1900‘One Who Was In It’Kruger’s Secret Service 135In Fordsburg there was a shebeen kept by a certain Pulinski...Pulinski took me inside, where I found the place to be full of Kaffirs.
1910J. BuchanPrester John 93In five minutes I had made the room stink like a shebeen.
1934Sunday Times 7 Jan. (Swart)Native Shebeens in Parktown North, run by Coloured men in outbuildings of Europeans’ houses, call for some explanation.
1956A. SampsonDrum 68Shebeens are illegal African drinking-places, where European liquor is sold at double prices.
1956N. Gordimer inD. WrightS. Afr. Stories (1960) 71He had accompanied Jake to a shebeen in a coloured location, where it was illegal for a white man to be, as well as illegal for anyone at all to have a drink.
1966Post 16 Jan. (Drum) 6The safest way to survive the turbulent South African night was to spend it in a shebeen, where you met amiable people and where you could drink and listen to the music in peace..until the cops came.
1968J. Lelyveld inCole & FlahertyHouse of Bondage 9Most Africans prefer the illegal speakeasies known as shebeens, which operate out of parlors and backyards...The talk at the shebeens is ironic and careful, habitually inexplicit. Politics is out.
1971Weekend Argus 5 June (Mag.) 5Urban slum-dwellers enjoying a Friday night shebeen party which suddenly erupts into a faction fight.
1977D. MullerWhitey 20He was..doomed..to bum a few coins, to find a smokkelhuis and buy a bottle of cloudy shebeen wine.
1977J. SikakaneWindow on Soweto 27Shebeens are the homes where the Sowetonians can go and buy liquor ‘on tick’ and drink after hours, rather than in the official municipal beerhalls.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 202The institution later known as the shebeen dates back to the slaves of Dutch colonial times...The word..seems also to have originated in Cape Town in the early 20th century among immigrant Irish members of the city’s police force...These constables named the ubiquitous illegal non-White drinking houses shebeens (Gaelic: ‘little shop’). Coloured and Xhosa people brought the term to the Transvaal, where female entrepreneurs had developed the shebeen into a fundamental urban African social institution in Johannesburg and other towns...Women who made it a full-time occupation became ‘shebeen queens’.
1980Times (U.K.) 31 May 1The South African Government, after years of battling to control illicit drinking dens, known as shebeens, in black townships, has conceded defeat and legalized them.
1982Drum Nov. 56I am not going to run a shebeen in my house even if its going to have a fancy name, like a Tavern.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 150Liquor formed a central part of a wider African working-class urban culture, often known as marabi. It was linked to prostitution..and to the shebeen parties.
1988E. Prov. Herald 31 Mar. 5Only four shebeen owners from Port Elizabeth townships applied on Tuesday to trade legally.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 358Police empty cars of illicit liquor after a raid on a shebeen. The drinking of illegally brewed beer and isiqataviku (‘kill me quick’) helped thousands of urban slum-dwellers to forget their drab existence.
1989C. Naidoo inSunday Times 8 Oct. (Business Times) 3Shebeens take 80% of the beer sold in SA.
1990New African 4 JuneThe illegal pubs, popularly known today as shebeens,..provided solace and serenity.
1991Best of S. Afr. Short Stories (Reader’s Digest Assoc.) 395The shebeen has become such a feature of social life in the South African black townships that the Irish origin of the word (from Gaelic sibin, meaning poor-quality ale) is often forgotten. Although South African shebeens formerly sold illicit liquor (often home-brewed), these days they can be licensed.
1950Report of Commission to Inquire into Acts of Violence Committed by Natives at Krugersdorp inL.F. FreedCrime in S. Afr. (1963) 130Shebeens have now established themselves in strong competition with the municipal beerhalls. The shebeen queens resort to devious means to evade police detection, such as..calling upon the tsotsi gangs for protection.
1952‘Skappie’ inDrum Nov. 6There is big money in illicit liquor. The shebeen queens are very wealthy.
1961T. MatshikizaChoc. for my Wife 93The coloured shebeen queen at the counter is Jessica Davids, notorious for beating up cops, bail bonds and bootleggers.
1971Post 4 Apr. 1‘Everything is just up man,’ said one shebeen king — commenting on booze prices and not fines for a change.
1976E. Prov. Herald 14 Oct. 3The shebeen kings and queens in the Black townships..are angry because of the raids on their shebeens.
1977P.C. VenterSoweto 120Before the liquor laws were relaxed to allow blacks to buy alcohol, the shebeen queens brewed concoctions in their backyards; dangerous liquids like methylated spirits were mixed with the fermenting juices of dead animals and rotting plants to create potential killers.
1980[see Coplan quot. at sense 1].
1981Daily Dispatch 15 Sept. 12Although there are shebeen kings, they were out-numbered by shebeen queens...Most men prefer to go and work rather than sit down and sell liquor.
1982New Dawn Aug. 16The National Taverners Association is blazing a trail on behalf of shebeen kings and queens leading them along a route that will establish them as solid business people.
1984Cape Times 6 Mar. 7A shebeen queen was a mysterious, corrupt underworld figure who had considerable power.
1984Drum July 44While shebeen kings and queens are celebrating their licences, we regulars have retreated into quiet nooks to mourn the passing of an institution.
1990A. Maimane inWeekly Mail 22 June (Suppl.) 2Thousands of gallons of ‘European liquor’ were poured down African thoats every day to the delight of shebeen queens who charged double the legal prices they paid.
1990R. StengelJanuary Sun 103Oukasie’s most famous shebeen king is presently lying fast asleep across the hood of his bruised red Mercedes, which is parked in front of his house.
1994Weekly Mail & Guardian 13 May 8Even the miser of Orlando East, shebeen queen ‘Ma Stompie’, sold her beers at half-price.
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