A Ninja and a Flea on my doorstep

Ebrahim Jooma
It all started one evening in November last year. I was on my way to the shop down the road from my house in Vrededorp, also known as Fietas, when I saw a bakkie drive past me with “Evil Boy” (a Casper the friendly ghost-looking mascot with a huge penis) being towed in a trailer.

I was blown away as I had never seen anything like this before. On my return from the shop, I saw a group of guys and gals excitedly carrying this creature through the garage and into the back yard of my neighbour’s house. Damn, it was so hideous.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers Flea and Ebrahim Jooma. Picture: Supplied.

I enquired about this ‘thing’ and was told by one of the youngsters that this was “Evil Boy”. He was actually quite shocked that I didn’t know who Evil Boy was and asked if I knew who ‘Die Antwoord’ were, to which I said yes.

I learnt that Evil Boy was a song from South African ‘shock band’, Die Antwoord and that they were going to be moving into the house next door.

In the days and weeks that followed, I started to believe that Die Antwoord would really be my new neighbours, as some minor renovations started taking place at their house.

Fast forward to Friday the 1st of February 2013. I had just returned home from work when I heard a little bit of a commotion outside my house. I went to enquire and saw Ninja from Die Antwoord sliding down the street light pole. “That’s where he gets the name Ninja from”, I thought.

There was a flurry of activity surrounding them all. A photographer was taking some pictures of the group. I then heard an American accent and noticed a guy wearing a Red Hot Chili Peppers T-shirt. 

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea gets a haircut from Die Antwoord's Ninja, as Yolandi Vi$$er looks on. Picture: Ebrahim Jooma.I knew that Die Antwoord were one of the opening acts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Soccer City the next day. 

I went outside barefoot, looked around, asked a few questions and was totally amazed that the legendary Flea from the RHCP was chilling with Die Antwoord in Fietas, Joburg, of all the places in the world. They were in Fietas? That was just so random!

I ran back into my house, slipped on my tekkies and followed them into The Flats. I was dumbfounded and speechless at what was about to unfold.

Flea was sitting outside The Flats, an area perceived to be dangerous. To see this American rocker chilling outside on Ninjas ‘tug of war’ rope was unthinkable. When I enquired what the rope was for, I was told: “For training. Ninja Training!” I laughed. That was funny!

Flea was getting a haircut from Ninja. Once that was over, I introduced myself to the crowd.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea gets a haircut from Die Antwoord's Ninja in Fietas, Johannesburg, on 1 February 2013. Picture: Ebrahim Jooma.Ninja was so happy to meet his neighbour. “Don’t tell anybody where I live,” he said. (Sorry Ninja!)

Flea was the ultimate gentleman. He took the time to chat to us and told us that he preferred chilling with Die Antwoord and the rest of the crew in Fietas, instead of chilling or dining at some fancy restaurant in Joburg.

He told us how much he missed his kid and could not wait to get back home.

Flea agreed to have a photo taken with me and my sister-in-law Haseena and then the group made its way back out of the flats and down the road to Die Antwoord’s house.

I rushed home, scrambled through my cupboards, pulled out my RHCP Stadium Arcadium box set and asked my friendly neighbour to please get it autographed by Flea. He told me he would do so, but I’d have to come collect it some other time.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea signs a box set belonging to Ebrahim Jooma. Picture: Ebrahim Jooma/EWN.I finally collected it on Saturday morning and it had been signed by Flea!

Rock stars are just ordinary people… Flea and Ninja were testament to that!

Fietas on the other hand is where the real rock stars chill out; not the leafy northern suburbs of Jozi.

I attended the concert on Saturday night and it was one of the best performances I have ever attended.

Just so random!

Ebrahim Jooma is the Brand Activation Manager at Primedia Broadcasting.