My very own Jess guide to living with a Nick, Schmidt and Winston | 9Lives
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For some people, New Girl is just a funny sitcom about an unlikely and dysfunctional family. For me, the sitcom is my reality.

Oh look there is Puma, our own Ferguson!

My first week at my new job came to an end and we headed to Akker, a pub here in Stellenbosch, as my newfound colleagues wanted to introduce me to a proper Stellenbosch night out. Afterwards we went for a nightcap at one of my new colleague’s house. It just happens that it is my house now too.  And just like that, before I could even register for Craigslist, I moved in with three guys.

Let me introduce Nick

Intelligent and down-to-earth Henco is the most Afrikaans guy I know, with vellies and an unhealthy love for Opskop. Henco is the handyman in the house. When he not changing my car’s tyre, he is fixing the stove or something that’s been broken and forgotten about.

And when it comes to braaing, Henco is the main man. Nothing can compare to his braai skills, just give him a double brandy and coke and he will braai for you till the next morning. On one memorable occasion, Jordan (A.K.A Schmidt) invited a few of his friends over for a braai, but the poor soutie tried to make a fire that wasn’t up to Henco’s approval, and he took over. Just like that, poor Jordan was demoted from braai master to nothing at his own party!

Pleased to meet you, Schmidt

Jordan is the baby of the house, because he is still a student and his mom brings him food every Sunday! With his charismatic personality he keeps us young and fresh!

It was just four days before Jordan was due to head home for the holidays when I moved in. Getting home from a long day at work, I opened up my fridge to pour myself a well deserved glass of Sauvignon Blanc and there, under my bottle of wine, I saw a note from Jordan wishing me a great festive season. After that, a few more notes were strategically placed under my wine bottles.

Hello there Winston

George has a kind heart. He is the prankster in the house, even though he is the oldest. I remember being busy in my room one evening. He called me, and when I came to the door, he jumped out from behind it wearing  a weird mask on and trying to scare me!

In my New Girl world, George is Winston because you won’t see him without our house cat, Puma. He will be called Ferguson from now on.

And his food. Wow! He is always making the most delicious dishes! It’s not the typical college guy food that we expect Jordan to make (if he eventually finds out where we keep the pans). George is the Masterchef and all-round dad in the house. He keeps everything in order, with Ferguson just on his heels.

There you have it, the dysfunctional Belladonna Legends family! (Thanks for the name Jordan, we are open to updating the name of our housemate Whatsapp group sooner rather than later.)

Here is my experience living with Schmidt, Nick and Winston

  • Don’t do stupid things, like bring friends over at 2 am in the morning, because they will call you out on your bullshit. It will involve a lot of screaming, but at least they don’t send bitchy texts on your Whatsapp group.
  • You have perfect companions when you are desperately in need of a fake boyfriend. They don’t even have to do boyfriend type of stuff, they can just be there, talking about what’s on the menu the next day and reminding us to buy toilet paper, and random guys will automatically think one of them is your bae and leave you alone.
  • Having male housemates you will quickly realise that they always seems to have an opinion on EVERYTHING! You bring home a nice guy and they will analyze the shit out of everything he does and does not do. They will also go through your photos and tell you what they think should be featured on your Tinder profile.
  • You have your own in-house fashion consultant. Although they are just guys, they will tell you to not wear those jeans to a date.
  • Male housemates will cock-block you if they don’t like the guy. You just have to make peace with that.
  • Forget about asking them to buy you some tampons, they will refuse. Just leave the whole menstruation conversation altogether. You don’t want to hear the dreaded is-it-that-time-of-the-month question when you are a bit emotional and caught with Nutella all over your face.
  • You will pick up each other’s catchphrases. Henco was Henks to only Jordan, and now I throw it out more than usual, to Henks’ disgust.
  • If you have car trouble, they will come running. They will jump start your car and, like concerned parents, stand outside the gate to make sure your car works as you drive off.
  • With guy roommates you’ll hear things like “why isn’t your phone fully charged”, “why did you drink the last beer” and “how is it possible to take so long putting on make-up?”
  • There is always someone that wants to know if you are safe.
  • Male housemates don’t trust you to be the designated driver, so say hello to your own personal Uber.  

Why do I live as a real-life Jess? Whether it is for unwinding over a cold beer, having post breakup drunk-sorrows or just someone to watch the Sunday night movie with, my own Nick, Schmidt and Winston will always have my back, close second to Puma.


The VaaIie girl with a laugh better than the joke itself. If you’ve lost me in the crowd, look for the red hat. Or the shoulder pads. Or the floral-patterned blazer. I’ve got a winner of a party trick, just give me a shot of tequila and a raw egg, and if you’re not sure how to start the conversation, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

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