‘I open my eyes and tilt the rearview mirror. Sometimes, not often, answers can be found if you look into your own eyes for long enough. This isn’t one of those times. I see only questions bouncing back at me.’ Ben Trovato
Ben Trovato has fooled us all for years. The man behind the dark glasses, under the black fedora and inside the trench coat isn’t who we thought he was. Or is he? One thing we do know – his name isn’t really Ben Trovato.
For well over a decade, Mark Verbaan has been writing as Trovato. The curious story of why he chose to use a nom de guerre is told for the first time inside this book. That alone makes it worth buying.
While Mark Verbaan might not be a familiar name, Ben Trovato certainly is. Regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost satirists, he is the author of ten books, including one on golf, a sport he has never played. His trilogy of audacious letters to the rich and powerful remains unique in the annals of South African literature. And as a columnist, he has disgraced the pages of several major newspapers and magazines.
Incognito lays bare the meat, bones and gristle of Ben Trovato’s life. Which is also Mark Verbaan’s life. Try to keep up. It is a bittersweet memoir – sweet when the beer is free and the surf is up; bitter when the women in his life turn on him and he has to get a job.
He fights for his country from an office in Pretoria … He drags journalism even further into the gutter … He drums poorly for Durban’s punk bands … He lives among the squatters of London’s East End … He appears in a Kajagoogoo music video … He gets arrested on drugs charges … He is almost assassinated in Namibia … He is nearly killed by e.tv … And much more!