Defend Truth

22 Questions with Rebecca Davis

Incredible (and hysterical) Daily Maverick journalist and author of Self-helpless: A Cynic’s Search for Sanity,
Rebecca Davis answers 22 Questions for Maverick Insiders

My wife would probably tell you that my entire personality is just a patchwork quilt of annoying habits, but to pick just one: I have the table manners of a feral child.

With the deranged pitter-patter of my toddler son’s feet approaching the bed, accompanied by a lie about why he has to be awake at dawn. Today it was: “Mama, I so very sick.” He is in peak health.

Kerala, God’s own country.

Tim Cohen’s After The Bell newsletter. Every week.

Anything with numbers, because then I could be rich, and also report on election results with greater accuracy.

“She’s Got Becky Davis Eyes”

(This is a joke. If you call me Becky in real life, I will stab you.)

About a decade ago I bought a brand-new scooter. It was massive, like the Harley Davidson of scooters, and deeply frightening. It was so heavy I couldn’t even pick it up. I had it delivered from the showroom to my home. For seven years I tried to build up the courage to ride it, because I wanted to be the kind of person who rides a scooter the size of an army tank. Whenever I moved flat, I would ask the delivery guys to take the scooter in the truck. It moved with me all over Cape Town, slowly rusting. By the time I sold it, for less than half of what I bought it for, I had still never ridden it. Not once.

Bose noise-cancelling headphones. They were so expensive that I shudder to recall, but honestly worth every cent.

My cat, Samuel L Catson. He and I already have closely matching hobbies and interests – revolving largely around finding patches of sun to sleep in – but he doesn’t have to work, so he wins.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee.

A podcast about the German illusionists Siegfried and Roy.

A scooter; yes; be careful what you wish for.

Princess Charlene of Monaco. We all know something is not right there.

Foam, treacle, trudge, crisp…

Outliving all the people I love best. Also, tsunamis.

Do I have loads of money in this scenario? If so, I will travel the world and make TikToks. First, I will pay a Gen Z to teach me to make TikToks.

I genuinely can’t decide between Floyd Shivambu and John Steenhuisen.


Rebecca Davis

DM journalist and author