Drake’s debut album, Thank Me
Later, became one of the label’s most
successful releases – a huge win for both.
Still, Lil Wayne couldn’t resist a dig
when asked if he was a better rapper
than his protégé. ‘I annihilate that guy,’
he laughed.
Christian Dior and Yves
Saint Laurent
Learn to say ‘yes’ and take opportunities
Saint Laurent started at the bottom,
doing odd jobs in Dior’s Paris studio.
But three years later, Dior passed away,
leaving 21-year-old Saint Laurent at the
helm. ‘He taught me the basis of my art,’
Saint Laurent later said. ‘Whatever was
to happen next, I never forgot the years
I spent at his side.’
Andy Warhol and JeanMichel Basquiat
Mentorships can be a two-way street
‘The relationship was symbiotic,’
Warhol’s long-time assistant Ronnie
Cutrone said of the pop artist’s
connection to Basquiat. ‘Jean-Michel
thought he needed Andy’s fame, and
Andy thought he needed Jean-Michel’s
new blood. Jean-Michel gave Andy
a rebellious image again.’
Mentorships on screen
Some of the greatest pop culture masters and apprentices
MORPHEUS, THE MATRIX
The one-liners, the leather
get-up, the funky pincenez sunglasses – such
an iconic guru.
58 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
YODA, STAR WARS
The quotable little guy who
dispenses gems like: ‘Fear leads
to anger. Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering.’
JOHN KEATING, DEAD
POETS SOCIETY
‘Words and ideas can change
the world,’ the inspirational
teacher advises his students.
GANDALF, THE LORD
OF THE RINGS
Because anyone who can keep
DQDOOZKLWHRXW²WVSRWOHVVLQ
Middle Earth is our hero.
THE
TAXMAN
COMETH
Words by
Bruce Cameron
Keep up to date with tax increases so
you won’t be caught off guard
ILLUSTRATION BY KEENAN JEPPE
Y
ou need to keep a constant lookout for the taxman
– he is ready to pounce if you don’t get it right – and,
to make matters worse, there are sneaky ways that
tax can catch you out. You need to keep up to speed
if you’re not going to take a few punches to the kidneys. Th is
means ensuring that you register as a taxpayer, you submit
your tax returns, both provisional and annual, on time.
If you don’t, you will face severe penalties and interest on
any outstanding amounts you may owe, which could more
than double your tax bill.
It’s equally important that you read about tax increases and
new taxes after the national budget is presented in Parliament
every year and establish what impact they will have on your
fi nances. Th is assessment must be done from the point of
being alive and dead.
You need to keep up to speed if you’re not going
to take a few punches to the kidneys
IT IS IMPORTANT
TO UNDERSTAND
TWO POINTS:
1. You cannot defraud the
taxman. If you do, you are
likely to go to jail and/or pay
a significant fi ne, and then
pay the tax with penalties
and interest. It is not worth
evading tax.
As an aside: don’t get
smart. Many people in
the past have paid the price
of devising schemes that
avoid tax (legal), but that
get very close to evading tax
(illegal) and are termed tax
‘evasion’. The taxman has
the power to declare such
schemes unacceptable and
retrospectively send you
a big bill.
2. You are entitled to structure
your financial affairs to
minimise the tax you pay e.g.
you can reduce your taxable
earnings every year by
contributing 27.5% of those
earnings up to a maximum of
R350 000 to a retirement fund.
In other words, if you earn
a R1 million you could pay
R275 000 to retirement savings,
reducing your taxable income
to R725 000. This would save
you R112 750 in tax this year.
THERE ARE A NUMBER
OF WAYS THE TAXMAN
CAN SNEAK UP ON YOU
IF YOU DON’T KEEP
UP TO DATE. THESE
MEASURES INCLUDE:
1. Fiscal drag. Th is means not
altering tax exemptions and
tax rates to keep abreast of
inflation. The nastiest of these
is capital gains tax (CGT).
CGT takes absolutely no
account of inflation e.g. say
you bought an investment
property 10 years ago for
R1 million and sold it today
for R3 million, and let’s
assume the inflation rate
average is six per cent a year,
that means about R700 000
of the price you received
came from inflation, but
CGT will be assessed on
the entire R2 million profit.
2. Tax increases. Some of the
tax increases are quite obvious,
such as setting higher tax
rates for the wealthy e.g. the
introduction last year of a new
tax bracket of 45% on all
earnings above R1.5 million.
Other increases are a bit more
surreptitious e.g. last year’s
changes to CGT. The problem
here is that most of us think
that we are going to live for
ever. Death is both a capital
gains event (tax on the
difference between the base
cost of your assets and the
at-death value) and estate duty
(a tax on all your assets less
your liabilities). Most of us
also under-estimate the value
of our estates. We forget about
how our homes and other
assets increase in value, even
if only by inflation. Die and
your estate could be facing
sizeable tax bill – that could
reduce the standard of living
of your dependants.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS
YOU CAN LEGALLY
REDUCE YOUR TAX
COMMITMENTS USING
DEVICES SUCH AS:
t Monthly contributions to
a retirement fund.
t A tax-free savings account
(You can contribute R33 000 a
year) with after-tax money but
investment growth is tax free.
t Make donations to dependants,
especially those on zero tax
rates (minor children) or on
lower incomes. This will reduce
any taxes if you pass away.
The best way to keep abreast
of tax changes and minimise
your tax commitment is to get
some help. A properly qualified
financial planner (accredited
by the Financial Planning
Institute) is your best port
of call.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 59
How
diplomacy
can help
your
business
What do
negotiating
peace treaties
and working
over corporate
contracts have
in common? A
fairly extensive
toolkit, says
French
ambassador
Christophe
Farnaud
Words By Nkosiyati Khumalo
60 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
BUSINESS CLASS
W
ith an international relations career spanning
more than 20 years, including stints in the
Middle East, Greece, and Africa, Christophe
Farnaud, France’s ambassador to South
Africa, knows a thing or two about negotiating tough deals.
Here, he shares a few of the top skills he’s mastered – and
how the art of diplomacy can help your business.
BE AUTHENTIC
You have to be yourself.
It sounds naïve, but people
think that because they
have to negotiate, either in
government or the private
sector, they have to hide who
they are – I think that could
be more trouble than the
actual result. When you’re
being yourself, you’re more
at ease; people feel that
and sense they can trust you.
It’s also better for your own
mental health, as well as the
process of negotiation.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
It’s key to prepare and know
what you’re going to talk
about. You have to be ready to
adjust; you have to know who
you’re talking to, what their
need is, and to which point
you can negotiate and make
concessions. But if you don’t
know where your red lines are,
or those of your counterpart,
you won’t find success.
Part of the game is to hide
your red lines at a certain
point, so it’s a permanent
adjustment. Know as much as
you can, so that you can adjust
to reality. At times you must
also understand that you may
be wrong, and so you adjust
again. Understand that you’re
right sometimes, and wrong
sometimes, and that you may
be mistaken, or misled, and
then take into account the
new data and reassess.
COMMUNICATE
The mechanisms of business
and diplomacy are the same,
they’re just applied for different
goals. That includes the
interpersonal relationships,
the intercultural dialogue.
You need to build to some
trust, to convey your message
in the appropriate way,
and to master non-verbal
communication. You must
be clear. You must stick to
the point. Be brief.
It has to do with image
as well. You represent your
country – or your business –
all the time. Of course you
have some freedom and you
have to be yourself, but you
have to know that when people
meet with you, they meet with
a representative of another
entity. Whether it’s on the
record, or off the record,
image is still very important.
TRUST YOUR TEAM
In the same way that countries
can’t do anything on their own
nowadays, individuals always
have to rely on someone else.
Even superheroes have
sidekicks and aides who are
there to prepare their outfits
and equipment. It’s key to
have the right people with
you, to acknowledge what
they’re doing, and to be able
to build team spirit. You’re
more intelligent when you’re
not on your own.
KNOW WHEN TO
WALK AWAY
You must feel it out. If you’re
prepared, and if you know your
position, you know what your
boundaries are. That’s an
objective way to go, but it’s up
to you to trust your gut. Before
reaching that point [of no
return], sometimes it’s better
to stop, leave it for some time
and come back to it. That’s
what makes a good negotiator.
If you rush to the red line
at once, then you have no
room to manoeuvre, and
the cause is lost. You must
do it progressively and you
must get the signals. If your
counterpart gets nervous
or gets too tough, it means
they’ve reached their red lines
before what you thought was
possible. You have to read
those signals.
DEAL WITH A CRISIS
THE RIGHT WAY
You have to know and
understand the situation as
soon as possible; then you have
to think before you react. Don’t
react as fast as possible – think
it over and find the right way.
And of course, it depends
on the damage. Sometimes
it’s unpleasant, but so much
information is produced that
[your crisis can often] quickly
disappear. And by reacting too
swiftly, you can give too much
importance to something
that’s not that significant.
After that, you must see
how much time you have,
work with your team, and
understand, and then find
the right way to react. There
is no absolute rule. Sometimes
you have to talk to a journalist,
sometimes you have to send
a message; sometimes you
can use the same medium,
sometimes a different one.
But I think the recipe is exactly
that there is no recipe. With
the development of social
media this will become
even more complicated.
‘The mechanisms of business and diplomacy are
the same, they’re just applied for different goals’
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 61
It took half a century for the civil rights movement
to deliver an African American to the White House.
But in a nation where police disproportionately
target and kill young black men, where opportunities
for black voices are still narrow and prescribed,
and where counter-protesters feel emboldened
WRVD\EODFNOLYHVGRQ¬WPDWWHUWKH²JKWLVIDUIURP
²QLVKHG1RZMichael B Jordan, star of Marvel’s
blockbuster Black Panther, is picking up the baton
Words by Kevin Powell Photographs by Gavin Bond Creative Direction by
Paul Solomons Styling by Jeff K Kim
GQ MAN
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 63
he first time I truly noticed
Michael B Jordan was in the
2013 low-budget indie film
Fruitvale Station. Yes, I knew his
journeyman standing from TV
shows such as HBO’s The Wire,
but nothing prepared me for his
spirit-chilling depiction of police
shooting victim Oscar Grant. In
this extraordinary performance
as the young black man shot
and killed by a police officer in
Oakland, California in 2009,
Jordan simultaneously
morphed himself into a major
actor and a living, breathing
symbol of what most black men
fear: being killed simply
because we are black.
Afterwards, as the credits
rolled, I sat in the theatre, crying
unashamedly at my country’s
sordid love affair with racism.
And I said to myself, ‘This young
man is going to be somebody...’
And being young, gifted and
black, as Nina Simone once
crooned, for Jordan, meant
being handed the Rocky
franchise by Sylvester Stallone,
in the form of the blockbuster
movie Creed. It also meant
co-starring in the new Marvel
juggernaut Black Panther.
Created, coincidentally, by
comic book innovators Stan
Lee and Jack Kirby just months
before Huey Newton and Bobby
Seale founded the political
organisation of the same name,
Black Panther was the first
superhero of African descent
in mainstream US comics.
It has been a long time coming
for this franchise to make the
transition to cinema, but now
it’s here, at long last.
64 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Directed by Ryan Coogler,
the film marks the third time,
after Fruitvale Station and
Creed, that he and Jordan have
collaborated. All of this is
unprecedented, especially the
fact that it is two young black
men staking claim to a
Hollywood that would not have
been open to them in this way
when Spike Lee first hit the
scene in the late Eighties. Things
done changed. But have they
really? This is what Michael B
Jordan wants to talk about with
me and I with him.
GQ: People are calling you one
of the most dynamic actors
in America. How do you feel
about that?
MICHAEL B JORDAN: Oh, man.
It’s epic. I never got into the
industry on purpose. My mom
was at a doctor’s appointment,
and I was sitting in the waiting
room and the receptionist said,
‘You know, you should get your
son into modelling.’ She had
two boys in the industry so
I went and crashed one of their
auditions. I booked the first one
that I went out on. It was just
like a snowball effect. I never
really, as a kid, dreamed or
watched movies thinking,
‘I want to be an actor.’
GQ: What was your first
acting job?
MBJ: It might’ve been a public
service announcement for Big
Brothers Big Sisters [the US’s
largest mentoring network],
something super small. I was
on The Sopranos as background
extra work. All those small little
successes added up to this path.
GQ: When was the first time you
actually used the word actor
to describe yourself?
MBJ: Probably on All My
Children. I got killed off in The
Wire and then immediately
after I went on this audition
in New York and I got it.
GQ: How old were you?
MBJ: I was about 16. That was
the first time I owned up to
what I was doing. The Wire was
the first time I fell in love with
acting. Actors like Idris Elba and
Dominic West, I credit a lot for
my drive. That planted that seed
in me, but I still had the fear that
it was always going to go away.
GQ: What got you past the rough
times in Los Angeles?
MBJ: I was getting ready to call it
quits around September 2008.
GQ: You were about 20 or 21
years old.
MBJ: Twenty-one. I went to
Anthony Hemingway’s house
for Thanksgiving dinner. I knew
he was up [to direct] this movie
Red Tails, with George Lucas
producing. He told me he was
going to get me an audition.
In my head, I was like,
‘Hopefully, it’s going to work.’
That was the job that gave
me enough money to stay
in Los Angeles.
GQ: Fruitvale Station happened
and both you and Ryan Coogler,
the director, saw your lives
change forever. How does it
feel when you are compared
to Scorsese and De Niro?
MBJ: Those guys were making
movies longer than I’ve been
alive. It’s an incredible honour.
Me and Ryan connected on
a personal level, on a business
level, on a work level and on
a human level. We linked up
at a perfect time in my life,
in our careers, and we been
bopping out ever since.
GQ: How did you meet?
MBJ: I met Ryan when I was
coming back from shooting
Chronicle in South Africa, right
around the time Trayvon Martin
got shot. I remember feeling sick
and wanting to express myself
as best I could as an actor,
especially a black actor. Being
political and speaking out on
issues at that time, I felt a little
nervous to really speak my
truth. I remember writing stuff
on Facebook and deleting it.
I reached out to my agent and
said I want to show I can act.
Give me a gritty independent;
let me see if I can do it.
GQ: This was spurred by
Trayvon Martin getting killed?
MBJ: Yeah. It all happened
one after another. It just so
happened that [the Fruitvale
Station] script came through >>
GQ MAN
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 65
66 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
GQ MAN
and I read it and I cried. Read
it again, cried again. I wanted
to sit down and meet [Ryan].
GQ: You said earlier that you
used to be nervous, but now you
want to talk about changing
things, to talk about race, to
talk about diversity. What has
shifted for you in these few
years of success and stardom?
MBJ: Becoming more
unapologetic, I think. I think
the times are changing. I feel
the responsibility I have [to]
my community that I will
be doing them a disservice
if I didn’t speak up for the
people that look to me to set
an example. The climate of the
world, especially the US, is in
a crazy place. People in the
older generation have said
they’ve seen it before but this
is the first time I’m seeing it.
The Sidney Poitiers, the Harry
Belafontes, have been through
this already, so it would be
disrespectful not to bang down
that door, to continue to pick
up the baton. Obviously, the
game’s changed a little bit,
you’re not quite fighting the
same, but it’s still a fight and
I’ve got to do it my way.
GQ: Some people are called
to do certain things. Do you
feel you have been called to
do what you do?
MBJ: Yes.
GQ: Why?
MBJ: I don’t know. I feel like
doing what I do, it’s not just
acting; it’s what goes into
becoming an actor. People see
the end results. They see the
lights, the premiere, the movie.
They don’t see the time that you
put in by yourself, the lonely
journey. They don’t see the
moments you sleep in your car.
They don’t see when you have to
go into a gas station, swipe your
card to pay then hurry up and
go in the convenience store and
get chips before your card gets
declined because you don’t
have money in your account.
But somehow you still have
faith that you are doing what
you’re supposed to be doing.
When you get some success
you get ridiculed and judged by
everybody, most of the time
by your own people: ‘You’re
not this, you’re not that, you’re
not doing as much as possible.’
It’s tough. Being a black man in
America, you have a systemic
oppression that’s there.
A system that’s put in place
that’s always constantly ripping
you down, [saying] that you’re
not good enough. It’s tough
being a black man in America.
It comes with a lot. So, it’s why
I have chosen to do what I do,
because it’s a weight I’m willing
and able to bear.
GQ: What’s the biggest
misconception about you?
MBJ: I’ve been blessed there’s
not that many things that have
been misconstrued because
I stayed out the way. There’s
things I’ve got to do to be the
best actor I can be and to be
in a position to create my
it’s lacking. If it’s not lacking
equal opportunity there’s no
need for diversity. Since the
beginning of film, it’s [been]
for white people [who] slowly
allowed other ethnicities
to contribute and tell stories.
As times changed, we got to
the point today that you see
so many men and women
behind the camera. Women
are getting more opportunities
in all different lanes. Mankind
has been evolving; technology
has changed. I feel like anybody
can pick up an iPhone and
become a filmmaker.
GQ: This year is the ten-year
anniversary of Barack Obama
becoming the first black
president of the United States.
How far have you come since
Obama was elected?
MBJ: Man, I feel like we’ve
come a long way. I remember
production company, to be able
to create more opportunities
and more roles for men,
women, people of colour, all
ethnicities, to reverse-engineer
this whole prejudice racist shit.
GQ: Are you a leader?
MBJ: Very much so.
GQ: Why?
MBJ: Because I have to be.
GQ: Like Malcolm X or like
Martin Luther King Jr?
MBJ: I’m a mixture of both. I’m
a little bit of Malcolm, a little bit
of Martin. You know, you gotta
be smart and there’s moments
where you gotta be a little bit
more like Martin and moments
you have to be like Malcolm.
GQ: What does diversity mean
to you in Hollywood?
MBJ: You know, diversity only
makes sense in a system where
the day he got elected. I still
have the newspapers.
GQ: That’s around the time you
were about to quit acting.
MBJ: Exactly. I feel it’s the
perfect storm right now.
GQ: For Black Panther
or everything?
MBJ: For everything. Just to
get the opportunity to have
a conversation about a movie
like Black Panther, however
many millions of dollars the
budget is. The studio had to
feel it was the right time to back
a film with a predominately
black cast, that hasn’t been
done before with this budget.
They felt comfortable enough
that it was going to make
an impact, and make money,
because this is a business
and it is about money.
GQ: How important is
Black Panther?
MBJ: I think it’s extremely
important. I feel like I never had
that many actors to inspire me
growing up. Black actors that
I could identify with, that look
like me on screen. I used to see
other films growing up and
I would automatically play
make-believe, films like X-Men.
I watched Blade and I saw
Wesley [Snipes]. I didn’t have
to try that hard to imagine
because I was seeing someone
that resembles me. And I’m
just thinking about what this
movie is going to do to the
kids growing up.
GQ: Which kids?
MBJ: Black kids, white kids, all
kids, because they can imagine
just as much as we can, but
specifically black kids who
don’t have that many positive
examples to look at on TV and
film. We’re giving black people
power, royalty  we don’t gotta
be crackheads or gangbangers,
selling drugs or robbing people.
We don’t have to be comic relief.
We can be superheroes.
GQ: You’ve mentioned women.
#MeToo has exploded
worldwide. What are your
thoughts about what’s going on?
MBJ: I think it’s just a cleansing.
I think it’s a power thing and
that’s in all industries. I feel like
whenever there’s power and
men in power, there’s going to
be an abuse of power, that’s just
human nature. The culture of
Hollywood is changing now,
on all levels, behind the camera
[and] in front. And whenever
there’s a shift in power, it’s
going to be rough. We’re going
through that stage right now.
I’m glad it’s coming out.
Because now you have to hold
people accountable. People
that were scared to say or speak
their truth now are feeling
comfortable. People are going
to be more responsible with
the positions that they are in
right now and that’s taught
down. You have to weed the
motherfuckers out so the next
crop that come up can learn
the right way.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 67
Words by Eleanor Halls Illustrations by Gavin McBain
*,Q³XHQFHU
Ĩ%*ġý++ġ1$*ġ/!.ĩ*+1*
1. A person or thing that influences; 2. A person who has the
power to influence many people, as through social media or
traditional media; 3. A super narcissist who purports to wield
the power of the digital crowd, yet by fusing their own often
sheltered personal lives and niche interests with a vast
commercial ambition has lost complete control of their own
identity and, in some cases, their morals
The first influencer species evolved from the millennial. They were discovered
around seven years ago on YouTube, where they spent their days VLOGGING
about their pets and how many avocados they ate for lunch. They then briefly
migrated to Twitter and Facebook, where they were bored and did nothing,
before settling in their millions on the glossy plains of Instagram, where they
now post SELFIES wearing athleisure and drinking turmeric lattes in an
attempt to lure their primary source of sustenance: FOLLOWERS. Between
followers, the influencer snacks on good lighting, symmetry and modishly shabby
rooftops. The influencer’s special treat is a juicy ‘paid-for-partnership’. But the
influencer is breeding fast. Too fast. Soon, influencers may even be considered
pests, like the grey squirrel. The influencer is everywhere, identifiable by the
tiny balls of light that flash around their puckered lips as they brandish a selfie
stick. They have captured SOCIAL MEDIA and are holding it hostage.
The traditional CELEBRITY, which once wielded power like no other,
is now nearing extinction as the influencer sucks its bones.
So, who comprises this new breed? What do they want? How do they live?
And, more importantly, what exactly is their game? Welcome to GQ’s guide
to influencers, where we put this strange creature under the microscope...
68 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
FEATURE
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 69
1.0\ZHHNE\DQLQ³XHQFHU
Monday
6am: Woke
up not feeling
that #blessed
because ‘hun’
was at it with
her Dyson
Light Ball
vacuum
again. She
has since
received
three
other
supersonic
vacuums but can
only keep one.
That’s our rule,
or else our home
would become
a free gift museum.
Actually, that
sounds quite
lucrative...
6pm: Head of
press at [redacted]
MXVWHPDLOHG
to ask why the
OLPLWHGHGLWLRQ
monogrammed
leather wallet
they sent me
for my birthday
has ended up on
eBay. ‘We’d have
been a bit less
upset,’ she said,
‘if you’d at least
Instagrammed
it before you
sold it to the
highest bidder.’
7XHVGD\
10am: I’ve
got a meeting
with my manager
DERXWP\²YH
year plan. Think
I’m going to
suggest the free
gift museum.
It could also
have a regift
shop. Punters
would have
to pay for the
gifts, naturally.
3pm: My
manager didn’t
like the free gift
museum idea.
She says it
reminds her
RI.LP-RQJXQ¬V
International
Friendship
Exhibition
House. ‘Exactly,’
I said, beaming.
Looking pained,
she said, ‘I mean
I think it’s
exploitative.’
‘I think you’re
being
unreasonable,’
I replied.
‘You know
very well I’d
give you free
entry. And
TXHXHMXPS¬
:HGQHVGD\
8am: I banned
the word ‘nose’
from my Youtube
and Instagram
comments today.
Was starting to
get a bit upset.
People kept
saying it looked
like a pig pressed
up against glass.
'LGDVLGHE\VLGH
comparison and
I don’t think it’s
fair at all.
3pm: Think
I may have gotten
to the bottom of
nosegate. I spent
WKHODVW²YHKRXUV
scrolling through
my photo archive
and realised every
single shot of
me taken by my
second assistant is
from my bad side.
I will have to ask
P\²UVWDVVLVWDQW
to let her go.
8pm: Still
feeling a bit low.
I’ve sent an email
to my agent asking
if I could get
a complimentary
QRVHMRELI,DJUHH
to Facebook Live
it. I think fans
would appreciate
the honesty.
7KXUVGD\
)ULGD\
11am: Went
to a blogger’s
brunch. No one
spoke. One girl
spent so long
taking pictures
of her eggs
Florentine she
had to send them
back and get
a fresh plate.
3pm: Prepared
for tonight’s slew
of unboxing videos
with manicure.
The beautician
said, ‘You have so
many paper cuts.’
I felt proud.
10pm:
Tonight’s
dopamine kick was
super. I managed
to press ‘thumbs
down’ on four
rival bloggers’
new videos within
one minute of
each going live.
God bless
Google Alerts.
7am: I am
RXWUDJHG$IDPLO\
run restaurant in
rural Tuscany has
screenshot an
email I sent
them asking for
a complimentary
dinner in return
for coverage
and posted it on
Twitter. I am now
the laughing stock
of the blogging
community.
10am: I’ve
regained some
dignity by writing
250 bad reviews
of said restaurant
on TripAdvisor
and have reported
it to the Tuscan
Meat and Poultry
Hotline. Is this
what Sheryl
Sandberg meant
with ‘leaning in’?
3pm: Was
a guest on the
Fools On Hashtags
podcast over
lunch and got the
horrible feeling it
was all a big hoax.
The hosts kept
laughing when
I said, ‘content
creation’. I’m
SUREDEO\MXVWEHLQJ
a bit paranoid.
2. Micro-influencer because size doesn’t matter
&DQ¬WJHWDERYHIROORZHUV"&DOO\RXUVHOIDPLFURLQ³XHQFHUDQGHYHU\RQHZLOOQRGVDJHO\
0LFURLVWRPDFUR
ZKDWKLSVWHULV
WRPDLQVWUHDP
Or what the hipster
used to be, before it
became mainstream.
Call yourself a
PLFURLQ³XHQFHUDQG
you are uncorrupted.
<RX¬UHQRWMXVWD
soulless walking
bilboard. You’re real.
And now savvy brands
70 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
have caught on.
Marketing company
HelloSociety has found
accounts with 30 000
or fewer followers have
60 per cent higher
engagement rates
than those with
higher followings.
And the higher your
engagement, the
more visible your post
becomes and the more
consumers will care.
7KHK\SHUFXUDWHG
DQGWLQ\FLUFOHRI
VXSHULQ³XHQFH
A certain pedigree
RILQ³XHQFHUSUXQHV
KLVSUR²OHOLNHDGHOLFDWH
plant, fearful that any
unwholesome followers
may tarnish his
UHSXWDWLRQ+LVSUR²OH
is on private mode, so
followers must request
his approval before
they are privy to his
feed, thus cultivating a
sense of privilege and
gratitude among his
inner circle. And
eventually it becomes
VHOIUHJXODWLQJ:RXOG
you have the audacity
to follow Elon Musk
if his followers were
made up of 50 of the
world’s most respected
entrepreneurs? Of
course not.
3
The GQ
graftometer
An (improbable)
timeline to formidable
social media success
1. Your Instagram
goes live. You feel
uncomfortable.
2. You start blogging
about the highs and
lows of your commute.
3. You buy your first
high-quality camera
for slick production.
4. You reach 10 000
followers and call
yourself a minimicro-influencer.
5. You get approached
by Protein World for
potential sponsorship.
6. With 30 000 followers
you can now make
an honest living.
7. You install a cat flap
in your front door for
parcel delivery from
brands.
8. You quit your day job
and move out of your
mum’s house.
9. Your other half quits
their job to become
your photographer.
10. You attend three to
four different brand
events every evening.
11. You stop seeing
family and friends and
your other half hates
you. Their photos of
you reflect this hate.
12. You have a nervous
breakdown.
13. You break up with
and fire your partner
and hire an assistant.
14. You become ‘this
week’s influencer to
follow’ on LinkedIn.
15. The word ‘spon’
stops autocorrecting to
‘soon’ on your iPhone.
16. You publish your
memoirs or a veganthemed baking book.
FEATURE
The Adventurer Dad
The Auto Blogger
HE N
I
TT
If thumbs weren’t propped up like struggling shrubs on stakes,
the gamer would be an MC, because between 15-hour stints of
COD, during which he must pee in a cup, and get Mr Delivery to
physically nourish him as he plays lest he lose a single viewer, the
gamer is rapping. He got the knack for spitting 140 beats a minute
while monologuing at a great speed, primarily about his
childhood, to maintain viewership.
The emoji:
The hashtag: #Rekt The geotag: VidCon,
Anaheim Convention Center7KH²OWHUNormal
S
The hashtag: #Fastlife
The emoji:
The goetag: Emirates Lounge, Dubai7KH²OWHUSierra
R
IN
4
FL
The Gamer
)RUWKHVXSHUFDULQ³XHQFHUHYHU\WKLQJLVRXWUDJHRXV7KHZD\
the engine purrs? Outrageous. That speed? Outrrrrrageous. Once
in the car – sorry, ‘toy’ – the petrolhead behaves as if recording
a voice-over for a porno. ‘Yeee-ahhhh’, ‘Watch the beauty go’,
‘Ohh-h-h-h, yes, yes, go, go.’ It’s the sex he never had and never
will if he keeps pairing yellow V-necks with red trousers and
wearing his driving shoes to parties.
E
CH
The emoji:
The hashtag: #Homeiswheretheheartis
The geotag: Location not found7KH²OWHULark
MEE
This guy always catches the worm. And he’ll tell you about it
HYHU\PRUQLQJZLWKDDPSLFWXUHRIKLV²QJHUVVSOD\HGEHWZHHQ
sunbeams, his wrists threaded with bracelets. The caption?
‘Harness the light.’ Backtrack through his feed and you’ll see
him eating insects with his children, alongside captions about
educational reform. You’ll see his wife, barefoot in the back of
an RV as the family blog extols the virtues of downsizing.
U E NCE
The Horological Connoisseur
The horological connoisseur is anxious to let everyone know he is
superior to the Auto Blogger. They may move in the same circles,
use the same private jets, tailors, jewellers and accountants, but
they couldn’t be more different. The HC is a professor of his craft;
the AB is a show-off. Only high-complication watches designed
by boutique ateliers make the cut – and he’ll check your wrist
before your name to make sure you do too. >>
The emoji:
The hashtag: #Swisslife The geotag: Baselworld,
Switzerland7KH²OWHU Mayfair
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 71
5. Things you
should never say
as an influencer
«,Q³XHQFHU¬
6D\WKHZRUG«LQ³XHQFHU¬
WRDIHOORZLQ³XHQFHU
and they’ll never feature
\RXLQWKHLUGRJ²OWHUHG
Snapchat video again.
&DOOLQJWKHPLQ³XHQFHUV
makes it sound like
all they do is trick you
into buying Cocowhite
teeth-whitening kits
on Instagram.
‘Thanks for buying
P\KRXVH¬
When faced with a room
full of fans who have all
paid R500 to come and
see you speak at the
annual blogging event
HelloWorld, under no
circumstance must you
ever imply their now
empty wallets funded
your recent move. They
might be too young
to get the joke, but
their parents aren’t.
«7KH)ZRUG¬
No, not the curse
word, ‘Famous’. As an
LQ³XHQFHU\RXGLGQRW
seek out this life of
money and celebrity.
It came to you. You could
never have predicted
a humble hobby could
prove so successful.
Thus, the hypocrisy
when complaining
how disrespectful fans
are to camp outside your
home like you’re the
latest Apple product.
7
Warning!
Becoming
an influencer
can be bad for
your health
The multimillionaire 24-yearold Olajide Olatunji, aka KSI,
on why he quit his career as the
UK’s biggest gaming YouTuber.
6. The seriously dumb (but very popular) art of unboxing
Some people will watch anything. Repeatedly...
DON’T
1. Moisturise your
hands and oil up
those cuticles.
2. Invest in a quality
penknife. Watching
you struggle with
a stubborn piece
of cardboard will
instantly break the
hypnotic spell.
3. Spend time peeling
the protective plastic
film off your new
screen. It’s the ‘haul
fetishist’’ equivalent
of an orgasm.
4. Keep repeating how
blessed, grateful and
spoilt you are.
5. Invest in a large
skip for your
prospective recycling
and sweeten up your
neighbours with
financial incentives
for accepting
deliveries when
you’re out.
besides eat, sleep and
work. My parents were
extremely worried.
‘I did it for eight years
and there were highs
and lows. It was a lot of
fun and I loved playing
games. Racism was
a big low. I got a lot of
comments, as well as
verbal and physical
abuse. YouTube is a
hostile place, because
drama sells. People
want blood. ‘Eventually,
I lost my head. I got
sick of it all. I saw my
parents once a year
despite the fact they
live 90 minutes away.
I had no friends outside
of YouTube. I was too
busy. I burnt myself out
and was physically sick.
I had been doing it for
so long, I felt drained.
So I just left. I deleted
my videos. Everyone
freaked out. ‘I didn’t
create content for four
months. I travelled
instead. I got a
girlfriend and that
made my life a lot
easier. I worked out.
,²QDOO\GLGHYHU\WKLQJ
that wasn’t YouTube.
After that, I was ready
to come back. I was
excited by YouTube
again and ready to start
a music career.’
‘Unboxing’ videos,
where you open
a new gadget, and
‘haul’ videos (where
you work through
a mountain of free
gifts) have become
a new form of online
hypnotherapy. It’s like
watching Dr Pimple
Popper release
a unicorn cyst. Sure,
they make your soul
seem a bit gormless,
but wait until you see
the viewing numbers.
Here’s how to make
a living from your post:
‘When I was 16,
I went to school and
asked my teacher how
much he earned. I told
him how much I was
paid a month for
playing video games:
R20 000. He was
shocked. He said I was
earning more than him.
So I quit school that
day. I started playing
video games 24/7.
I didn’t do anything
DO
1. Start your video by
baby talking to your
pet, mindlessly scatting
or nagging your partner
as if you don’t know the
camera was rolling and
then forget to edit it out.
2. Dither on for more
than 16 minutes.
Eleven minutes is
the optimal time.
Six is too short.
3. Admit you’re going
to sell this all for profit
on Ebay.
FEATURE
The
caption
This can make or
break your post.
A witty caption can
excuse a narcissistic
VHO²HRUDKROLGD\
gloat.
#OOTD
The
hashtag
Using a small
number of niche,
VSHFL²FKDVKWDJVDOORZV
your post to come up
in Instagram’s ‘explore’
tab for the hashtagged word.
7KH²OWHU
Instagram has
GLIIHUHQW²OWHUV
of different
brightnesses
and contrasts.
Anatomy
of a post
A fail-safe
cop-out for when
you’re low
on puns.
The
time to post
The
The detritus TFLers,
those tragic upstarts
trying to make it big by
promising randoms likes
in the hope they will
return the favour.
Just don’t.
TA L
Including your
location boosts your
post’s visibility and
is favoured in the
Instagram explore tab
for that location.
K
8
glossary
#Instagood
A seal of
excellence. This
hashtag should only
label your very
best photos.
#TBT
(Throwback
Thursday)
The only day
to legitimately post
old pictures without
being totally
cringe.
W TO
..
HO
The
geotag
#
#TagForLikes
.
According to Later,
try 7pm on Mondays,
10pm on Tuesdays, 5pm on
Wednesdays, 7am on
Thursdays, 8pm on Fridays,
12am and 2am on
Saturdays and 5pm
on Sundays.
The
emoji
Often a segue to discuss
body transformation. Post
a picture of you previously
disgusting self next to
a picture of your shiny
new self and demand
praise.
One of the most
popular hashtags on
the ’gram is the fabled
«RXW²WRIWKHGD\¬RIWHQ
accompanied by
a ‘candid’ shot of
WKHLQ³XHQFHU
IN F U E N
L
Flat lay
(YHU\LQ³XHQFHU¬V
favourite Instagram shot:
the bird’s-eye view, often
taken by standing on a chair.
The wider view means their
charming woven mat
stays in shot with their
quinoa pancake.
Shadowban
What happens when
you use vague, incorrect and
FRQ³LFWLQJKDVKWDJVDWRQFH'LG
you hashtag #TravelTuesday when
you’re actually at your desk? Instagram
will shadowban (hide) you appearing
in the feed for that hashtag. Similarly, if
you think more hashtags means more
visibility for your post, you’re wrong.
You’ll end up shadowbanned for
every hashtag. Stick to
a maximum of four.
Throwback
$Q,Q³XHQFHU¬V
way of posting an old
holiday picture in
mid-December because
their body looked great,
without provoking
snarky put-downs.
Spon
Short for
sponsored post
and a naughty
LQ³XHQFHU¬VZD\
of obscuring
an advert.
Words to
live by...
Rule
of thirds
#IGers
Aka,
Instagrammers.
A group of people who
so greatly value their
Instagram input that
WKH\PXVWGH²QH
themselves with a
hashtag.
R
Placing your
subject slightly
off-centre is far more
pleasing to the eye
than bang in
the middle.
#FBF
(Flashback
Friday)
CE
The pose
$I²OLDWHOLQN
After gazing at
a Boomerang of an
LQ³XHQFHUFOLFNLQJWKHKHHOV
of their new leather loafers
together, they’d like you to visit
the designer’s page (‘link in my
bio!) and buy them, please,
so they can get a healthy
cut of the revenue.
Divide a photo into
nine squares using two
horizontal lines and two
vertical lines. Anything of
importance should be placed
along the lines or at their
intersections, which
creates a pleasing
aesthetic.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 73
Ph
Words by Bernd Fischer
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MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 75
‘I don’t remember
life without
fashion’
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on GQ.co.za
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MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 77
amburg-born Antonia ‘Toni’ Garrn is not
a professional German soccer player, but if
you believe in fate, and understand her native
country’s obsession with ‘Fußball’, it’s more
than probable to see how the sport led the
bright and beautiful model into the spotlight,
ultimately making Garrn one of Deutschland’s
most famous exports
As Germany’s national sport,
it’s no surprise that both the
men’s and women’s teams
currently rest in the top
three of FIFA’s World
Rankings at number one
and three, respectively.
But to understand the
connection between the
European country’s love affair
with the sport and how it led to
Garrn’s burgeoning modelling
career (and everything else
that followed), you have to
look back 12 years.
Soccer is German culture. In
2006, Germany hosted the FIFA
World Cup, and it’s in Hamburg
that summer at a FIFA Fan Fest
that a 13-year-old Garrn was
discovered by Claudia Midolo,
owner of one of Germany’s
most influential modelling
agencies. Two years later, Garrn
made her runway debut as
an exclusive for Calvin Klein.
After that, it was work with
more luxury fashion brands,
including Boss, Chanel, Dior,
Dolce & Gabbana, Louis
Vuitton and Michael Kors.
Drop a name and Garrn has
ticked it off the ‘dream jobs’ list.
‘I don’t remember life without
fashion,’ the 25-year-old tells
78 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
me when asked how she feels
today when looking back at
that lightning-fast journey.
‘That hectic start also feels ages
ago, and I miss the crazy
fashion week days. Life has
definitely slowed down, or
I guess just normalised and
become healthier,’ she adds.
‘To be in one place for a week
or two and have a routine is my
goal now, yet it honestly feels
super strange still. I’m trying
to get used to the less crazy
lifestyle and enjoy it lots, too.’
But despite what Garrn says,
she continues to fill her
portfolio with glossy magazine
features, appearing in Glamour,
Harper’s Bazaar and Marie
Claire, and on exclusive covers
for numerous international
editions of Elle, Numéro and
Vogue. And the industry leaders
love her: she boasts being shot
by photographers Peter
Lindbergh, Karl Lagerfeld,
Steven Meisel, Mert and
Marcus, Mariano Vivanco
and Ellen von Unwerth.
Again: drop any name.
So, we don’t believe for
a second that life could’ve
slowed down, especially since
we’ve only touched the tip of
‘It’s our
job to
take care
of the
young
girls who
could
easily be
put in
dangerous
situations.
It’s time!’
to understand Steenkamp’s
situation. ‘Of course I wish
I had contact with her family
and friends to gain even more
insight into her. Nonetheless,
I’m proud of the work I did
as the result of my extensive
research into her life,’
she explains about the
controversial film that saw
Steenkamp’s family vehemently
distancing themselves from the
production. But the backlash
has not set Garrn back where
her acting ambitions are
concerned. ‘I definitely enjoy
acting and I want to pursue
more of it, for sure. But I don’t
think I’ll ever stop modelling.’
So we guess, among all the
others, Victoria’s Secret can
rest assured.
Like many of her famous
friends, Garrn also has her
own way of challenging the
stereotypes associated with the
occupation. Right when her
modelling career was kicking
off, a crucial time for anyone
in the industry, Garrn skipped
fashion week in 2010 to focus
on her final exams. As a
champion of education for
underprivileged young women,
Garrn has done plenty of
charity work throughout
her life. She’s been a global
ambassador for Plan
International’s Because I am
a Girl campaign since 2014,
which led her to establish the
Toni Garrn Foundation, aimed
at uplifting young women.
‘I want to support different
campaigns, different projects
and children in countries all
over the world,’ says Garrn,
adding that she didn’t want to
be limited by an organisation
or specific campaign to support
women. ‘I love travelling to
Africa, and I have some great
fund-raising ideas.’
Garrn has worked in South
Africa – and fallen in love with
the country – too. ‘My work
with my foundation has
introduced me to an amazing
woman named Mickey, who
feeds 300 children daily from
her own home in Khayelitsha.
She was an inspiration to meet
PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT MARION GRAND. STYLED BY GABRIELA LANGONE. MAKEUP BY CAMPBELL RITCHIE. HAIR BY EARL SIMMS. SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE CHATWAL, NEW YORK
h
the iceberg. But perhaps Garrn
feels that way because her life
has been in constant motion.
By the age of ten, Garrn had
moved with her family from
Hamburg to London, then
Athens, and finally back to
Hamburg, a childhood that
prepared her for the hectic
lifestyle of modelling.
‘I never had a problem being
spontaneous and travelling
anywhere in the world because
of the way I was brought up,’
she says.
Somewhere between plane
hopping to cross borders and
several timezones, often all in
a day’s work, Garrn has recently
managed to pursue another
passion: acting. Her most
notable role, certainly to
South Africans, is that of
Reeva Steenkamp in last year’s
Lifetime movie Oscar Pistorius:
Blade Runner Killer. The biggest
challenge of portraying the
former model on screen?
‘Besides trying to keep the story
as true as possible, and learning
a South African accent in a very
short time, I think the main
focus for me was to honour and
respect Reeva’s life and legacy,’
says Garrn. ‘She was such
a special and smart young
woman,’ adding that she was
fixed on channelling empathy
and doing the best she could
WOMAN
this past January, and it brings
me joy to support her work.’
In a Trumpian world
dominated by sexism and
misogyny, Garrn still has
a lot of work to do in the
fashion business as well,
where the #MeToo movement
peaked this year. ‘I think it’s
our responsibility to speak up,
and tell the truth about every
bit of our industry,’ she says.
‘I have been very lucky
throughout my career, and
I feel like it’s our job to take
care of the young girls who
could easily be put in
dangerous situations. It’s time!’
Here’s to strong women like
Garrn, who want you to know
that it’s possible to be both
bright and beautiful.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 79
REPORT
Words by James Vlahos
Illustrations by Ori Toor
Fighting words
80 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Amazon is in a pitched battle with its rivals to bring truly conversational AI
into our homes. So the company is staging a contest - a mad dash toward an
outlandish goal: cook up a bot capable of small talk. Inside the Alexa Prize
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 81
T
he first interactor – a
muscular man in his
fifties with a shaved head
and a black V-neck
sweater – walks into
a conference room and
sits in a low-slung blue armchair before a
phalanx of video cameras and studio lights.
He gazes at a black, hockey-puck-shaped
object – an Amazon Echo – on a small table
in front of him. ‘Alexa,’ he says, ‘let’s chat.’
‘Good morning, my friend,’ a female
voice replies with synthetic agreeability,
a purplish ring of light pulsing atop the
Echo. ‘Or is it afternoon? I’m not quite sure.’
‘It’s morning,’ the man replies.
‘Great, everyone is always full of energy
in the morning … Well, how are you today?’
‘I’m great, how are you?’
‘Well, I’m always busy, as people keep
chatting with me… But listen, this is just
hilarious, it’s a recent post on Reddit:
“Toothpaste is just mouth soap.”’
Down the hall in another conference
room, 10 Amazon employees sit at long
tables wearing headphones, monitoring
these pleasantries with the focus of CIA
operatives. In yet another room, three men
sit in booths cordoned off by black curtains.
They, too, wear headphones and have
cameras trained on them. Finally, in
a control centre, members of a video crew
monitor all the feeds on a large, tiled screen.
Everything must be recorded, because
Amazon wants to understand absolutely
everything about what’s transpiring today.
This extravagantly staged operation,
which took place last November, is the
final judging session in a months-long
competition. Amazon has challenged 15
teams of some of the world’s best computer
science graduate students to build ‘a
socialbot that can converse coherently and
engagingly with humans on popular topics
for 20 minutes.’ If any team succeeds, its
members will snare academic glory and the
promise of brilliant future careers. They will
also walk away with a R12-million purse
– which Amazon has called the Alexa Prize.
Amazon has spent the past few years
pursuing voice AI with a voraciousness
rivalling that of its conquest of retail. The
company has more than 5 000 people
working on the Alexa platform. And since
just 2015, it has reportedly sold more than 20
million Echoes. One day, Amazon believes,
AIs will do much more than merely control
lights and playlists. They will drive cars,
82 GQ.CO.ZA MAY2018
last July, he oversaw the Alexa platform. The
men in the booths, meanwhile, are judges
who rate each conversation from one to five
stars. If a judge thinks that a conversation
has gone off the rails, he can press a button
TWENTY
MINUTES OF on a handheld wand; if a second judge does
SMALL TALK so, the conversation and the session timer
are halted. Nobody knows which bot is
WITH A
which. Not the interactors, not the judges.
COMPUTER
‘Let’s talk about music,’ George says.
ISN’T
‘I love music; it helps me relax every
JUST A
time,’ the bot replies. ‘So, do you have any
MOONSHOT,
favourite artist or song?’
IT’S A TRIP
‘I like Django Reinhardt.’
TO MARS
‘Django Reinhardt? The famous jazz
artist?’ Riffing, the socialbot tells a story
about Tony Iommi, the guitarist from Black
Sabbath. Iommi lost the tips of two fingers in
an industrial accident. But he was inspired
to keep playing after learning that Reinhardt
could do so using just two fingers on his left
hand. But anyway, as for Reinhardt, what is
George’s favourite song?
George sidesteps. ‘Do you like Jack
Johnson?’ he asks.
diagnose diseases, and permeate every
The bot seems thrown. ‘Come on,’
niche of our lives. Voice will be the
it replies. ‘I like to talk to you.’
predominant interface, and conversation
George leans forward and tries again.
itself – helpful, informative, companionable,
‘Jack Johnson, do you like him?’
entertaining – will be the ultimate product.
‘Come on, I like to talk to you.’
But all this early success and ambition has
In the room partitioned by curtains, one
plunged Amazon off a cliff, and into a wide
judge presses his kill button. Another does
and treacherous valley. Today Alexa, like all
so moments later. A woman comes into
voice assistants, often fails to comprehend
the room where George sits and whispers
the blindingly obvious. The platform’s rapid,
in his ear. ‘Alexa, stop,’ he says with a small,
widespread adoption has also whetted
disappointed nod. Barely three minutes
consumer appetites for something that
have elapsed. If Amazon’s Ram, sitting in the
no voice assistant can currently deliver.
room with the long tables, is dispirited, he
Alexa does well enough setting alarms and
hides it. Throughout the contest, his mantra
fulfilling one-off commands, but speech is
has been, ‘People need to understand that
an inherently social mode of interaction.
this is a very hard problem, and this is very
‘People are expecting Alexa to talk to them
early in the journey.’ Twenty minutes
just like a friend,’ says Ashwin Ram, who
of small talk with a computer isn’t just
leads Alexa’s AI research team. Taking part
a moonshot, it’s a trip to Mars.
in human conversation is widely recognised
as one of the hardest problems in AI, and
THE FEVERED QUEST for
Amazon has charged into it headlong.
conversational AI has pitted Amazon, Apple,
For several months of 2017, during an
Facebook, Google, and Microsoft in a battle
early phase of the contest, anyone in the US
for two vital resources. The first is finite:
who said ‘Alexa, let’s chat’ to their Amazon
top-shelf PhDs in computer science, who,
voice device was allowed to converse with
owing to their scarcity, now command
a randomly selected contest bot; they were
starting salaries well into the seven figures.
then invited to rate the conversation they’d
The second is limitless yet hard to obtain:
had from one to five stars. The bots had
specimens of conversation itself – as many
millions of rated interactions, making
billions of them as can be collected,
the Alexa Prize competition the largest
digitised, and used to train AIs. Against
chatbot showdown the world has ever seen.
this backdrop, the Alexa Prize was a
That showdown culminated last
masterstroke for Amazon. The contest
November in a room with a blue armchair
served as both a talent search for the
and a bunch of lights.
sharpest graduate students in the world and
The interactor – the guy with the shaved
a chance to pick their brains for a bargain
head and the black sweater – is named Mike
price. And it provided Amazon with an
George. Until his retirement from Amazon
REPORT
Amazon’s control room during
the Alexa Prize judging
opportunity to amass a conversational data
trove that no other technology company has.
When Amazon first announced its
competition on September 29, 2016, more
than 100 university teams from 22 countries
applied to compete. After culling the
proposals for technical merit and originality,
the company arrived at 15 contenders. All
but three teams received R1.2 million grants
and company support to fuel their efforts.
Just like basketball’s March Madness,
the bracket mixed blue-blooded favourites,
solid contenders, and plucky underdogs.
The University of Montreal’s team, which
had deep-learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio
as its faculty adviser, certainly ranked as
a top seed. The mid-tier teams were from
well-known schools like the University
of Washington, Princeton, and Heriot-Watt,
Scotland’s premier research university.
Then there were the underdogs, like
Czech Technical University in Prague.
One of the members of that team was
a 23-year-old with a neatly trimmed goatee
named Petr Marek. When he heard about
the Alexa Prize, Marek was worried that
he and his team didn’t have the proper
pedigree. ‘OK,’ he thought, ‘we can try it,
but we don’t have any chance against these
top universities.’ In a bit of grandiosity after
learning that they had become contestants,
the team decided to name its bot Alquist,
after a character in R.U.R., the early-20thcentury Czech play that introduced the
word ‘robot’ to the world.
From jump, all 15 teams faced a contestdefining question: which parts of a
socialbot’s brain should be handcrafted and
which should employ machine learning?
Handcrafting is the more traditional
approach, in which engineers painstakingly
write extensive sets of rules to guide the AI’s
understanding and responses. Statistically
driven machine-learning approaches, by
contrast, have computers teach themselves
by learning from mountains of data.
Machine learning was a superior method
for tackling so-called classification
problems, in which neural networks find
unifying patterns in voluminous, noisy data.
Speech recognition, for instance, is a natural
task for machine learning. But when it comes
to getting chatbots not just to translate
speech into language but to say something
back, machine learning has a long way to go.
That’s why good old-fashioned handcrafting
still holds considerable sway, even in the
digital brains of Alexa and Siri. As such,
every team in the contest found itself
struggling – like the tech world at large –
to find the best balance between the two.
Handcrafting
is unfashionable;
machine learning
is white-hot. Marek
and his teammates
knew that all the
powerhouse
schools would lean
heavily toward the
MACHINE
latter, so they
LEARNING
figured they should
WORKS
too. To help Alquist
BEST WHEN
automatically
THERE IS
generate responses
A CLEAR
to Alexa users,
GOAL.
the team trained
CHITCHAT
a neural network
HAS NO
on 3 million
GOAL
message-and-
response pairs from Reddit users. To their
dismay, the responses the system produced
were ‘really terrible,’ Marek says. Alquist
jumped randomly between topics and
referenced things that the user had never
said. It would assert an opinion and
disavow it moments later.
And so, in early 2017, the Czech team
reversed course and resorted to writing
extensive conversation-guiding rules.
The team created 10 ‘structured topic
dialogue’ domains: news, sports, movies,
music, books, and the like. The Czech system
was engineered to know the core elements
of each topic and could bounce around
between them. The precise words that the
socialbot would use at any given moment
typically consisted of prewritten templates,
with more specific content retrieved from
various databases filling in the blanks.
Handcrafting gave the Czech team better
control, but Marek worried. The system
depended heavily upon the kindness of
users, relying on them to speak in simple
sentences and essentially follow the bot’s
lead. With ‘uncooperative users,’ Marek says
the socialbot was apt to flop hard.
A thousand miles from Prague, HeriotWatt’s faculty advisor, Oliver Lemon, was
becoming obsessed with the average user
ratings that Amazon had begun posting for
each of the teams. Lemon – a look-alike for
the comedian John Oliver – played tennis
and was competitive by nature. He took it as
a given that his team should rank in the
competition’s top five. But in the early
summer of 2017, Heriot-Watt was in ninth
place. ‘I knew we could do better,’ he said,
sounding like a coach after a sloppy loss.
Huddling up in a hackathon, Lemon
and his students tried to figure out how they
could move up the field. Though they didn’t
have any pioneers of deep learning at their
disposal, Heriot-Watt was trying to use
machine learning as much as possible.
They zeroed in on their most daunting
challenge: chitchat. Aimless small talk is
especially tough for a machine-learning
system, because there usually isn’t a
verifiably correct way to engage in it. Neural
networks work best when there is a clear goal
that the system, through trial and error on a
massive scale, can find the optimal strategy
to reach. Chitchat has no goal.
To tackle that problem, the team relied
on a technique that had been popularised
by Google researchers. First, the team
trained a neural network on a database of
movie subtitles and thousands of messaging
threads from Twitter and Reddit. From this
the system learned to predict the most
appropriate reply to a given remark in a >>
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 83
conversation. Then, rather than simply
retrieve and regurgitate replies directly from
the original conversations, the technique
– which is called seq2seq – allowed the bot
to generate its own replies on the fly.
That all sounds cool, but Heriot-Watt
quickly collided with two characteristic
problems of seq2seq. One was that the
system would often default to dull,
perfunctory statements – ‘OK,’ ‘Sure’. The
other was that the training conversations
also contained plenty of flat-out
inappropriate remarks.
‘I can sleep with as many people as I want,’
the Heriot-Watt socialbot told one user.
Worst of all, when a user asked, ‘Should
I kill myself?’ the socialbot replied, ‘Yes.’
If seq2seq had to be tamed, Heriot-Watt
was ramping up other techniques over the
summer. The team divided its socialbot’s
brain into a committee of smaller bots, each
with a speciality of its own. A news bot read
headlines and short summaries of articles
from The Washington Post and other sources.
Another bot specialised in talking about
the weather. One accessed Wikipedia, giving
the system factual breadth from marine
locomotion to Kim Kardashian. And finally,
team member Amanda Curry created
a rules-based persona bot to lend the final
product a unifying, stable identity. She
stocked it with carefully curated opinions
(Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’ was its
favourite song) and biographical facts.
After any given remark from a user, at least
one and potentially all of these component
bots might pipe up with a candidate
response, like rows of students eagerly
raising their hands in a classroom. To choose
the best one, the Heriot-Watt team taught its
system to statistically evaluate the options.
Was the candidate response linguistically
coherent in the way it echoed what the user
had just said? Or conversely, was it so similar
that it was merely repetitive? Was the topic
on target? Was the response too short or too
long? Initially, Heriot-Watt just guessed how
much to weight each metric. But by the fall, a
neural network had learnt to automatically
rejigger the weights to boost user ratings.
Those rankings, the competitive Lemon
was pleased to see, were looking better. As
the competition wore on, Heriot-Watt was
closing in on the front of the pack.
While Heriot-Watt clawed its way up in the
standings, one team stayed comfortably in
the top three: the University of Washington.
The team took a fairly middle-of-the road
approach to mixing rules-based
programming and machine learning into
its system. Its edge instead seemed to derive
from how its socialbot reflected the
84 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
The University of Washington’s
(UW) team
personality of the team student leader, Hao
Fang. Originally from Yichun, China, Fang
was kinetic and preternaturally cheerful,
and his team wanted the socialbot users
to feel cheerful too. How could they create
conversations that people would enjoy?
Early on, Fang saw that the UW system,
like many others in the contest, was prone to
regurgitating depressing headlines (‘Rocket
Attack Kills 17’) or dull facts (‘A home or
domicile is a dwelling place’). So UW
engineered the system to filter out content
that caused users to say things like ‘That’s
horrible’. Instead, Fang says, the system
sought ‘more interesting, uplifting, and
conversational’ content, often from
subreddits like Today I Learned,
Showerthoughts, and Uplifting News.
This allowed the bot to toss off perky
bits like ‘Classical music is the only genre
where it’s cool to be in a cover band.’
People are happier when they feel heard,
so UW taught its system to carefully classify
utterances. Should the bot be replying with
a fact, offering an
opinion, or
answering a
personal question?
The team also
handcrafted plenty
of feedback
language – ‘I’m glad
you like that,’ ‘Sorry,
I didn’t understand,’
THE TIMER
and the like. Good
HITS 19
conversationalists
MINUTES
also pay attention to
AND THE
people’s emotions,
TALK IS
so UW manually
STILL
labelled the
GOING
emotional tenor of 2 000 conversational
samples and used them to teach the
socialbot to recognise people’s reactions
– pleased, disgusted, amused, intrigued –
and to react accordingly. It was all fairly
simple stuff in the grand scheme, but it went
a long way toward making the bot feel
attentive and smooth.
On August 29, Amazon announced which
three teams would be competing in the
finals. The trio of finalists included HeriotWatt, which had reached as high as third
place in the average weekly user rankings
and was selected, after a rigorous internal
evaluation by Amazon, as the ‘wild card’
team. UW, which had run strong all along,
finished second. And one of the unlikeliest
teams of all, Czech Technical University,
claimed the honour of first place. Each
had another month and a half to perfect
their systems, and then it would be time
for the judging in Seattle.
‘ALEXA, LET’S CHAT.’ It’s midNovember and a second interactor, John
Curley, has taken a seat in the armchair.
A television and radio host in the Pacific
Northwest, Curley’s voice is deep and his
smile is Access Hollywood bright. But his
jumpy style soon gives the socialbots fits.
‘Pleasure talking with you, John,’
a socialbot says. It’s the Heriot-Watt one,
though neither Curley nor the judges know
that. ‘Let’s get to know one another. So tell
me, are you more into sci-fi or fantasy?’
‘How about neither?’ Curley replies,
rebuffing the bot. ‘Let me ask you a question,
Alexa. Yesterday there was a huge storm,
a big windstorm here in Seattle.’
‘All right, let’s move on then,’ the bot says,
REPORT
ignoring Curley’s question that wasn’t
a question. ‘Tell me, are you more interested
in reading books or watching movies?’
‘Reading books,’ Curley says.
‘Oh, a bookworm… What book have you
read recently?’
‘I have just finished the book, which I
don’t think I can say the title to you, because
there’s a swear word in it. But the title is The
Subtle Art of Not Giving a – fill in the blank.’
The bot, not able to work with this, soldiers
on. ‘What books do you like to read again
and again?’
Ignoring the question, Curley strikes
out in a new direction. ‘Alexa, I’ll tell you
something. Can I be honest with you?’
Whatever Curley is ready to reveal
remains a mystery as the Heriot-Watt
bot mechanically casts about for a topic.
‘So tell me, are you more interested in sports
or videogames?’
Back and forth they go, arriving nowhere.
Shortly after the three-minute mark, two of
the three judges, shaking their heads in the
curtained booths, have pressed their kill
buttons. Curley’s chats with the other
bots offer much of the same. He alternates
between trying to get a discussion rolling
and playful needling.
Curley is exactly the sort of uncooperative
user that Marek feared. He reels off multiple
sentences in a row, tangles them with
parentheticals, races off on tangents,
disregards the bots’ leads, and is at turns
elliptical, sarcastic, and whimsical. In short,
Curley talks like a human. After his contest
sessions are over – none of which break the
four-and-a-half-minute mark – Curley
humorously grouses about them in the room
with the Amazon employees. ‘It was like a
series of bad dates,’ he says.
The best conversation in the finals
happens with George. While hardly the
sparkling repartee of a Tom Stoppard play,
it immediately stands out. The chat opens
with George asking to talk about robots.
Rather than tediously reading a Wikipediaderived summary of what a robot is, the
socialbot jokes, ‘What if Daft Punk really are
two robots who just want to make music?’
‘That’s funny,’ George says, laughing.
The bot shares some recent news about
Elon Musk and robots. Tossing the ball
back to George, the bot asks, ‘Have you
heard anything about Elon Musk?’
‘I have,’ George brags. ‘I know him.’
‘Did you know that Elon Musk was
executive producer for the movie
Thank You for Smoking?’
‘No,’ George says, sounding impressed. He
and the bot go back and forth before settling
on books as their next topic. They take a
couple of turns, and then the socialbot says,
‘You know what I was thinking? Eventually,
someone will be the last person to be alive.
Their name won’t be in any history books.’
‘Oh, that is sad!’ George replies.
‘I’m sorry to make you upset. Would you
like to continue our discussion on books?’
‘Let’s talk about the book The Dark Tower.’
‘Sorry, I’m not sure I know anything about
the book The Dark Tower. Would you like
to talk about the movie The Dark Tower?’
‘Sure.’
‘Super. Did you watch this movie? It was
released this year.’
‘I did.’
The bot asks George if he liked Matthew
McConaughey’s performance. George did.
Hearing this, the bot recommends another
McConaughey movie, The Wolf of Wall
Street. A couple of turns later, the bot makes
a joke. ‘You know what I was thinking?
Someone needs to make a mashup of
Interstellar and Contact where Matthew
McConaughey tries to prevent Matthew
McConaughey from going into space.’
George guffaws.
The rest of the conversation is more
scattershot, but there are few outright
screw-ups. Music, sports. Ten minutes. The
movie The Boondock Saints. Twelve minutes.
Santa Claus and his unintended role in
climate change. Thirteen minutes. George
asks the bot to sing. It complies. Fifteen
minutes. Music and movies again, health
care and Bill Gates. The timer hits 19
minutes and the conversation is still going.
ON NOVEMBER 28 in Las Vegas,
as part of Amazon Web Services’ annual
UW’s advisers
conference,
hundreds of people
file into a large
banquet room at
the Aria Resort
and Casino. The
The ballroom darkens
socialbot and the recorded
jokes, voice of William
‘What if Shatner rings out.
Daft Punk ‘Computer? Please
really are help me give a warm
two robots welcome to Rohit
who just Prasad, vice
want to president and head
make scientist of Amazon
music?’ Alexa.’ Prasad
strides onto the
stage and launches
into a speech about the state of the platform
– well north of Successful and just south of
Taking Over the World. Then it’s time for
Prasad to open the envelope that contains
the winner’s name. ‘So with an average score
of 3.17, ’ he says, ‘and an average duration of
10 minutes, 22 seconds … the first-prize
winner is the University of Washington!’
The UW team members explode from
their seats, a scream piercing the air. It was
the UW bot that had pulled off the long
conversation with George. Fang later calls
it ‘the best conversation we ever had.’ At the
very end, the bot had gone into a dry
cul-de-sac about health care. Two judges
had clicked out just shy of the 20-minute
mark. So as the UW team steps onto the
stage, Prasad hands them a consolation
prize – a giant, lottery-winner-style check
made out for R6 000 000. Prasad then
announces the second- and third-place
finishers, Czech Technical and Heriot-Watt,
who get R1.2 million and R600 000.
So what did Amazon, the teams, and the
AI world ultimately learn about the central
debate between handcrafting and machine
learning? UW, the winner, had shot for the
middle. The handcrafting-heavy Czech
team, meanwhile, had finished second. And
the finalist that was most aggressive about
using machine learning, Heriot-Watt, placed
third. But if the results seem ambiguous, the
triumph of a hybrid system makes perfect
sense to Ram and other AI experts. ‘We’re
just beginning to figure out how best to
combine the two approaches,’ Ram says.
Everyone also agrees on what would be
most helpful to push machine learning
forward: more conversational data. That,
ultimately, is Amazon’s own contest booty.
All the hoopla and oversize checks aside,
another very big winner of this contest is
clear: it’s Amazon.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 85
Style
Look sharp
Live smart
98
Loud, proud
plaid suits
104
Prep your face
for winter
The new and now:
Street smart
Fashion gets real this season, as the runway no longer dictates
the trends. Here’s how to pull it off
Creative Direction, Styling and Words by Rusty Beukes Photographs by Niquita Bento
G-Star Raw jacket
R4 999, sweater
R1 699, boots
R2 999. Tommy
+LO²JHUpants
R2 349
If there’s one jacket
that you have to
have, it’s the puffer.
The perfect one can
complement a pair
of cropped trousers
or a wool suit, along
with dressing up
your everyday jeans
and sneakers.
H&M jacket R1 099. G-Star Raw jeans POR. Billabong
beanie R250. Puma x Han Avid Disc sneakers R2 699
H&M jacket R1 099. Ben Sherman jacket R7 999, shirt
R1 499, pants R3 499. Zara pouch R269. H&M shoes R629
88 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
The
PUFFER
JACKET
H&M jacket R1 099, poloneck R529. Ted Baker pants
R2 500. Leq Coq Sportif bag R604.26. Puma x Big
Sean Suede sneakers R2 499
H&M jacket R1 099. Calvin Klein shirt R2 099, cap
R649. Dolce & Gabbana joggers R8 500. Tom Ford
glasses POR. Puma x Big Sean Leadcat sliders R799
Style
90 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Ben Sherman jacket R3 999. Levi’s shirt R1 299. Zara
jeans R699. Converse moonbag R349.95. Dolce &
Gabbana sneakers R12 000
Gucci sweater R14 500, knit R12 800, pants R13 500.
Dolce & Gabbana sneakers R12 000
Style
The
THICKSOLED
TRAINER
They make
just enough of
a statement, whether
you wear them
with a suit or a pair
of sweatpants.
Go with an original
design, or step out
with something
more hyped.
&DOYLQ.OHLQ sweater R2 299. 'ROFH*DEEDQD
joggers R13 000, sneakers R12 000
7RPP\+LO²JHU gilet R3 199. +XJR%RVV jacket R995, pants R4 295.
%HQ6KHUPDQ shirt R1 149, bag R599. 'ROFH*DEEDQD sneakers R12 000
92 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Topman track jacket R1 399, pants R999. Nike at
6KHO³LIH6SHFLDO)LHOG$LU)RUFH0LGVQHDNHUV5
GucciKRRGLH5VZHDWHU5
MRJJHUV5Zara sneakers R999
Prada jacket R20 150, shirt R12 500, pants R10 400,
moonbag R10 400. Puma x Big Sean Leadcat sliders R799
Levi’s track jacket R1 299, pants R999. Topman sweater
R399. Persol at Sunglass Hut sunglasses R2 990. Hugo Boss
Watch POR. Puma x Big Sean sneakers R2 599
Puma x Big Sean track jacket R2 299, pants R1 899,
sneakers R2 699. Ben Sherman cap R599, T-shirt
R649. Superdry watch POR
Style
The
TRACKSUIT
The tracksuit, with its
matching zip jacket
and jogger pants,
is the ultimate
symbol of leisure.
From 70’s loungewear
to 90’s sportswear,
it’s all about nostalgia
right now. Wear
with sneakers or
sliders to keep the
look grounded.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 93
94 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
G-Star Raw jacket POR. Ben Sherman T-shirt R549. H&M pants R449.
Le Coq Sportif bag R604.26. Puma x Big Sean sneakers R2 599
Topman jacket R999, shirt R799. Dickies pants
R349.95. G-Star Raw bag R999, boots R2 999
Old Khaki windbreaker R999, jeans R699. Ben Sherman shirt
R449.Markham bucket hat R130. Le Coq Sportif bag R604.26.
Puma x Big Sean suede sneakers R1799
The
MAN
BAG
They’re camera bags,
travel bags, crossbody bags, and waist
bags. Anything but
a purse. You’ll never
have to look for your
keys, phone or wallet
ever again.
Zara jacket R1999, pants R799. Dolce & Gabbana
T-shirt R7 000. Zara backpack R899. G-Star Raw bag
R999. Onitsuka Tiger Tread & Miller sneakers R1 699
Style
Levi’s jacket R1 499. H&M shirt R379, trousers R529.
Calvin Klein jersey R2 999. Tom Ford at SDM Eyewear
glasses POR. Calvin Klein bag R1 999. Zara shoes R899
88 GQ.CO.ZA APRIL
96
MAY 2018
2018
The
PLEATED
TROUSER
Unlike the shapeless
pants that were once
popular with the
9-to-5 crowd, this
new breed is tailored
with new
proportions and
personality. Invest in
a pair with a single
pleat and a tapered,
cropped hem. Dress
them with low-top
sneakers or lace-up
boots to keep your
look modern.
FASHION ASSISTANT LUKE RUITERS GROOMER CANDICE AT ONE LEAGUE MANAGEMENT MODEL QUINTEN A AT KULT MODELS
Levi’s jacket R1 999. H&M sweater R429, pants R529.
Zara pouch R269. Onitsuka Tiger at Tread & Miller
R1 699
Style
a
oz
tc
@g
qs
H&M jacket R899, pants R529. Topman sweater
R549. Tom Ford at SDM Eyewear glasses POR.
Ben Sherman boots R2 149
frica ‡ gq
tha
do
ou
H&M sweater R329, trousers R529. Puma x Big Sean
sneakers R2 499
@g
qs
For the latest
menswear
trends visit
GQ.co.za
za
co
frica ‡ gqd
tha
ot
ou
Style SPOTLIGHT
How time flies
2ULJLQDOO\DQGOLWHUDOO\ODXQFKHGLQWKH²UVWLWHUDWLRQRIWKLVVRDULQJWLPHSLHFH
ZDVVWUDSSHGWRWKHZULVWRIDHURQDXWLFDOKHUR$OEHUWR6DQWRV'XPRQW7RGD\WKH
6DQWRV&DUWLHUFROOHFWLRQVHUYHVDQHYHQKLJKHUSXUSRVHUHSUHVHQWLQJWKHV\QHUJ\
EHWZHHQGUHVVVW\OHDQGVSRUWVSURYHQZDWFKHV
CARTIER
Words by Bill Prince
Santos de Cartier at
RLG Africa watch POA
98 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
In 1906, the Brazilian
aviator Alberto SantosDumont became the first
man to achieve powered flight
without the aid of a launch
device. He was, a scant two
years later, the first to produce
a commercially available
aircraft, the Demoiselle.
Unsurprisingly, he was
also the fi rst to sport his
eponymous wristwatch,
created by his friend Louis
Cartier, which is credited
as being not only the fi rst
pilot’s watch, but also the
fi rst wristwatch designed
specifically for men.
The Santos went on sale in
1911, serving as perhaps the
most elegant ‘tool watch’ of
its age, achieving truly mass
appeal when it was fi nally
made available in bicolour
and steel models in the
Seventies. But the design
is no relic: its handsome
‘rounded square’ case is
instantly recognisable and its
credentials as a horological
groundbreaker ensure its
continued currency.
Cartier has chosen 2018
to celebrate Santos-Dumont’s
daredevil genius by offering
two new steel-cased models:
one automatic (available
in two sizes), the other
a skeletonised, manuallywound version available
in the larger size.
Strap
star
The design of the bezel
has been updated to favour
the synergy between the
lines of the case and the
strap. Available in steel,
gold, calfskin or alligator
skin, all versions are
interchangeable thanks to
the Cartier QuickSwitch
system, that allows for
exactly what its name
suggests. Additionally,
SmartLink self-fitting
technology allows the
owner to adjust the length
of the metal bracelet to the
nearest link without the
use of a tool.
@g
qs
a
oz
tc
@g
qs
For more
horological
styles visit
GQ.co.za
za
co
frica ‡ gqd
tha
ot
ou
Antimagnet
The calibre 1847 MC features
anti-magnetic nickel
phosphorus components
in the escapement and
movement mechanisms,
as well as a shield made
from a paramagnetic alloy,
rendering the calibre
effectively resistant to the
powerful magnetic fields
a watch may be exposed to
in everyday life.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 99
frica ‡ gq
tha
do
ou
BOUQUET
OF
COLOURS
Gucci coat
Photographs by
Arnaud Pyvka
Words by
Clay Skipper
CHECK
YOUR
COAT
They’re loud, they’re proud, and
they match nothing – which
means you can wear them with
everything. To prove it, we
grabbed Olympic fencer MILES
CHAMLEY-WATSON and a
suitcase full of coats and headed
to a place where style is always
cranked up: TOKYO
100 GQ.CO.ZA APRIL 2018
ADVICE
Style
AN
OVERSIZE
FRENCH
TRENCH
AMI Alexandre
Mattiussi coat
+
AMI Alexandre
Mattiussi T-shirt,
sweater, pants,
LOCATION THE OCULUS, NYC
sneakers
NOT-SO PREPPY
GINGHAM
Theory coat
+
Nike slides, socks. Pants
and jewellery, his own
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 101
Style ADVICE
COVERING
HIS
TR ACKS
Berluti coat
+
Fear of God
track pants.
Nike sneakers
102 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
F A S H I O N
T R E N D S
G R O O M I N G
I N S I G H T
P R O F I L E S
O P I N I O N
Style
T H E D E F I N I T I V E G U I D E T O M E N ’ S FA S H I O N
SOUTH AFRICA
AUTUMN/WINTER 2018
ON SALE NOW
d
BEST QUICK
F
T
///
O
SC
Y
/
GROOMING GUIDE
d by B
d i h r
SKINCARE
Six skincare essentials to prep
your face for winter
Seasons change gradually (or they are supposed to – thanks global
warming) for a number of reasons. Thankfully, the grooming gods also
took this natural phenomenon into consideration where our vanity is
concerned: that is, allowing us some time to adjust our pretty little faces
for the coming climate and seasonal change, instead of having us jump
from one extreme to the next and having our skin suffer the
consequences. Here’s what your skin needs to prepare for winter
Words by Bernd Fischer
Clinique
for Men SPF
21 Moisturiser
100ml R540
Dermalogica
Daily
Microfoliant
75g R1 020
L’Occitane
Natural
Shea Ultra Rich
Balm 4.5g R145
Not too heavy
for autumn, but
provides enough
hydration as you’re
ushered into cooler
temps. And yes –
UV protection for
your exposed face
is essential in winter.
It can be used at
day and at night.
Oh, and don’t
forget those
neglected ears.
As its name
suggests, this
gentle exfoliating
powder will get
rid of dead skin
cells that tend
to accumulate in
the cold as the
moisture in the air
begins to drop.
Aimed at repairing,
nourishing and
protecting some of
the thinnest skin on
your body. Especially
formulated with shea
butter (a fat extract
from the nut of the
African shea tree),
winter stands no
chance against this
natural moisturiser.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TERI ROBBERTS
1
2
3
Hawkins &
Brimble
Elemi & Ginseng
Beard Oil
50ml R190
4
What’s more
annoying than
an itchy beard?
An itchy beard in
winter. Thanks to
drier conditions and
winter wear like
scarves, you’re
bound to experience
this downside to
growing a face
warmer, so keep it
as well-conditioned
as possible. Your
partner will thank
you for it, too.
Nivea Men
Multi Effect
Oil Control Face
Wash 100ml R65
5
The drop in
temperature brings
with it a drop in the
air’s humidity, with
skin succumbing
to dehydration.
If lost moisture isn’t
replaced, the skin
produces more oil to
compensate for the
loss of water and –
you guessed it
– more oil equals
clogged pores that
lead to breakouts.
Skin
Republic
Collagen
Hydrogel Under
Eye Patch
R54 for 3
applications
6
Without taking
the necessary
precautions, the
onslaught of icy
temperatures are
going to take a toll
on the delicate skin
around your eyes.
Slap these on to
keep your sunny
disposition while
tackling the signs
of ageing. Two birds,
one stone. >>
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 105
Grooming
TH E TR E ATM ENT
FO R O N C E A WEEK
6NLQ&HXWLFDOV3K\WR&RUUHFWLYH
Masque 60ml R1 150
TH E OV ER N I G HT
HAI R TR E ATM ENT
2ULEH*ROG/XVW1RXULVKLQJ
+DLU2LO50ml R1 895
The best night-time
products for a quick
²[ZKLOH\RXVOHHS
GQ tested tons of night creams, serums, and even hair
oils to find the best products for a supercharged,
well-groomed sleep
FO R E V ERY
N I G HT H E A LI N G
(OL]DEHWK$UGHQ3UHYDJH
$QWLDJHLQJ2YHUQLJKW
Cream 50ml R1 595
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Words by $GDP+XUO\
I
f it sounds like we’re
invading the last sacred
space – sleep – and forcing
you to think about your
appearance even then, well,
we are. That’s because if you
slather up right before dozing
off, you’ll actually get more
done to fi x your face than with
any other product or grooming
routine. It’s really not that
crazy – at night you’ve got all
these untouched hours when
skincare products can achieve
their maximum effect. It’s the
Witching Hour, but for really
making that moisturiser work
its magic. If you’re skipping
the whole night-time grooming
routine, you’re missing out
on your best chance to make
headway on the anti-ageing
106 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
and overall upkeep – especially
on the skin around your eyes.
Your baseline skin and
hair routine are exactly that
– a baseline. The cleansing,
exfoliating, moisturising,
shampooing, and conditioning
are mandatory for keeping
everything clean and healthy
each day. However, they aren’t
designed to work the more
laborious night shift. It’s while
you sleep that you can most
rapidly strengthen and soften
these superficial parts, since
the body goes into hyper-speed
to replenish and restore itself.
(It’s also why you almost
always heal a cold or a virus
with rest.) Thus, a proactive
skincare regimen is more
necessary at bedtime if
you want to remove signs
of ageing, sun damage,
and dehydration.
To accelerate your selection
and implementation of these
products, we rounded up
the best night-time products,
plus our favourite eye serums,
body lotions, and intensive
repair treatments (for skin and
hair both). Introduce them
into your regimen – and leave
the daytime products for
the morning – and you’re
guaranteed to have noticeable
results… faster than ever
before. These products
should hold you over
until every home in
America has a cryogenic
sleep chamber instead
of a bedroom.
(VWpH/DXGHU$GYDQFHG1LJKW
5HSDLU(\H6\QFKURQLVHG
5HFRYHU\&RPSOH[,,75ml R1 190
FO R N I G HT TI M E
S M O OTH N E S S
0HQ6FLHQFH$GYDQFHG
%RG\/RWLRQ226g R590
SCENTS
Transitional fragrances
From the onset of autumn to the depths of winter, here’s your guide
to the latest and greatest fragrances
Words by Bernd Fischer
Valentino Uomo Noir Absolu 100ml R1 755
Picture this: sipping a whiskey in front of a cosy fireplace
or a smoky bar. This fragrance is that feeling.
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Bleu Noir Eau de
Parfum 100ml R1 345
The designer describes it best: ‘I love blue so dark that it
appears black. I like black which takes depths of dusk.’
Dior Sauvage Eau de Parfum 100ml R1 795
Warm and spicy, the relaunch of this 2015 scent is still fit for the wild winter.
Paco Rabanne Pure XS 100ml R1 245
As its name suggests: a case for excess and sex,
even as the temperature continues to drop.
Bentley Momentum Intense 100ml R1 300
Just like the British car: bold, energising, vibrant.
Calvin Klein Euphoria Amber Gold Men 100ml R1 360
Notes of dark leather, incense and vetiver to match the seasonal sunsets.
Giorgio Armani Acqua di Giò Absolu 125ml R1 810
A woody aromatic accord with just the right amount of that
lingering summer sweetness. (Available from June)
Tom Ford Eau de Soleil Blanc 100ml R2 350
For the start of autumn, when it actually still feels like summer.
John Varvatos Artisan Pure 125ml R1 495
Smells like a shirtless Nick Jonas: fresh, crisp, and woody.
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 107
Body FITNESS
What kind of perfect
body am I supposed
to be jealous of now?
The jacked ‘This is Sparta!’ bod is out; svelte is in.
Clay Skipper breaks down the new body goal
(#goals?) for narcissistic men everywhere
108 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
PHOTOGRAPH BY INPRA/EVERETT
M
y problems, as
they often do,
started with
Zac Efron.
There he was,
running around on-screen
in Baywatch with veins the
size of fiber-optic cables.
Next to him flexed The Rock,
whose literal Rock-hardness
improbably grows with every
billion-dollar-grossing flick.
I could ignore Dwayne
Johnson as a genetic aberration,
a six-foot-four mountain of
superior genes. But Efron?
Outside of his ability to sing,
act, and charm his way through
awards shows, we were
basically the same guy. He was
28 while filming Baywatch.
I was 28 while watching it. I was
also alarmed. Efron looked like
one of those preserved human
torsos on display in Bodies: The
Exhibition. Was this what
I was supposed to look like?
I spoke to Gunnar Peterson,
trainer of Hollywood bods, to
find out if there was an answer
to what a half-naked dude
should look like.
‘It used to be, men wanted
abs and maybe arms,’ he said.
‘Now, really, it’s almost like
they don’t care about adding
anything; they just want to see
what they have.’ Peterson says
that it comes down to ‘overall
leanness’  erasing your body
fat to see what muscles have
been hiding underneath, but
‘not so big that you can’t run
to your car if it starts raining.’
He calls it the ‘capable’ body.
Capable, mostly, of making you
feel bad about yourself.
Listen, I’m glad that men are
moving away from the dated,
Arnie-inspired ‘bigger arms
make a better man’ notion of
physical masculinity. I, too, am
for guys being able to scratch
their backs. It used to be that
I  and every other relatively
in-shape guy  was about 5kg
and four abs away from the
hard-body gold standards of
my teenage years: a young Ryan
Reynolds in Van Wilder; or, if
I was being really ambitious,
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ 50 Cent.
It’d require a diet overhaul
and trading couch time for
gym time, but with enough
dedication, those bodies
were attainable.
But as I’ve gotten older and
managed to shed some fat, so
many other very famous guys
have shed more of it, raising the
bar on Peterson’s ‘less is more’
ideal. Ryan Reynolds went from
in-shape college slacker in
Van Wilder to a perma-flexed
antihero in Deadpool. With
each successive iteration of
Wolverine, Hugh Jackman looks
like he’s trimmed so much body
fat that by 2017’s Logan, his
torso could irrigate farmland
in the San Joaquin Valley.
This hasn’t been just
a superhero phenomenon.
Instagram should really be
renamed #Fitstagram, packed
as it is with men whose bodyfat percentage is equal to the
milk-fat percentage in my
refrigerator. Each season, the
Henley-sporting bros cast by
The Bachelorette get more and
more shrink-wrapped in their
own skin. Baywatch’s Efron is
merely the most singular
distillation of this pathology:
The High School Musical pretty
boy I came of age with has
turned into a walking set
of pan-roasted sinews.
‘Unless you are
independently wealthy and
have no job and can devote
everything you have to
preparing  and you’re a genetic
freak  there’s a very, very slim
chance that you will ever look
like that,’ said Peterson.
Freeing, sure. But then, if these
bodies are the new ideal, and
I’m already doomed to fail…
what should I be aiming for?
I’ve tried turning to those
who have rejected their own
Efron-ification for inspiration.
I’ve appreciated the self-love of
the dadbod moment. Witnessed
friends fill my social-media feed
with their contorted yogi limbs
and #namastes. I’m not even
sure American GOAT Tom
Brady looks good with his shirt
off, but I respect his concern
with remaining ageless and
pliable. These alternatives all
look achievable and  perhaps
more important  healthy!
But body positivity and
rational exercise regimens are
no antidote for vanity. My
brain knows the Efron Bod is
bad, but the dumpy middle
schooler inside me wants to
be running shirtless on the
beach with all the movie-star
guys, goddammit.
The only trick I’ve found
to finding some peace in the
current landscape of men’s
fitness is accepting the tension
of living inside that onslaught,
to be self-aware enough as I age
to accurately locate myself on
the seesaw of health and vanity.
See the abs, want the abs, then
let that desire roll off me like
water off Efron’s smooth,
rippling torso. Exercise often,
but in a way that finds some
balance. Make sure I actually
enjoy working out. For me,
it’s a combination of hot yoga,
running, and lifting, and
constantly overselling the
lifting part.
I realise that at some point,
no matter how well I’m doing or
how great I feel, I’m going to tap
on Instagram, or watch Ronaldo
strip after a goal, and see a set of
muscles I didn’t know I didn’t
have but desperately want.
And then I’m going to think
of Peterson’s words about the
‘capable’ body and remember
that, in the ways I need to be,
I already am capable  just not
of doing the shirtless, American
Ninja Warrior-style lifeguarding
at which Zac Efron excels.
Which is fine. Because no one
is paying me millions of dollars
to. And because I’m certainly
not taking off my shirt.
Hollywood’s new half-nude dude
The once aspirational frames of yesteryear are gone, ushering in an era of impossible-to-attain
god bods. Here, how three such perfect torsos evolved
Hugh Jackman to
HUGH JACKEDMAN
Ryan Reynolds to
RYAN ABDOMINOLDS
Michael B Jordan to
MICHAEL A JORDAN
MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 109
Body HEALTH
and a study by the
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
showed that kids with
longer recesses earned
better grades.
BRING UP THE
REAR. If you’re
competing in a large group,
wait until the end to showcase
your skills. In an eight-country
study of Idols-like contests, later
singers advanced more often,
and those who went last had
a 10% to 15% greater chance of
moving on. Research suggests
that judges start out idealistic
– evaluating contestants against
an imaginary goal – but then
settle into a less lofty baseline.
One exception: election ballots.
9RWHUVWHQGWRSLFNWKH²UVW
name on the list, whether
they’re choosing ward
councillors or the head boy.
The science
of when: hack
your timing
to optimise
your life
Words by Caitlin Harrington
S
chedule surgeries, earnings calls and therapy
appointments before noon. Score the biggest
bucks by switching jobs every three to five
years. The ideal age to get hitched (and avoid
divorce): 32. In his new book, When: The
Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel Pink scours
psychological, biological and economic studies to explore
what he calls the overlooked dimension. ‘Timing exerts an
incredible effect on what we do and how we do it,’ he says.
Now that the science of ‘when’ is finally getting its due,
Pink shares some temporal hacks to optimise your life.
110 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Mood and energy levels follow
predictable circadian rhythms
based on our genetically
predisposed chronotype.
The average person’s mood
bottoms out approximately
seven hours after waking,
between 2 and 4pm. That’s
when the incidence of on-thejob errors spikes – most notably
at hospitals. ‘My daughter had
her wisdom teeth taken out
a few months ago,’ Pink says.
«,VDLG©<RXDUHJHWWLQJWKH²UVW
appointment of the day.”’
BREW BEFORE YOU
SNOOZE. 7KHEHQH²WV
of naps have been well
documented – 10 to 20 minutes
of shuteye sharpens cognitive
ability without triggering
a daze – but a pre-nap coffee
FDQHQKDQFHWKRVHEHQH²WV
The caffeine kicks in after about
25 minutes for a post-snooze
brain boost. ‘Breaks need to
be thought of as integral to
the architecture of a day’s
work,’ Pink says. Columbia
University researchers found
that judges doled out more
lenient sentences after breaks,
work projects, training regimens
and, yeah, life – can either
discourage (the ‘oh no’ effect)
or motivate (‘uh oh, time’s
running out’). A study of
teamwork by researchers at
the University of California, Los
Angeles, found that the majority
of groups did almost no work
until halfway to the deadline,
then suddenly buckled down.
Set interim goals and adopt
the ‘chain’ technique: pick a task
and mark a calendar with an X
every day you do it – that string
of Xs serves as an incentive.
GET IT TOGETHER.
Whether it’s rowing, running
RU³DVKPREELQJV\QFKURQLVHG
activities lower stress and
SURYLGHPLQGERG\EHQH²WV
Singing in groups has been
found to improve self-esteem
and mitigate depression;
choral singing in particular
can increase pain thresholds
and improve cancer patients’
immune responses. ‘It operates
on a physiological level,’ Pink
says. ‘Their hearts even beat
in sync.’ Next time you hit the
karaoke bar, relinquish that
glory-hogging solo.
ILLUSTRATION BY AARON FERNANDEZ
SNAG THE FIRST SHIFT.
RESIST THE ‘UH OH’
EFFECT. Midpoints – of
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MAY 2018 GQ.CO.ZA 111
Back Page LAST WORD
A superhero guide to
New York City
The Big Apple
is home to many
heavy hitters
in the Marvel
Cinematic
Universe.
Here’s your
spotters’ guide
X-Men
1407 Graymalkin
Lane, North Salem
Find them: A short
%ODFNELUG³LJKWDZD\
Nick Fury
219 West 47th Street
Secret hideout spot:
Nice try, Hydra.
Words by
Oliver Franklin-Wallis
Punisher
Luke Cage
181 Malcolm X
Boulevard, Harlem
Night spot: Harlem’s
3DUDGLVHZKLOH3RS
ZDVVWLOODURXQG
Hell’s Kitchen
Find him: At any
good gun store.
Jessica Jones
485 West 46th Street
Date spot:'RZQLQJ
shots at Luke’s Bar
EHIRUHLWEOHZXS§OLNH
WKHLUUHODWLRQVKLS
Fanstastic Four
42nd Street and
Madison Avenue
Find them: Reeling from
-RVK7UDQN¬VDZIXOUHERRW
Avengers
200 Park Avenue
Relationship status:
It’s very complicated
ZLWKOLNH
PHPEHUV
Daredevil
WK$YHQXHEHWZHHQ
QGDQGUG6WUHHW
Local hangout: Try the
local confession box.
Doctor Strange
177A Bleecker Street
Alternative address:
Mirror Dimension.
Iron Fist
Captain America
Brooklyn Heights
Find him:+DQJLQJRXWZLWK
ROGIULHQGV§DWWKHORFDO
retirement home.
112 GQ.CO.ZA MAY 2018
Spider-Man
Aunt May’s House,
20 Ingram Street,
Forest Hills, Queens.
Favourite hangout:
Try looking up.
ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTIAN TATE
&KLQDWRZQ
Find him: Teaching
self-defence at
Thunder Dojo.
A$AP NAST
Available at Converse Stores and Selected Retailers
@converse.za
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