Dan Nicholl is an Irish-born Zimbabwean who arrived in South Africa 12 years ago, and has been successfully avoiding immigration ever since. Currently Contributing Editor at iafrica.com, Dan runs the Skududu Media company, and the outrageous “Hazard” golf clothing label, which looks like a mix of Vilebrequin swimming trunks and pyjamas. Dan pops up on television and radio from time to time, and works extensively as an MC and speaker. All of that comes a distant second, however, to Dan’s lifelong ambition to convince me that the gas braai has a place in modern society. Vested of a gas Weber, a vast wine cellar full of papsak, and a flat screen TV, the essential elements of a “good night round the grill”, Dan says he is “already preparing a celebratory braai for UCT’s victory over Jan Braai’s Stellenbosch in the 2011 Varsity Cup Final.” Until then, he’s orchestrating celebrity braais in South Africa and beyond, adding frivolous contributions to the website, and continuing to spread the gospel of gas.
“It’s such a simple, fundamentally South African way of spending time together. Fire, meat, couple of beers, and strangers become mates in an instant. And that’s crucial in South Africa, where all too often we let our differences form barriers, instead of celebrating them as part of a rich culture in the greatest country on earth. That, and it gives me an awfully good reason to maintain a strict diet of steak and red wine.”