Sunday, 9 November 2014

Am I an African?

I was listening to SAfm the other day when Ashraf Garda played a clip of the Steve Biko Memorial Lecture held in Wits University annually. I had sinned incessantly the previous day and was patiently waiting for the arrival of a merciless hangover when I heard one of the speakers say, “we should praise or blame ourselves for the actions of our leaders, for they are what we have allowed them to be”. At the time, it sounded like tedious drivel. Come to think of it, everything sounds like tedious nonsense when one is battling with the tight grip of a hangover.
The speaker, some academic from Nigeria, I never bothered learning his name, had based this comment form Steve Biko’s manifesto and biography I write what I like and addressing African leaders alike. I could feel stage two of my hangover beginning to take hold: gagging reflexes where the oesophagus feels like bursting and the eyes get teary. Stage one is of course denial.

African leaders, as claimed by my friend with no name, have a tendency to blame everything on colonisation. And yet the truth is that Africans have become their own worst enemies by changing profiles from the victim to the victimiser. We toss about dangerous metaphysical terms like “being African” with such ease and little thought and we assign this to be some collective ethnic identity. It baffles when people say that “it is the African culture to not speak ill of the dead”. Firstly, they are passed away and they really do not care. Secondly, there is no such thing as an African culture. Being African is not an ethnicity. I never understand forms where they ask to tick whether one is African, Indian, Coloured or White. The fact here, the undisputable fact is that the Indian is as much an African as the White person born and bred here. Pigmentation and melanin have nothing to do with being African. I might be paraphrasing here but in the words of Max du Preez,” I am African because I say so.”

Friday, 31 October 2014

The good, the bad, and downright ugly – Twitter in South African society and politics

My attention was snared the other day by a story that the now infamous blade runner Oscar Pistorious is going to be a patron of the ever so hospitable Pretoria Central prison, or as it’s known now Kgosi Mampuru prison. I honestly abhor these constant name changes. Anyways I am going off track. Where was I? Oh yes, Oscar.
I have recently developed an aversion to all things controversial and all events that inspire an avalanche of tweeter posts, re-tweets and whatever comes after re-tweets. Perhaps it’s because of my technological inaptness that I haven’t got on the fray and started tweeting about the third diet coke I drank this morning. And so when I reluctantly read the story that Oscar might soon be a member of the 28’s, I immediately knew that the evangelists of digital media have beaten the print media to the story. The beauty of social media is its immediacy in breaking a story.
It is no doubt that journalists nowadays have entered into an era where ethical lines are blurred and audiences are hungry for more tweets and re-tweets. As Gus Silber, journalist and author writes, “The social media is changing the way journalists source, distribute, and publish the news. In this fast changing media landscape, there are greater opportunities than ever for government to join in the conversation and engage with its citizens”.
The premise of Twitter, as one might expect, is inspired by the popularity and convenience of text messaging on the mobile phone. Its beauty, it seems, lies in its simplicity. In a democracy like South Africa, Twitter has been a propagandist tool employed by the political affiliates and a platform for the masses to engage and participate, for no one can argue the power of the digital diaspora. In Marxist terms, the proletariat now have a means of communication with the elites- and in South Africa, the elite would comprise of the loveable rogues who occupy that wretched building of gossip-mongers in Cape Town.
The South African society and political landscape, like any democracy, is a platform where dissent and discourse are rife. An advantage for any journalist, contrary to the practises of yore, is not being present while the story breaks, but to have a Twitter account and tell the story while it’s in the making. This is what Twitter offers to everyone- to be a newsmaker and participate in citizen journalism. I imagine honey moon destination like North Korea and Syria don’t have the patience and zeal to tolerate this “counter-revolutionary” and paganism nonsense of Twitter. The damage this would do for my uncles in the east, Kim Jong-un and Bashar al-Assad in their political endeavours would be biblical. Hosni Mubarak knows all too well the inherent dangers of a mobile phone in the hands of an educated mind. Within weeks of a law student’s Tweets about Egypt’s state of affairs, Cairo was filled with rioting descendants of Pharaoh screaming “God is good” and burning the country’s flag. Young boys and girls were now saying words like liberty and revolution instead of doing what any well-adjusted autocratic regime expects of its civilians- to stay at home and procreate like any true patriot ought to.

Being born in the 90’s means that I am ungrateful, opinionated brat who believes that the world owes me something and is brazen enough to say whatever I deem to be important. Any anarchy that disseminates from Twitter is much welcome. But these Twitter “wars” only get ugly for just an hour or two, and I am not overly excited about anything that lasts for an hour, with the exception of happy hour of course. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

X marks the spot

Get ready beautiful South Africans. It is that time of the year again or perhaps that time in four years, or is it five? Anyways it doesn't matter,  don't seem to remember. Where was I? Oh yes, that time when our ears are being showered (and by shower I mean no disrespect to the current president) with a plethora of blatant lies so eloquently recited to seduce and lure even the stone cold Tom, Dick and Harry.

I personally loathe everything politics and my tolerance levels for this rhetoric drivel going around is lower than Julius Malema's IQ; so I was not very inclined to listen to the different manifestos but nay, in the spirit of 'aspiring journalist' I summoned the will of the gods and the patience of the angels to heed the wise words of the not-so-wise political minds. I was particularly entertained when His Majesty, Chief Comrade Zuma, husband of many and father of even more implored us to "vote in the spirit of Madiba". Aye! I t doesn't end there. Her Excellency Madame Zille spoke fluent Xhosa while commuting the third class train to Khayelitsha. Being a home language Xhosa speaker myself, I had my red pen ready to pinpoint any errors she might make while trying to pull off this tongue twister of a language. I can already see Lindiwe Mazibuko saying "Madame, the q and c are pronounced differently in Xhosa". But the piece de resistance of this whole puppet show came from the Economic Emperor himself, the Czar of Limpopo, Deviator of the Zuma and Evader of the taxes, Julius Malema. Like a true puff adder, he bloated himself up and did everything but kiss the feet of his listeners as he assured them that their miserable plight will end only, and if only the EFF books a seat in that wretched building of filth-mongers in Cape Town.

Now believe me when I say that I have no business being a spectator in the political arena of this beautiful land of ours. Business for me is best conducted after sunset in the company of the ever so loyal Mr. Jameson or that fine fellow of the Johnnie Walker clan. But here's a question for the philosophers: why should I vote? With South Africa being a country of complainers, they tell us (whoever they are) that if one doesn't vote, one has wavered one's right to complain. See, this is what I meant when I said that such political drivel appeals to a certain kind of man on the street. Bear in mind that the streets are filled with dead-beat fathers and 'coke' snorting mothers breastfeeding while holding a bottle of cheap skokiaan wine in the dungeons of Nigerian bars. Word from the grapevine is that the mortality rate in these dungeons is worse than England during the bubonic plague.

I guess those Greek deviants like Socrates and Aristotle would call it one of life's little ironies that I, as cynical as I am about embracing my democratic right to vote, has actually registered to vote come 7 May. To whom the coveted X will cross is still a mystery to me. No, I'm lying, it's not a mystery. Whichever party promises me a million rand tender with no qualifications, will grant me a German sedan paid for by the government and will make sure that my first cousin's aunt and step sisters will get jobs in the department of public works as in tomorrow irrespective of their having dropped out in Standard 8 is getting my vote. Oh wait...the above criteria sounds awfully similar to the one practised by the current government. Problem is, I'm not the one benefiting and I tend to disdain larceny that doesn't cater for me.

And while the world is witnessing Russia and Ukraine fighting over Crimea and yes, my uncle from the East, Kim Jong-un winning the North Korean elections with a definite 100%, let it also bear witness to South Africans brazenly taking that walk to the polls. Wait, another lie. The world will not witness our march to the polls. Far be it from me to solicit (by means of my pen, not that kind of soliciting okay) the world's attention while grave matters require their attention, like the royal baby smiling at the queen or Victoria Beckham's new crash diet.

And now to you my liege, yes you my reader, on the dawn of May, brace the breezes that will blow on that day and cast your vote. Just do me a favour (sorry not me, I don't care) do yourself a favour and ask why? Why are you voting for that particular set of lies over the other, because rest assured, politics is just old men talking and young men dying.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

We all go a little mad sometimes.

I was listening to Gatsha Buthelezi's speech earlier today on their manifesto. Okay, you caught me out. I wasn't really listening. Let's just it was playing in the background and I was too lazy to change channels. And there I was spending an hour of my life that I will never get back being being sensitized by the great one himself on how things will change and South Africa will be given back to the hands of the people. Let it be known that I am not overly eager on anything that lasts for an hour, with the exception of happy hour of course!
Rest assured that I believe that South African politicians are stark raving mad. And NO! I refuse to apologise for this statement comrade. Do know that I mean this with sincerity and reverence, for only the insane can keep up with our beautiful land's beautiful political minds. Aye! There's method to our madness.

Look out people, our streets are roaming with vagrants and vagabonds who belong in loony bins, and by vagrants I mean all political leaders. How brazen are they to stand in front of us and promise us a better South Africa? Ha!! Such insolence deserves a butt naked whip lash to the bone and marrow! Who wants a better South Africa? I know I don't. I want a South Africa where I can just buy my docket to go missing if ever the blood hounds in blue decide to arrest me on account of my lack of association with a member of the ruling party. I want the president to call for a commission of inquiry that will milk the taxpayers of millions of rands per year whenever a drunken prostitute is found dead in a brothel. Oh, and I want prostitution to be legal. It is, after all, the oldest profession ever. Check it, it's in the bible, the Old Testament.

I want to receive an honorary doctorate even though my highest level of education is what my mother calls Sub.B. I want my sister in law's nephew's cousin to be awarded a tender worth R6 million without filling a tender form irrespective of their qualifications. And yes, I want qualifications to be a thing of the past. Who cares whether you're qualified to open my skull and check for a tumour? My uncle's wife's first cousin is known in the village as a skilled hunter and slaughterer. He can be the glorified neurosurgeon in this new South Africa that I envision. All appointments go through me ofcourse, accompanied by a non-refundable fee of. . . oh that's up for negotiation.
And that, people of the soil, is my manifesto. Let's all go to the polls come 7th of May and be on our merry way to the new South Africa!

Friday, 25 October 2013

The allure of darkness

There's something about inebriation that makes one philosophical, cynical, or simply a stark raging fool. I'm no Aristotle or Socrates, but something tells me that those fine Greek rogues had a few glasses, or shots of klippies when they came up with their over-zealous viewpoints. I don't care what anyone says, but I know for a fact that Pythagoras or Descartes first indulged in some dangerous alcoholic beverage thus their ridiculous maths equations.
Aside from the fact that I fail to see the point of loitering in that wretched maths class all those years in high school, I honestly cannot fathom why someone would be so brazen and cruel as to invent an equation with letters to solve numbers. What insolence!

You're probably wondering why I titled this blog "the allure of darkness" if I'll just bitch on about that unholy disrespectful organisation called mathematics. If it's any comfort to you, I also don't know why. Wait, why would that comfort you?
I'm sure I was going to say something as foolish as "never under-estimate the allure of darkness, it has the power to consume even the purest of souls". I don't know what this means but I feel ashamed that disturbing pagan thoughts like these cross my mind. I am a devout Christian okay.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The bitter medicine of self destruction

Haven't you wondered about that warped part of human nature to self destruct? Oh no, don't you dare call me weird, you wonder about this too but are too scared to admit it. Okay okay, fine, you say you don't, I say you do, but that's an argument for another day. Where was I? Oh yes, that strange yet undisputed human desire to die at the hands of oneself. In my defense, it is not everyday that I sit and think about suicide. Not me comrade, I'm too much of a coward and between you and me, I'm living la vida loca baby!

Okay I'm not but a girl can dream.

Where was I again? What is wrong with me today, I'm so scatterbrained I might just join that lovely revolutionary movement called the ANC. And if that is not the desire to self destruct then I don't what is.

Since we have both established that I am not normal, it's only fair then that I sit and wallow in this abyss of suicide. Is it possible that one can make another feel so hopeless that they believe the devil they don't know is better than the one they do? Me personally, or is it I personally, okay whatever the correct grammar and syntax, prefer the devil I know. And NO, before you call me a witch that affiliates with rogues and reprobates such as lucifer, I just have that strong belief that nothing lasts forever.

A wise man once said, oh wait, was it a wise woman? Ah damn I don't seem to remember even if the person was wise. Anyways this fellow said the belief in a supernatural force of evil of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. And another fellow (probably an American, you know how they like to take credit of everything) said: "when you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you."

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My Take on Things

Well well well... my take on things. For an opinionated, journo-wanna be like me, I have suddenly gone blank. I know, there is a plethora and array of topics that need dissecting, chewing and and be gossiped about. Since my mama raised me well I refuse to to spend any more of your precious time reiterating what the gossip columns or news stories say.

So my two friends and I were sitting diligently in a room trying to be good students when suddenly a conversation erupted on how young girls let young men control them emotionally. And by erupted, I mean they ended up forsaking their books and me stuck on the first entry of my blog for more than hour while we blabbed on like desperate housewives with philandering husbands.

As smart as we are (or so we believe), we realised something common in all of us. We are exceptionally dumb when it comes to matters of the heart. One could have sworn that we had a drink or two or three because here were three girls laughing at each other's stupidity realising how all those chick-flick movies fooled us into believing that there is a knight in shining armor.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no cynic when it comes to love. Frankly, sometimes I think I'm too immature to speak on this crazy little thing called love. Those who have been damaged in the name of love regard its evil step sister, hope, a treacherous illusion. And some believe that it is comfort food for those weak and emotionally unintelligent souls who see the world through rose-tinted glasses.

And my take, allow me to go all Christian on you and quote 1Corinthians 13: 4-8. "Love is patient and kind. It is not conceited or jealous or proud", blah blah blah.

So long fellas. Spread the Love!

Am I an African?