Friday, 25 May 2012

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

On the Democratic Alliance's Separatist politics

Looking at images of the DA march on COSATU house gone violent, I am horrified  to say least.

image by Alexaner Joe of AFP taken from

Hellen  and co. have been harping on about COSATU's decision not to support the idea of a Youth wage subsidy for a while now. They argue approximately 423 000 South Africans stand to gain employment if the subsidy comes into being. Might I add, they do not have any concrete proof or stats of where these jobs will come from or ideas as to  how the subsidy should be spent. It sounds so simple doesn't it, give the private sector money and they give young people jobs. Well, it isn't. Chances are the subsidy would be accepted, youth employed and the old mules fired. If and when the subsidy is withdrawn, mass dismissals will follow.

Clearly Hellen didn't have a grandmother who told her tsuro no gudo (or the hare and the baboon) folk tales which ended with a moral lesson of some sort about taking short cuts and other deceitful behaviour. Why support the idea of a subsidy when we have so many resources we're not manufacturing? When we're importing so many goods we can make ourselves, when we're running a primarily import economy as opposed to an exporting one? Perhaps some COSATU members are right that the DA's interests are in youth exploitation. The majority of the unemployed youth are Black, perhaps making them feel that their employement makes them indebted to the DA (as opposed to their nation's vast resources) must be somewhat empowering. Who knows....

Never in my life have I heard or read of a political party marching on a civil society organization, it is confrontational and myopic to say the least. Their decision to ignore the police's warnings not to march to COSATU house ended in violence and further portrayals of Black people as violent and irrational. I am deeply saddened that a seemingly serious oppositional political party would bypass other platforms which democracy provides, including press mudslinging and biased TV shows, to make a vacuous statement. It's a damn shame.

 I had almost forgiven the DA for that reducing SA oppositional politics to that embarrassing and childish 'Stop Zuma' campaign of 2007 but now i'm more certain than ever that the DA is COMPLETELY out of touch with working class concerns. Where were they when COSATU was contesting Walmart and where will they be when COSATU is fighting for those workers to get their jobs back? Nowhere to be found I bet you.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Collabos with nature

Attempt at bringing nature's touch into my concrete enclave. I love flowers!!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Farting presidents by Tope Omoniyi

farting president go:
then steal a glance from
corner of eyes to see who's
cheeky enough to hold their breath

but noting smiles of understanding
despatched to save their faces

farting presidents go:
then break their conference
with press, a pause
to see which journal reps
wear mischief looks
threatening to leak the news
of leaks in presidential butts
again seeing no nerves
of dissent voices in sight

farting presidents go:
poop, poooop, poooooooooooo
easing pressure between
the claps of cheeks
first in small puffs
of air endangering
then in gusts that rock
the boat of state
and noting that none
is yet uncalmed,

farting presidents go:
ffffffff, gooooof, poooooop, crap,
slapping big fat craps across
the face of the nation!

nothing sudden,
and i can swear nothing,
unexpected, for indeed,
farting presidents test the waters
before they shit on the head of all

silence sends signals of consent
spare the rod and spoil the president

-Published without consent of the poet, found in Chimurenga magazine

RIP Sicelo Shiceka: On death and memory

This morning, in hopes of cramming in as much work as I can (life of a postgrad student) I awoke and positioned myself at my desk, ready to steadily chomp away at a mountain of work. Just as I was beginining to get into the flow of things, my serenity was shattered by the riotous firing of a canon. I rushed to the window and the cloud of pigeons circling the sky alerted me to what was happening. The canon in front of the Union Buildings is fired numerous times when a states (wo) man dies. "Is this really necessary?" I asked myself, that question propelled many others.

The firing of canons and such reminds us that we are mortal but patriarchy isn't, it lives through the cycle of life and death, through naming and proclaiming, but in shaming it cowers. Former cabinet minister Shiceka was fired from cabinet after the Public Protector published a report confirming his violation of the Constitution and Executive Ethich Act (long boring corruption story). Despite the controversy sorrounding his outsting from parliament and the well known fact that his luxury lifestyle was financed by funds meant to feed, transport and educate a largely under-priviledged majority, the guns went off in his honour. Probably to the chagrin of mothers finally putting babies down to sleep, homeless hobos recovering from debauchery, business people operating from makeshift premises and of course, myself. The taxpayer will also finance an astronomically priced send-off, feeding the worms more than the crumbs the working class can ever dream of receiving, even as hard-earned wages.

In Shona we say, wafa wanaka, literally meaning when you are dead you are good. I acknowledge he must have been a multi-faceted being, and not been defined by those actions, but we will not hear much of his wrongdoings and thus, they will probably be repeated. Shiceka's status as a freedom fighter, a father of the nation and hero trumps his short-lived pariah status. Patriarchy protects its own; his slate has been wiped clean and after the firing of the loudest canons, disgruntled voices are nothing but mangled whispers.