This is another literary blend of pathos-ethos and socio-political analyses from one of the most frank writers and seasoned journalists of our time, Fred Khumalo.
His writing is a cocktail of controversial and often thought-provoking topics. He chops and changes topics, from politics, history, current affairs and celebrity gossip.
In #ZuptasMustFall and other rants, Khumalo’s approach is fascinating in that it affords every reader a chance of escapism. His analyses and delves into different topics exploring various ways to tell the South African story, and he deals in all the uncomfortable issues so many shy away from like poor white people, black racism, squatter camps and many issues we all know about but aren’t often discussed publicly.
The informal language he employs can’t be an excuse to ignore the reality of the pressing issues he addresses. Often labelled as a “reluctant Zulu”, “clever black” and an “equal opportunity offender”, Khumalo has the knack to introduce humour into his analyses and pose pressing questions about the political and social state of our country as well as our economic status quo.
This compilation of his recent and already published work is rich with a blend of humour and shrewd analyses. His remarkable treatment of everyday trivial and serious issues offers a unique South African perspective and taste. He entertains readers while at the same time informing them about the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation – or to sink it into further controversy.
Khumalo asks questions about the state of our country and offers tongue-in-cheek palliative answers. The issues of national identity, self-identity as well as patriotism are addressed in a rather informal sense, but the truth of the matter is that the author’s questions need urgent attention.
We are told Americans view us as a people who still hunt for a living and co-habit with lions for pets. Comedian Trevor Noah was recently accused of plundering a mere joke while in the African culture. No one owns copyrights to a tale. These are also topics the author unpacks cleverly with his well crafted tongue-in-cheek approach.
He wants to show his readers how it feels to be an African living in America. His collection focuses on who we are as a nation viewed by the outside world, proposes antidotes to help Americans deal with their delusional views about Africa and their biased perception when it comes to black Africans.
Turn to page 113 on the article, “No ‘darkie’ sarcasm in the class struggle”, where Khumalo asserts that “one silly friend of mine, who happens to be black, said the conversation now should be about class, not race. I’ll have you know this, brother: race, in this country, is still by and large a class determinant. It is no accident that the majority of the people who are poor are black. A racial oligarchy designed it that way. To change the class situation you will need to educate and empower the majority – a project that will take maybe another century, or even more, to realise fully”.
Here, Khumalo touches on a race and class talk and poses questions about the often white privilege and oligarch status. The author also reflects on better strategies to pursue if we are to move forward, understand where we are going and know how to compare our value and importance as Africans to the rest of the world.
If you are pressed for knowledge, then drink from Fred Khumalo’s cup of wisdom. This book offers a wide range of topics.
* #ZuptasMustFall and Other Rants by Fred Khumalo is published by Penguin