Opinionista Sisonke Msimang 23 October 2013

Africa to pull out of AU and WTF to merge with Kung-Fu Fighters

WTF updates party faithfuls on merger talks with the Kung-Fu Fighters, the en-masse African withdrawal from the AU, the toll of roads in Malawi and the global forces that are radically altering our hegemonic factions on the basis of accumulated capital in the new South Africa.

Dear Followers,

The African Union has called an extraordinary summit to discuss the en-masse withdrawal of member states from the continental body in protest against President Zuma’s comments about thinking like Africans. They say that in solidarity with the President of Malawi, who in their view should be allowed to travel on any road in the country without the threat of tolling, and without fear of being derided for her African heritage, they are considering leaving the grouping.

According to the presidential spokesperson, President Zuma’s comments were taken out of context. He made the remarks as part of the country’s bid to become the sole member of the AU. Once the other 53 countries pull out, South Africa will be able to secure a permanent seat on the reformed UN Security Council. The spokesperson notes that in executing its mandate, South Africa will be true to itself and only itself as an emerging power. He has promised people on mainland Africa that they mustn’t worry, South Africa will not get to New York and start to “think like Africans in Africa.”

Instead, the country will think like Greeks in Europe.

At this stressful time, WTF, the party that holds women’s strategic interests at the heart of its agenda, wishes to indicate its solidarity with Madam Joyce Banda. We have offered her assistance in running her Cabinet for the next few weeks while she interviews a new batch of incorruptible ministers.

The furore related to the ‘think like an African’ crisis has also highlighted the need for WTF to strengthen our numbers and present a viable choice to the people. We have been following the Twitter Uprising very closely and can see that many South Africans are asking, WTF? They are ready for us to take our place in the electoral race.

In the interests of transparency we wish to indicate that rumours of a merger with another start-up party, in need of gender parity, are just that – rumours based on facts that we strenuously deny. We are attracted to said party because they are so left of left that they are right. Which means that we can work together to do more.

We can further reveal that last night the WTF secretariat received a phone call from the party – let us call them the Kung-Fu Fighters (KFF). We are choosing not to disclose their name in the interests of keeping confidential in the back rooms where they belong.

The call came from the party leader, who we shall call JJ for the sake of protecting the guilty. I did not take notes during the call because I knew that I could rely on the NIA’s recordings of our call. Given this, I cannot vouch for the veracity of any part of this version of events; even though I was there and I am writing this update for my party faithful. It is called plausible deniability.

Herewith, the discussion about a proposed merger between the WTF and the KFF to form a super-party with a proposed slogan that reads, “Rubbish in Your Pants Stops You From Fighting The Power. We get rid of rubbish.”


JJ: Sisi, it’s Captain Red Beret here. Sorry to call so late at night, I have just left Wits. I was crouched in the bushes listening to the JZ talk. My quads are killing me.

SM: WFT JJ? Did they ban you from another campus?

JJ: Yah, first UNISA, now Wits. This is embarrassing, degrading, cruel and unusual punishment and it is untenable. We must take our public institutions back. We must de-institutionalise them in order for them to be re-legitimised in the context of global forces that are radically altering our hegemonic factions.

SM: WTF dude?

JJ: Sorry, that was a flashback. I was just remembering a speech I heard at the September Imbizo we held last week. Sometimes it’s like this comrade’s words just possess me, and I find myself speaking as though he occupies the space inside my beret, and vice versa. We are ad idem on an ad naseum basis, so really hence, like brothers. Anyway Sisi, I am calling because we are having women problems. We want to discuss a merger. Isn’t it you guys are a woman-only vehicle?

SM: We are indeed, but I am not sure about this. Your statements at the JZ rape trial, your BFF Kenny and the Sushi women, the tenders… I don’t think our politics are aligned. We aren’t interested in being eye-candy, mere props in your revolutionary grand-standing. Pretty faces, the Miley Cyrus’ to your oversized Teddy Bears.

JJ: I hear you sisi, and I totally agree. I have seen your picture and checked out most of your followers. I can assure you that you are not at any risk whatsoever of being viewed as eye-candy so I think we can work together politically.

SM: Thanks… I think.

JJ: So we thought that the first order of business would be to adopt a revolutionary symbol of women’s strength and resilience. We need some help identifying revolutionary African female cadres.

SM: Well, my personal heroes of the struggle against colonisation include Mabel Dove Danquah, a fierce Ghanaian leader who went on to become the first woman in the legislature in her country. Then of course there is Wambui Otieno of the Mau Mau. She championed the cooperative movement…

JJ: Yes, yes, that’s great. But we need a brand. You know, like Breitling is THE watch, we need a revolutionary brand on the gender side. We need a female Breitling of global dimensions. So, our own thoughts were that in the interests of the globalised underclass, those who scratch a living in the underbelly of capitalism. We felt that it would be better to look at Mexico, specifically, the revolutionary inspiration of Frieda Kahlo.

SM: Hmmmn…the painter?

JJ: Yes. Did you know that she had an affair with Trotsky? And from a style perspective, underneath our red berets we can all sport unibrows. And most importantly, our women shall all bear sons named Diego.

SM: We in the WTF party believe in Sexual and Reproductive Rights. We will not be defined by men. If you relegate us to the status of mothers of Diegos and lovers of Leons, what do we have to gain from an alliance with you?

JJ: Free berets! Totally free. Some among us must purchase them on our website but as part of the merger you would get 10 berets 100% mahala.

SM: WTF? I think that’s a deal-breaker. We are worth more than a few t-shirts. We will not compromise on our progressive values.

JJ: Ok, at least listen to our guiding principles:

1. The people shall (be) govern(ed) by us until white people remove the red rhino horns from their front bumpers;

2. The meek shall inherit the earth and we shall expropriate the land from them;

3. Only the strong survive long enough to outlive the meek;

4. The going gets tough, the tough get going;

5. To the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left.

SM: Comrade JJ, what’s that clicking noise? JJ? I think I need to go now.


Yours in never-ending question-asking,



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