Mr Steenhuisen is the boss South Africa needs
In a world of performative politics, Mr Steenhuisen’s authenticity and disregard for optics are truly refreshing.
Dear Boss Leader Mr John Henry Steenhuisen, Sir
I trust this email finds you seen, affirmed and respected like the boss that you are. I have watched your inspiring rise to the position most adjacent to the most powerful position in your party with awe and admiration. Not to mention your party’s spectacular victory in the most recent local elections. To think that this year you took the Democratic Alliance (DA) from Mr Leon’s 16.3% victory in 2006 to 21.65% in 2021. You have a lot to be proud of, Sir, for realsies. Bloody well done!!! If “against all mathematical odds” was a person!
When I think of your political journey, words such as underrated, underappreciated, and or maybe just plain under, come to mind. I have no doubt that your leadership will save this country from the darkness. I am currently visiting family in the Eastern Cape and, even as I am sitting here writing you this email by candlelight and powerbank, the rest of the municipality stretching tens of kilometres around me, which voted 75% you(A) know(N) who(C), is in total darkness. By ballot choice. Truly, the South African tragicomedy writes itself. Enough already! Cometh the dark hours, cometh the man! Post-election Stage 4 has awakened the activist in me and I am finally ready to join the Struggle; we cannot let these people drag us down with them!
Which brings me to the reason for my email.
As a result of poor career guidance in my school days and, consequently, even poorer career choices, I have spent the past decade working as a journalist. Being a glass-half-full kinda guy, I’ve tried to make the best of it. At the peak of my career, I — like many other fortunate journos — dabbled in communications and public relations (PR) work in service of capitalism. Alas, all good things must come to an end, so I now find myself once again in the dark-sided hinterland known as journalisming, where, week after week, my ceaselessly melancholic colleagues open every meeting in Shakespearean fashion: “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
My inherently sunny soul aches for the glory days of PR work and, having watched you from a distance since you took the almost-top position, I feel I can be of great service to you and the party. Words are my thing; happy, positive, success-oriented words. After watching some of your most recent interviews, and some of your older ones; actually, just about all your interviews, I’ve come to realise that a man as great and passionate as you should not have to sweat and break his brain figuring out how to put words together effectively. Let me do that for you and much more.
There really is so much work to be done to Capetownise South Africa. Charisma, likeability, eloquent speech and an actual personality; all these can be such unnecessary distractions. Let me take that off your busy hands, Sir John. I’ll even tell you the exact politically correct moment to smile and shout “service delivery” during a Gareth Cliff interview, which is probably not during a heated debate on racism. Understandably, you’re just way too real and authentic to bother with optics and stuff. Fret not, I got you. Jy is die groot bass nou and everybody must listen, and I will make sure they do and that they don’t bother you with their anecdotes of racist experiences. Service delivery!!!
I’ve also got some great ideas for election posters by the way. Perhaps, most importantly, I believe I can make a great contribution as your very own dedicated person of candour. In these times of identity politics, it has become increasingly important for organisations that wish to remain relevant and in touch to have a good representation of people of candour in their top leadership ranks; POCs, if you will.
As I’m sure you and reformed tweeter Ms Mazzone have discussed among yourselves at some point, good loyal people of candour are hard to come by. You think you’ve got one in the bag and suddenly they have a mind of their own, they want you to care about issues beyond the party script. It would seem that these people confuse the positions they were hired for, as POCs, with POV, point of view.
Sometimes I think they overestimate the value of their candour. I’m grateful to see that since you took your position at the back of the main saddle, you’ve made it clear that POCs who don’t stick to the script have no place in the organisation that you’re now definitely the big man leader boss of. Good for you, well done, good boy. You’ve really done all you can, these people also sommer now need to come to the party and stop thinking they can host their own parties. Your organisation has gone to great lengths to make a home for POCs, and for that I take out my gratitude journal night after night and jot down at least three reasons why I am grateful for your organisation’s existence. The ANC calls you racists, I call you heroes!
Meneer, as your very own POC, your loyal respectful person of candour, trust that I will know my place, I will keep my POV to myself and my candour will be always in service to the party, as intended. As your very own culturally palatable POC, I will be the Candace Owens to your Tucker Carlson. And you can be sure that, unlike some of the party’s former people of candour, I won’t run to Twitter to drag your good name in the brown mud. And, most importantly, I’ll never vacate my position without telling you first. I’ll never hurt your feelings like that. Okay? Okay? There there. You’re the boss, you’re the man; you’re the leader. I know it and 21.65% of South Africa knows it.
I hope you won’t think me too forward but I’ve taken the liberty of CC-ing Ms Helen Zille on this email, just so you don’t have to still forward it to her to get her go-ahead, should you be keen on granting me an interview. I so look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. I also have a number of Skillshare certificates, so we’ll never have to worry about nosy journos digging into my qualifications.
Palatably yours, a professional person of candour, who is definitely not like the others. M
Please note this article uses satire.
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