NEWS OF THE WEIRD

From Apartheid to Appalling

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A frequent sight on Soweto, South Africa, streets is crowds of 12-to-15-year-old boys known as “izikhotane” (“boasters”) who hang out in designer jeans, “shimmering silk shirts, bright pink and blue shoes, and white-straw, narrow-brimmed fedoras,” reports BBC News in February. Flashing cash wads begged from beleaguered parents, hundreds gather, playing loud music and sometimes trashing the fancy clothes as if to feign indifference to wealth. Since many izikhotanes’ families are working-class apartheid survivors, they're mostly ashamed of their kids’ behavior. “This isn’t what we struggled for,” lamented a parent. Whined a peer-pressured boaster, “You must dress like this, even if you live in a shack.”

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