The other morning, as I was taking my daughter back to UCT campus after a weekend at home, she pushed a CD into the CD player of my car.
We were driving past the Liesbeek River and I was horrified at the amount of rubbish lying around. My God, this is Cape Town! I thought. Why does it look like Bloemfontein?
Travelling around South Africa has become increasingly depressing of late.
And that’s the thing. In my job, I can’t avoid travelling. I am a performing artist and I go to different places to earn my living. It’s a bread-and-butter thing.
I suppose, in this day and age, I should be thankful to have a job that still pays. Everybody is depressed these days, and many people are still willing to fork out a few rands to go to see a show by a man with a bottle of red wine and a guitar who sings funny songs that are supposed to cheer you up.
Problem is, these days, more and more I feel like I am the one who needs cheering up.
It’s hard to admit to myself how upbeat I felt about the future of our country just a few years ago. When was it that Cyril became president? 2018?
What a relief it was, to see the last of that Zuma fellow.
Back then, I couldn’t picture any politician being worse than Jacob Zuma.
That was before we encountered the likes of Gwede Mantashe.
And that was also before we realised that Cyril Ramaphosa is nothing but a damp squib.
May I throw a knuppel in the hoenderhok?
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The narrative these days, especially among us disillusioned liberals, is that Cyril Ramaphosa is this good guy deep down, perhaps the only good guy that’s left, but he’s sort of got weak in the knees and is unable to push through all those reforms he promised us when he ascended to power after ousting Zuma.
“What’s wrong with this picture?” I asked myself. “Surely there must be a REASON why Ramaphosa is behaving like a pap snoek. Have they got dirt on him? Is he just tired? Why can’t he make the decisions he really wants to make?”
At that moment, as I was pondering that ephemeral question, the next song on the CD my daughter had pushed into the CD player started thumping through the car.
“This is my favourite,” she said, and turned up the volume.
It was a well-known old rock song by The Who. I had heard it a hundred times before.
Suddenly, though, I perked up my ears. All of a sudden, the song made much more sense than before.
It had a direct bearing on the thoughts that had been rambling around inside my head.
“Meet the new boss,” they sang. “Same as the old boss…”
Of course, you know by now what song we were listening to. It was, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
“My God, nothing has changed,” I thought. “What if Cyril actually isn’t a good man who’s lost his courage to lead?”
“What if…” I winced as the full horror of my next thought hit me in the solar plexus.
“What if he’s JUST LIKE ZUMA?
“Perhaps a more clever version of Zuma … certainly more suave and well-spoken, but equally corrupt?”
WHAT IF CYRIL IS THE NEW ZUMA?
If that were true, I told myself, We Are F*cked.
Well and Truly F*cked.
We are More F*cked than we Ever had been…
Perhaps we should all hope this isn’t true.
Perhaps you should forget you ever read this column.
Perhaps it was irresponsible of me to bring everyone down like this.
Perhaps … perhaps … perhaps…
If I can manage to write one more paragraph, this column will end up having exactly 666 words in it. The Devil’s number. The true nature. The real thing.
Let’s not go there. It sounds too much like a conspiracy th… (666 reached… now). DM