“What does it say on all those posters? Please slow down so that I can read one of them.” This is just what you want your mother-in-law to point out when she’s visiting isn’t it? I’m talking about the mini posters stuck on lamp-posts and roadside electrical boxes citywide in Johannesburg. The Abortion number plastered ironically outside a hospital. The ones claiming to be able to assist with all sorts of problems – promising to magically reunite you with your ex and miraculous cures for the under endowed.
Who calls these numbers? Many South Africans believe in the powers of Sangomas (traditional healers). The people answering these calls are suspected to be outright scammers rather than traditional healers, but people must be desperate enough to try their solutions as the posters continue to proliferate.
A local radio DJ and famed prankster, “Whackhead” Simpson, called one of the numbers to find out. You can listen to the prank here, although, be warned – this prank comes with a PG15 rating.
So far the children haven’t remarked on these posters. Sweetpea often brings a book in the car, but Pickle is learning to read and practises on road signs from the backseat. I suspect it’s only a matter of time. “Slow down Mummy, I want to read that poster. What does that word mean?”