Rather like Dante’s Inferno, a humble building in Melville offers a sex shop at street level, an Evangelist centre above, and topping that, a karate centre. Lust, worship and a healthy dose of sweat and discipline… all just metres apart. What karma does this building generate, one wonders? Wikipedia fills in the gaps as to what these institutions have to offer:
Top floor: (Heaven) Seido Karate
Seido Karate was founded by Japanese master Tadashi Nakamura, who trained in various martial arts including Goju-Ryu, Kendo and Kyokusin, and studied under Mas Oyama, founder of Kyokushin. His beating of a Muay Thai champ in 1962 made him a national hero. After attaining 7th Dan Oyama told him to spread karate in the west, and, aged just 24, he began teaching Kyokushin in New York, where he taught several celebs before starting his own style, Seido Juku.
Seido means ‘Sincere Way’ and aims to develop students not just physically but also mentally, helping create ‘complete’ and ‘balanced’ individuals committed to improving themselves and the communities they live in. Seido karate’s three main principles are respect, love and obedience (not subservience). Very Japanese stuff: love for one’s family and friends, respect for your fellow karate-ka, your seniors, your parents and their knowledge and experience, and obedience to the laws and moral rules of life. Fuck yeah!
Sandwiched in the middle: The Potter’s House
The Potter’s House is a mega-church established in the mid-90s in Dallas, Texas. To handle expansion, the church built a 17,700 m2 sanctuary at a cost of $45 million, and paid off the debt in just four years. By 2000 founder TD Jakes was holding three services every Sunday, with attendance of over 23,000 in the sanctuary and the overflow room.
The church runs a program for ex-offenders trying to find their feet after being released from jail, helping them to find jobs and housing and to deal with substance abuse problems. It also has programs for teenage mothers, abused women and the homeless, runs a literacy program and has an Aids ministry. The Potter’s House has provided aid and sent missionaries to places such as Belize, Mexico, Guyana and Kenya. But for all their friendly aid, gays are not allowed and Christian marriage is encouraged.
The name comes from Jeremiah 18:2, “Go down to the potter’s house and there I will cause you to hear my words…” The churches are strongly evangelistic, and there are 67 in South Africa alone. The Melville site reads: “I have seen drug addicts set free of their addictions, sick people healed and ordinary people find extraordinary hope and joy. This has been the result of people coming to know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with Him. He truly is the answer to all our problems.” If it were only that simple!
And on the bottom floor (hell)
Adult World – South Africa’s Adult Sex Toys and Sexy Lingerie Store
Adult World is “proud to be South Africa’s leading adult retailer” and offers the “finest, most stunning lingerie in South Africa”.
There are “babydolls” in the underwear collection, whatever those are …so feel free to browse around, says their site. Be sure to try the “classy” and “stylish” sex gadgets and goodies. And, just in case you missed them, don’t forget to take a tour around the adult DVD collection, for a “delightful selection of adult movies you’ll surely enjoy”.
If you are too chicken to try the real store, just shop online: “We assure you that you will definitely enjoy a safe online adult shopping experience with us”. No trolls or viruses here, mate ..