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The South Africa Sh** Show: The episode in which the House of Al Jama-ah sparks hate

The South Africa Sh** Show: The episode in which the House of Al Jama-ah sparks hate
Advocate Shameemah Salie, the national spokesperson of the House of Al Jama-ah. Composite image: Maverick Life

The South Africa Show’s new ruling House is a most intriguing development, and viewers should be careful not to underestimate its influence at the highest level of government.

“At the end of the day, we’re already living in Sodom and Gomorrah and you know that. The murders, the rapes, the LGBTQI+ community,” said advocate Shameemah Salie, the national spokesperson of the House of Al Jama-ah, before she got interrupted mid-sentence by a seemingly shocked Stephen Grootes, a journalist character who occasionally pops up on episodes of the South Africa Sh** Show (Sass).

I too was shocked as I watched this recent episode of Sass. I’ve seen similar themes play out in recent seasons of some really bad shows like the America Sh** Show (Ass), particularly from a primitive people of questionable intelligence whose storyline has become quite prominent in recent seasons of that show, the Maga tribe.

As our country and possibly our continent’s top film critic, it is not often that I find myself intrigued, perhaps even blindsided, by the creative choices screenwriters and directors make, but Sass is no ordinary show. Horrors that lesser writers fear to even imagine, the Sass team will happily turn into a multiseason storyline. 

But this? During Pride Month of the year 2023? I was truly intrigued. Then again, one might argue that the sudden rise of the House of Al Jama-ah in this latest season has been a most intriguingly bizarre plot twist even for Sass

Never mind the fake capitals of Pretoria and Cape Town, the real fandom knows that the show’s fictional country has only one true capital, the great City of Jozi (CoJ) in the North. And over the past couple of months, not one but two leaders from the previously little-known House of Al Jama-ah have ascended to its throne. Sass fiction really is stranger than fiction.

Just a year ago, I would have bet my money on Lord Magashule of the House of RETardia lording it over the CoJ, undoing whatever leftover bits of Ramaphoria that the country’s President hadn’t already squandered. 

I would never have guessed it would be this Maga-come-lately lot, whose very existence had been unknown to me, most probably due to the toxic ignorance gene that affects brains as queer as mine. 

Admittedly, the writers dropped a couple of clues towards the end of Season 29 when seemingly out of the blue, a bright childlike spark from the House of Al Jama-ah by the name of Thapelo Amad ascended to the Golden Throne and introduced the troubled people of the CoJ to alternative economics. In truly contemporary fashion, his reign of wildly imaginative economic leadership was brief, remaining wholly untethered to reality throughout its 87 days.  

The new King in the North

In a real country, one might imagine the pendulum would swing in the opposite direction, and that his replacement might be far less exciting, traditionally qualified even, perhaps hailing from one of the Houses that got more than 1% of the national vote. But that is not the Sass way as we soon found out in a subsequent episode when the new King in the North was introduced.

“Until the day I was elected into office, nobody knew who I was, nobody even knew I existed in council as one of the councillors. However, anything that has Kabelo Gwamanda attached to it becomes a sensation, and I understand why they would jump on the bandwagon,” Amad’s replacement, the newly minted Lord Kabelo Gwamanda, said as he responded to a question about his many detractors in a recently aired episode.

In the face of the CoJ’s many challenges and potholes, some questioned Lord Gwamanda’s educational background, seeing as he never made it past Grade 10. “What if I was the black version of Steenhuisen?” he responded. Imagine that. It’s been said by some viewers that one Lord Steenhuisen is already one too many; I do wonder how they’ll react when they find out that the writers have introduced a second one.

As sensational as Lord Kabelo Gwamanda Steenhuisen II is, there is no character whose influence is more underrated in this drama-cum-comedy-of-errors than the deliciously hateful advocate Shameemah Salie, a would-be mother of dragons whose debut saw her defend a press release sent out by the House of Al Jama-ah early on at the beginning of Pride Month, calling on “government to dismiss any proposals by LGBTQI+ community from being included in the revised White Paper on Family Life”. 

One can only assume that the House of Al Jama-ah did this because queers are magical beings manifested out of thin air with no family connections to speak of, and being forever airy-fairy, they never go on to form any family connections nor raise families of their own.

Then one of the show’s fictional retailers, Woolworths, launched a campaign celebrating LGBTQI+ individuals, presumably in the spirit of profitable inclusivity, under the slogan “Be An Ally”. This sort of acceptance and empathy triggered the House of Al Jama-ah. 

Emboldened by its recent and seemingly repeatable rise to the throne of the CoJ, the 1%-of-the-vote-winning House fashioned itself as the voice of an apparently intolerant majority as they wrote: 

“We further take cognisance of major businesses such as Woolworths that have adopted an arrogant ‘hard-right’ come out [sic] supporting LGBTQI+ campaigns without considering the rightful views of the majority; instead of perpetuating normal descent [sic] practices, it deliberately chose to make this ‘abnormality normal and socially acceptable’.” 

As evil, dumb, and anti-Constitution as their views may be, there’s something about the way the show portrays Advocate Sham and the proudly queerphobic House of Al Jama-ah that captures something of the regressive, villainous and upside-down nature of the times we live in. 

It’s only been a few months since they’ve had such a significant role in the show, and they’ve wasted no time helping the country reconsider its standards. Thapelo Amad redefined what a “mayoral term” is; the current King in the North, Lord Gwamanda Steenhuisen II, has made us reconsider importance of a matric qualification at the highest level of CoJ governance. 

Now, through careful application of ancient mystical mathematics, the House asks of us to consider how winning 1% of the national vote can make you the voice of the majority who didn’t vote for you nor ask you to speak for them as you spit fire at their Constitution and try to Make Apartheid Great Again where the show’s queer minorities are concerned. 

I’m captivated and I can’t wait to see where they take this storyline as the season progress, because the rise of the magatastic House of Al Jama-ah has got to be the South Africa Sh** Showiest thing to come out of this series in a long time. 

One wonders if, at their most recent municipal elections, the fictional people of the CoJ knew that their votes would pave the way for a fresh new batch of evil oppressive unpatriotic ideologies to sit on the city’s throne. I do love a well-written villain though, and the vile Advocate Sham and her hateful House of Al Jama-ah are ones to keep an eye on. DM

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  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Excellent lampooning of a truly nasty little party!

  • Dave Gould says:

    Absolutely brilliant, satire at it’s best

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    Well now we know why almost no one voted for them! I’ve never thought of woolies as the champion of the downtrodden. This Sass has depth! I’m worried for that one percent though. Have there been escapes from the local loony bin lately? Someone should put them straight Er perhaps not quite the right word here?

  • Jennifer Hughes says:

    Thank heavens for Malibongwe Tyilo, all hail our continent’s top film critic!

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Religion and Politics should never be co joined…
    Countries lead by religious men have proven to be dysfunctional, racist and sexist.
    Leave religion out of Politics – a lesson we should have all learnt from the Crusades to the Holocaust, ISIS and the Taliban. No religion should prescribe what a country’s laws should be.

  • Graeme J says:

    Salie is just spewing vitriolic hatred against a minority group, which is ironic because she is also part of a minority. She is trying to push her doctrinal fantasy onto the rest of the country.

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