Sunday, 31 March 2013

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Belated Thanks

A much overdue 'DANKIE' to South Africa's top director, Johannesburg mover & shaker, Sergio Jofre of GRANDEfilms.

My friend Leslie published a book and it got a review by David Abbot (THE David Abbot). How can you not buy it with such endorsement?
Shebug is a satirical exposé of the dreaded female fortune hunter. It covers all one needs to know: from how to protect against her kind, to discovering the signs before she inflicts irreparable damage. The illustrated guide uncovers her array of cunning camouflage and highlights her below-the-belt tactics. This tour de force will enable victims--male and female--to effectively identify an approaching Shebug with the optimal “repellant”, before she is able to bleed your bank account dry.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blonde Ambition

This week we move to a frostier clime, to a vast far away empire renown for its extraordinarily high production of ravenous Shebugs: Russia. My book, SHEBUG Origin: Russia took root in my imagination as a result of a journey from Moscow to St Petersburg nearly two decades ago.

Many oligarchs reside in London. Hence, it is not uncommon for their names to make the headlines. But unlike planning permission gripes for digging out three floors under their homes in Kensington & Chelsea, being poisoned by sushi, or popping their clogs for no apparent reason, this week’s Shebug is neither oligarch nor spy.

Her name is Anastasia Volochkova. Her profession? Ballerina. Over time, she became a soloist in her native St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre before leaping onto the highest branches of the Bolshoi in Moscow. But the prima ballerina’s career careened to an end when the Bolshoi fired her for being ‘too fat and too tall’. This decision catapulted Anastasia into the international limelight. Volochkova was able to get re-instated and was awarded a substantial amount in damages. But resilient, and with publicity on her side, Anastasia kissed her employer goodbye and embarked on a solo career.

The Bolshoi has featured in the press a lot of late. First, when its artistic director was hit in the face with acid; and now with it’s ex-prima ballerina claiming that the 236-year-old institution was - and remains, a ‘giant brothel for oligarchs’. 

But why wait ten years to blow the whistle on the alleged Bolshoi Bordello?

The striking blonde supplements her dancing career with television appearances. At one point, she modelled for Chopard. Volochkova is regularly featured in gossip magazines detailing her many affairs with oligarchs and questionable political activity. She is also renown for posting nudes photographs of herself on her website. Could it be that the dancer's days are numbered?  

Doubtful. The thirty-seven-year-old earned an MBA in Economics in 2010. Volochkova will be  digging-for-dollars  for many years to come. And like she says, her new goal in life is to “f*** the s*** out of the entire world. In a good way.” 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Teacher

Corruption is rife, and is everywhere according to the news these days.

But I disagree: not all teachers act or look, like Mexico’s Elba Esther Gordillo, nor do most get arrested on the tarmac after landing back home in their private jets.

Sixty-eight-year old Elba has been working with different Mexican presidents for the past two decades and is known by the public as La Maestra, the teacher. She was, until very recently, head of the 1.5 million-member National Union of Education Workers, which she ruled with an iron fist.

The attorney general has accused the power-monger Shebug of organized crime. Prosecutors allege that La Maestra engaged in systematic embezzlement of the union’s funds between 2008 and 2010. The amount she got her hands on comes roughly to £103 million.

Looking at her, we may conclude that a portion has been invested in plastic surgery: her choice of look is a unique mix of Java The Hutt and Chucky--a perfect choice that reflects Gordillo’s true character.

But ‘the most hated woman in Mexico’ is not perceived as evil by all. Neiman Marcus loved La Maestra. Her shopping sprees netted the US department store £2 million pounds. However, the stylist who sold her this boardroom-to-bedroom ensemble should now be fired. The Mexican people beg you!

After 2008 conference, she presented her côterie of regional bosses with shiny new Hummers; five years ago, a Hummer cost $65,000. The property market benefitted from Elba, too. She invested in multi-million dollar properties in California which kept realtors busy and smiling.

But this Shebug's house of cards took a tumble once Santander bank sounded the alarm. The very day Gordillo was apprehended and handcuffed coming back from another spot of shopping across the border, the Mexican president signed into law education reforms intended to change the system dominated by her union in which positions could be sold or inherited (yes, you read correctly). Now teachers will be tested and checked to ensure they ‘pass the grade’.

But if you believe her innocence, this woman must be very clever to have acquired all this-- and all on a Mexican teacher’s salary.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Shebugs of 30 East 85th Street

Please refer to Chapter Five: The Shebug’s Web of my first book, Shebug: Dissecting the Gold Digger. The first sentence reads: “All Shebugs follow the two Bs of decor, * or *, to ensure they land the three Ls: location, location, location.”

That’s the name of the Shebug game.

This week’s prime property is located across the pond in high-octane, high-stakes Manhattan. It appears that two Shebugs are laying claim to apartment 7C paid for by sugar daddy, 81-year-old, George Soros.

At present, 39-year-old Tamika Bolton calls it her home. Renting in the same building is recently dumped 28-year-old Brazilian, Adriana Feereyr, who swears that Soros had promised the $1.9 million apartment to her. (Let us pause and do the numbers here, shall we? The women’s combined age, 67, is still 14 years younger than the octogenarian Soros. Sans paroles…)

The snarling legally armed women have various things in common: both are brunettes and possess Teflon-thick skin. The president of the condo board and the doorman could potentially bank a series of sweet sums from Soros, Bolton and/or Ferreyr whilst this heated triangle remains at odds. Let’s hope, of course, that there is no greasing of palms or foul play at any point.

Ferreyr is a Shebug scorned. It was during a recent reconciliatory sleepover that George let it slip that his new girlfriend was to be the proud owner of apt 7C. According the lawsuit she has filed, at that point the lovers quarreled. Their arguments became so heated, Adriana claims Soros slapped her and then tried to bash her with a lamp.

Adriana is an ex-soap star of her native Brazil. Expect dramatic flare-ups. Tamiko, on the other hand, is a licensed pharmacist --and can certainly qualify as a manifesting master --who actively meditates. Both will take very different tacks to secure their billionaire’s share of the booty.

Were I a screenwriter, I’d be submitting my first draft of the ‘Shebugs of 30 East 85th Street’ series right about now…

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Candy Land

Forget ‘Django Unchained’: welcome to the real Candy Land, One Hyde Park. Shebugs across the UK are in a tizzy now that the identities of its residents have been revealed. Why is this so? Because when you stop to consider that buyers put down £6,000 per square foot to live on a busy Knightsbridge high street, we all know that where there’s a millionaire/ billionaire, there’s a swarm of Shebugs scheming in the nearby bushes.

Tagged at £6 billion, One Hyde Park is officially the most expensive apartment block in the world.  The developers are the Candy brothers, one of them married to former Neighbours actress, Holly Valance—ideal eye candy for brother Christian.

Many property owners hid their identities by using companies based in off shore tax havens to secure their precious penthouses. Vanity Fair undertook the lengthy and delicate task to unmask the multimillionaires with keys to this kingdom. However, some pieces of the puzzle still remain a mystery. (Let’s hope Vanity Fair’s Zurich-based investigative reporter continues to happily yodel while he works for many more years to come.)

Though One Hyde Park boasts offering its select residents ‘ultimate perfection’, only 17 of the 76 apartments are registered as their prime residences. This could very well be on account of London’s inclement weather: with culture over sun, I’d follow the sun, too.

The Shebug and Hebug ‘Who’s Who List’ reads something like this: Russian oligarchs, such as Naomi Campbell’s boyfriend, Vladislav Doronin, plus Ukraine’s richest man; toss in billionaires from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand for added seasoning spices up this extra-ordinary cross-section. Being London, it features Middle Eastern royalty and the Qatari prime minister - obviously. A copper giant from a land of dubious human rights and his fellow Kazakh, singer Anar Aitzhanova, have also acquired posh pads in Candy Land. 

Competing with the latter in the wardrobe department is Nigerian oil baroness, Folorunsho Alakija, who scooped up a total of five apartments. (Didn't Nigeria's 2012 per capita income drop to $2,748 last year, or am I dreaming?) 

No matter...With Harvey Nichols on the corner and the world's leading designers and jewellers dotting Sloane Street, these ladies will have no problem upping the glamour quotient of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.