“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? Apparently enough people to make the cost of printing and the effort of posting a bazillion of these all over the place. 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. There is plenty of desperation about.
A local radio DJ and famed prankster, “Whackhead” Simpson, called one of the numbers to find out more. You can listen to the uncomfortably hilarious prank here, although, be warned – this prank comes with a PG15 rating. It’s not for little ears.
So far the children haven’t remarked on these posters. Sweetpea reads well enough, but often brings a book in the car and doesn’t appeared to have noticed the dodgy posters. Thank goodness. But Pickle on the other hand is just learning to read and delights in practicing on road signs from the backseat of the car. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before he clocks one of these delightful posters. “Slow down Mummy, I want to read that poster. What does that word mean? P-E-N-…”