Vanity plates, cars the size of tugboats and egos bigger than orbiting planets. That is Joburg baby but then the men and women of this mining town have always had an inflated sense of importance, as writer Herman Charles Bosman found out.
“That was old Johannesburg for you,” commented Bosman about a businessman he had interviewed for an advertisement years before. “When I showed him proof before going to print, I described him as an organising genius of the calibre of Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander the Great. ‘That’s fine,’ the businessman said okaying the proof. ‘That’s the kind of write-up I like. Nothing fulsome…’”