For years it was believed that going to AfrikaBurn without telling anyone on Facebook was physically impossible. Even the most private Burners have reportedly given into making pictures of a bonfire in the desert their Facebook cover photos. That was until young 22 year old student Piet Van Niekerk from Boksburg attended “The Burn” this last week. It was reported that he didn’t even ask one person the entire time to take a picture of himself, despite the fact that he had his iPhone with him and he stood right next to a wooden T-rex. “I was waiting for him to ask me to take a picture but he just looked at the T-rex and carried on walking”, explains a bemused Burner.
I visited Piet’s mother in her quaint Boksburg home while Piet was out in the desert. “He spent weeks in silence making goggles & antennas out of wood & feathers” says his mom, “then it finally occurred to me that he was going to be the first person to go to AfrikaBurn without telling anyone. He didn’t even make a tweet saying “keen for the dust.” I’m very proud of him.”
It was reported that while his girlfriend was off taking pictures of herself with the sunsetting behind some obscure wooden structure, Piet was keeping a low profile & was seen eating biltong in his tent, but the eyewitness said he couldn’t be too sure if this is what he actually saw as he was tripping on mushrooms at the time. “The least he could’ve done was take some pictures of me.” complains Piet’s girlfriend. “Does he even know how many likes these pictures are going to get on Instagram?” When they got back to Boksburg his girlfriend did what any burner would do & uploaded 52 selfies of herself onto Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – supposedly having the best most mind altering time of her life. Piet had a shower and watched 7de Laan. “He didn’t even say “Namaste” when he got home”, explained his mother in disbelief, “it’s as if he was exactly the same person.”
Even Piet’s best friend Johan said he didn’t even go to AfrikaBurn this year but then it popped up as a Facebook memory that he was there 4 years ago, so he shared the memory & added “A mind that is stretched by new dimensions can never go back to old dimensions”, a quote that he googled in an attempt to get more likes. “I couldn’t help myself” explains Johan, “I was fully aware that I was being a total douche for sharing pictures of myself riding half naked on a one gear bicycle for the 2nd time. But the whole point of going to Afrikaburn is to take pictures of yourself at Afrikaburn & show everyone that you were at Afrikaburn, even if it was four years ago. I don’t know how Piet did it.”
Despite many requests for an interview, Piet finally replied to my multiple emails by simply saying “why would I want to be interviewed about an event that is of no interest to anyone else?” The man had a point. And at that moment it was clear to me that Piet had the one quality I’d never seen in anyone else that’s ever been to AfrikaBurn; humility.
Article inspired by this kiff video by Above Average.