President Jacob Zuma has finally come of age – old age, that is. Last Sunday was the first time I recall him talking seriously about the R-word. No, not Ramaphosa. I’m talking about retirement.
You know, that fateful day when you are put out to pasture and drift off into the sunset.
The president was in Durban with his ANC top six, engrossed in mind-mangling discussions about the fractured KZN leadership, factionalism and the need for party unity when he halted deliberations and informed his colleagues he needed some time out.
All those heady issues were beginning to take their toll on him, so he politely excused himself and headed off to the Essence Festival at the ICC for a welcome break.
It being October 1 and, as it turns out, the International Day of Older People, it was perhaps serendipity that turned the conversation at the festival to what many senior citizens just love talking about – how to deal with retirement.
The president appeared quite excited about the prospect of bowing out and told people how he could not wait for mid-2019 when he would officially retire.
What does No 1 plan to do once he steps out of the Union Buildings? Well, it seems he’s made up his mind about two major priorities in his new lifestyle. One is to travel the country listening to his favourite maskandi group, Izingane Zoma. Traditional music is in his blood and he showed his appreciation for maskandi by presenting the musicians with a R370 000 Quantum minibus as a gift.
His second priority has much to do with insatiable passion for members of the opposite sex. And he used the platform on Sunday to show off about his health which, he says, “makes me still able to win fine-looking women”.
“Don’t even doubt me because whenever I approach a woman, she would never say no to me,” he bragged.
The right time to retire, they say, is when you dread going to work. And from the president’s recent demeanour in Parliament, he certainly doesn’t look like he’s having a whole lot of fun.
And, if there’s any truth to his claim to have such a spell-binding power over women, here’s his chance to do the country a big favour before the big blast-off.
When he decides to step away from office, he should take his colleagues, Dudu Myeni, Faith Muthambi and Bathabile Dlamini, with him.
He may not realise it, but by doing so he’ll be saving our national airline from certain bankruptcy, putting a stop to the profligate waste of taxpayers’ money and giving peace of mind to 6 million pensioners desperately worried about the future of their state grants. Be presidential for once: just do it!
* Dennis Pather's Tongue In Cheek column appears in Independent Media titles every Sunday.
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.