Sunday Indy Books

The best of South African literature

If Obama were Zuma, we could do better

Comment on this story


BarackObama123

REUTERS

US President Barack Obama.

For just a moment after the re-election of Barack Obama, we all wished we could feel how good it is to be American. You saw it on Facebook, Twitter and other social network spaces, and at dinner tables. It was a moment of pure American magic.

And who better to deliver it than a black brother, one of our own, a son of the soil, as we would say in Africa.

Obama’s victory took me straight to a scene in the movie Rush Hour 3 where, after a drama-filled street chase, George, a French cab driver who involuntarily becomes the driver for US crime busting duo Lee (Jackie Chan) and Curter (Chris Tucker), happily remarks: “Now I know how it feels to be an American.”

For George, being American meant high-speed chases, guns, shootings and the drama that comes with it. But on Tuesday, it meant having the kind of leader the Yanks have in Obama.

The Americans – in their darkest hour, with Hurricane Sandy leaving a trail of damage, their economy in ruins, and facing a moment where they have to secure their future – rise to the occasion. They make us all believe. Yes, they can, to steal a famous Obama line.

Even if only for one day, it was a relief to forget about South Africa’s own impending Hurricane Sandy of a leadership race. But soon after we took our eyes – and hearts – off the US election, reality hit home: we do not have a Barack Obama among us. Not even by a long stretch of the imagination. So the comparisons between Obama and our own Jacob Zuma, became the favourite topic of discussion.

But while it is unfair even to begin to compare Zuma to Obama, his re-election, coming as it does weeks before Zuma himself steps up to be retained as leader of the ANC at Mangaung – the birthplace of Africa’s oldest liberation movement – it offers us time to accept the reality that we can do better. And for us to ask the difficult question: Is Zuma really the best we can have?

Three things happened in the past week that got us wishing we had an Obama. First was the DA’s march to Zuma’s Nkandla palace, which they say will soon be remembered as a monument of corruption. It was a publicity stunt that talks to the heart of the South African problem – the desperation to have a president of unquestionable morality and unmatched leadership qualities. Indeed, if we had an Obama, there wouldn’t be any need for the opposition and its lapdogs to march to a villa built with public funds in the midst of the stinking poverty of a village that cries out for basic amenities.

The second was SABC boss Jimi Matthews’s conceding to pressure from Mac Maharaj and other Zuma henchmen to ban the use of words such as “compound”, “Nkandlagate” and “Zumagate” from the public broadcaster’s news bulletins.

And then, on Friday afternoon, the event we had all been waiting for: Zuma delivering a lecture in tribute to his nemesis and predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.

It was always going to be interesting to see how Zuma would spell out Mbeki’s successes and failures, and how he’d articulate Mbeki the man, the president.

I would have loved to see the look on Mbeki’s face as Zuma delivered his lecture, but, predictably, Mbeki wasn’t even going to be there. And there’s very little doubt that even if the lecture had been down the road from his Killarney residence, Mbeki couldn’t have been bothered.

Listening to Zuma painfully go through a speech he obviously got the best brains in his camp to draft, it became very clear even to the Doubting Thomases among us that the Zuma moment which those like Gwede Mantashe would have us believe is coming, will remain wishful thinking.

For a moment at the start of the lecture, I wished Zuma could continue singing and dancing. Let’s give credit where credit’s due. He killed it. The man is a top-drawer entertainer and singer of the highest calibre. He is not an Obama.

And we need an Obama. But the reality is that we have Zuma. Simply having Zuma return for another four years, until 2019, is unimaginable to some. But as sure as day follows night, it is going to happen.

What it simply means is that if Kgalema Motlanthe continues to wait on the sidelines hoping this job will land in his lap on a silver platter at Mangaung in a few weeks’ time, Zuma will return.

And in the 2014 elections Zuma will be on the ballot papers, and the ANC will remain in power.

The DA, the biggest beneficiary of this crisis of leadership in the ANC, will make serious in-roads in the urban centres, including Gauteng, the economic engine of this once-prosperous nation.

And many of the “clever blacks” who wish for an Obama will return to their little corners, mumble disapproval and whine.

The closest they will ever get to feeling like Americans is on social network sites and at dinner tables where they speak in hushed tones.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Newspaper Subscriptions
Bizkit2808
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
FanceFace
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
Whitneyz
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
mitch09
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 40.
View Profile
fungi1971
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Bonwel
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 36.
View Profile
kncyLuv
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
ME_JE
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
FiftyshadesB
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 45.
View Profile
armor2014
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 70.
View Profile
Casiopiea40
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Garnet3107
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
samke_722
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 25.
View Profile
CYAGal
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Calmine
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
marryme2014
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Mbaliholysexyness
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 27.
View Profile
Sweatma72
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Dudutuli246
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Mistry_lady
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
tkay011
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Smashizo
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 37.
View Profile
Mag137
I'm a 60 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 57 and 67.
View Profile
danda100
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 52.
View Profile
sassyfoxylady101
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
smilyz
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
LavishT
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 27.
View Profile
skati43
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
mcgoyer
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
RealBlackPearl
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
ntando_784
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Royalness
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
fiksBee
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 40.
View Profile
Bathandwa83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 47.
View Profile
Melone
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Nola_505
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
BOTSHELOMAN
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
kauwel
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 55.
View Profile
briluu
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 37.
View Profile
Sthandwasakhesit
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
ranga322
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 40.
View Profile
RareT0paz
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 60.
View Profile
kgotlas
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Rosey903
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
hellena_596
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
LolliCandy
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
khens02
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
0cean_ntr
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Yahoo
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 60.
View Profile
Shazzyyyy
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
zama1zn
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
MissD123
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 47.
View Profile
Baabbygirl
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
sbobo736
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Dlodlolas75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 49.
View Profile
Zama101
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 100.
View Profile
PrincessEdelweiss
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Blaq_chic
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
gloml66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 58.
View Profile
kiara_111
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
Leratomntande
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
leez83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
autre007
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 49.
View Profile
TT200
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
xoxohayleyxoxo
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Jade_76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
MeltChocolate
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
TABIEE
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 100.
View Profile
curvalicious
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
sweetnessmgm
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 63.
View Profile
ally_charmy80
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Noks76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
ProVoq
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
joocypie
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
Leematt
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
nwaolisa
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
MASESHIA
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
Sweetlipsss627
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Foxy88
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
honeybee_036
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
LadyJimpster
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
pumpania
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
spesy59
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
vicky74
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Cyndilouper
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
SexLips
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Noxy727
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 36.
View Profile
AWELANI
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 50.
View Profile
kafze
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
Funfoodie3012
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
lulubaby
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 70.
View Profile
Roroe
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
mello_185
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 60.
View Profile
Rivee
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
maria8022
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
hlehle888
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
simphy337
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
ChocLatte
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
DDeeZA
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 50.
View Profile
Ticom_199
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 45.
View Profile
Ophion
I'm a 21 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Eriqnes
I'm a 33 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
tonym
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
bobbylava
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 31.
View Profile
Wyne_
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 29.
View Profile
Oupa0414
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Moxion
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
TuEsDAy
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
THOKZANHLA
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 44.
View Profile
GD1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Thamza_77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
lmn4life
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Chacal
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Kelvin7777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
Ma1010n
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
SSBK547P
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
PoundzMm
I'm a 23 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Washe
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Shadra143
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
myth909
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
JonnyBee
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 28.
View Profile
Sabloma
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 35.
View Profile
Deejay_homy
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Lucky123nxt
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 40.
View Profile
alpha114
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Phistos_Number_1
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
sweetman465
I'm a 67 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
Diva1308
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
charged
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Rendzo
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Terror000
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Mxo87
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Clownstotheleftofme
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 41.
View Profile
Vbe2014
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Mok_01
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
shiva709
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
gwbyo
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 40.
View Profile
dlarah
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Thami_VS
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 29 and 42.
View Profile
gothicD
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 37.
View Profile
Gemini24
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
tripplekkkk
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Sparberry
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
hawk619
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
mesut909
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
Dalubuhle
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 45.
View Profile
Fanzonator
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Seriousaboutlife325
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Bongza116
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 31.
View Profile
Satisfactor99
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Jabz_0
I'm a 29 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
Masterrapture
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 45.
View Profile
dlalo
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Qtip
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 32.
View Profile
Siwithpie
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 45.
View Profile
catcher182
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 24.
View Profile
TSKgosiemang
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
GWL321
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 56.
View Profile
CoolnCalm
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
gario
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 50.
View Profile
bigbhele
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 55.
View Profile
dev_xoxox52
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 65.
View Profile
Smooth_Kriminal
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
LIONKING915
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Bento1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
shooter_949
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 50.
View Profile
loner729
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
lookingforfunza
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
Thulani1234
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
mixido2
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
sbo123sss
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Romeo_57
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jb24golf
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
mcD
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
bloodmoney370
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
Lawrence218
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Siyabulela90
I'm a 24 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
mattgeah
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
MGW
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 65.
View Profile
bangstar
I'm a 22 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 23.
View Profile
choeu
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Jono693
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Henry071
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
mfhalim
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
IceTy
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 42.
View Profile
Minkh
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 29.
View Profile
Deathrow5662
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
wanagetyou
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile

Business Directory