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Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Satirical hilarity from Stephen Francis and Rico makes searing comment on contemporary issues. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Forming a hilarious new Madam & Eve Collection, Stephen Francis and Rico have come up with their inimitable searing comment on contemporary South Africa issues with Keep Calm and Take Another Tea Break.

This represents the 21st Madam & Eve, featuring the regular characters Madam, Eve, Thandi and Mother Anderson (Edith).

The cover says it all. Madam and Edith are surrounded by newspapers while Eve lies supine on the ironing board, a coffee mug balancing on her stomach. The headlines scream: Oscar Pistorius; Nkandlagate! Malema!; Spear Painting; Everything is Just Fine (The New Age); Cover Up! News: Limpopo Textbook Scandal; Guptagate!, and e-Toll Shock!

Now you know what to expect as you bounce through 133 pages of satirical cartoon fun.

The first page is titled “Something Fishy” and sees Madame, Edith, Eve and Thandi gazing into an aquarium which displays personalities and controversial issues into fish form. There’s Mackerel Maharaj, Helen Squille, Tokyo Sexwhale, huge moustachioed creatures named the Giant Guptas; Clown Fish (Julius Malema), and Cyril Clamaphosa.

Then there’s the Limpopo School of Fish (looking for their text books!) and the Eskom Electric Eel all a-fizzle.

The final page introduces the Madam & Eve Book Club where the reader is invited to choose from “these incredible page-turning South African autobiographies written by the men and women who lives them”. These include:

Lord of the Lies by Mac Maharaj; One Flew Over the Wedding Guests by The Gupta Brothers; The Great Fatsby by Kulubuse Zuma; Short Walk to Fifedom by Robert Mugabe; A Farewell to Arms Deal by Judge Willie Seriti; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by Shaik Brothers... and more!

Other titles visited earlier in the book include Buy the Beloved Country by the Gupta Brothers; The DA Vinci Code by Helen Zille and Brideshead Revisited by Jacob Zuma.

The book focuses on songs that swept the country during the year such as Gangnam Style; Edith’s permanent war against the Mielllies lady; a new television competition called Pope Idols; an amusing take on the Keep Calm and Carry On motivational posters and a fun one-image cartoon sees the three wise men halting next to a “Welcome to Mangaung” sign with the GPS claiming “Recalculating...”

On a more alarming note, the rainbow of the Rainbow Nation is being shot to ribbons and there’s an increase on bribery and corruption. A sad image sees Jacob Zuma visiting the ailing Nelson Mandela in what was a travesty of a publicity shoot .

Published by Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd Keep Calm and Take Another Tea Break EAN: 9781431408436 Recommended retail price R138.00 - Caroline Smart