One day driving down the Blue Route (M3) just after cresting at Bishop’s Court I saw him … !
As clear as the light of the afternoon, when the sky is blue, no cloud anywhere.
I blinked and looked again … surely not, he was indeed still there!?
Just in case I was hallucinating I kept my eye on him as I drove, past Constantia, on the way to Tokai.
Yes, he was there all right … no hallucinations … but how could that be?
This was three decades and a half later and I had never seen him?
At the end of the Blue Route the angle changes and he disappears.
Up to the right and past Stonehurst to avoid R who makes me feel guilty every time I get to the Steenberg robots at the intersection with Main Road. I started giving him money at the robots ( … traffic lights in South African!) a decade and a half ago when he was a ten-year-old beggar and it has not helped at all.
So I get back home in Lakeside and park the car.
As I get out there he is, on the mountainside, where the mountain profile meets the houses, clear as the light of the afternoon, he has been there daily for half a lifetime!
Now this is unsettling, and I know that I did not know who Mike Batt was, and once, when a famous world-class sportsman came to live in our neighbourhood for a while, I had no idea who he was and why he was famous.
Rip van Winkle has met his match in me, but still – how on earth did I miss Muizenberg Man?
I asked the family why they had never mentioned him to me before – but they thought I was mad!
There, there, can you not see him!?
No, they could not, so next I asked the neighbours – there, there, can you not see him?
They could not either so I attacked the Internet – ‘man mountain muizenberg … ’.
Nothing! No, surely not!
For a few days thereafter I kept on Googling in different ways but to no avail.
Maybe someone has seen him before, current written history stretches back to at least 1652 and there was Diaz before then as well in the very late 1400′s.
I can see Muizenberg Man from anywhere along the angle that defines him.
From ten kilometers away he is visible if you know where to look.
… there at the left hand (eastern) edge of the far mountains, his beard protrudes at the bottom of the cloud … zoom in and you can see it!
But from within a couple of kilometers he is in your face.
That sweet little old man, Yusuf, is pointing his rake at him …
He has this perfect nose, plastic surgeons would give an arm and a leg to be able to sculpt such a nose.
Chiseled lips …
A brow in proportion …
Then there is that Mesopotamian type beard …
But I wonder how much he has seen – his eyes are fixed on the sky, where the sun rises into the mid morning …
His gaze sweeps across the waters of False Bay …
How to have others see him was the challenge.
On my daily beat is this spot where one can see him between the palms … maybe that was a way to de-noise and focus a viewer’s eyes?
I have reinserted the feature image here … surely you can see him now!?
From this spot he is always sleeping, you can see the eyelashes closed … someone who has been around that long deserves his rest …
Copyright © 2015 G. Rigotti