Friday, July 4, 2008


This is me writing again. The press release is done. There is strong enmity between

South Africans and other Africans and I will briefly poetically touch on that in part III. For now, I’m curious as to why that is and from where it comes. This especially intrigues me because of the fact that South Africa is a type of underdeveloped stepchild in a sense. It is not where it “should” be. It was supposed to be the continental leader, and it many ways it is. But it has fallen far short of the hegemonic position that it was to attain when it achieved freedom from the chains of apartheid. The same could be said of Nigeria, the other country to carry the continent. Many accuse South Africa of being white-led or a non-Black African nation. And this is true in some respects.

In January Haley and I saw a play in Cape Town entitled “Mirror Mirror”. It was about the recent history of South Africa (let’s say 20th century apartheid to now). We both liked it very much. It took a while to know it was strictly about---well it took awhile to realize who each character represented or who each group represented. There were references to EVERYONE and EVERYTHING—from the rugby team to Mbeki to Mandela to De Klerk to TV news reporters, etc. The most interesting scene in the play was when the queen (who carelessly and apathetically ruled her subjects and lorded it over them) was negotiating with the peasants as they were about to change hands. They would throw out (say out loud) an aspect of the kingdom. And then the queen and her crew with the peasants would decide who gets it.

“What about the economy and the money?”

The queen steps forward and plays a South African game similar to paper-rock-scissors.

She plays against a peasant and wins!

“YEEEEeeeeees! Yessss! I get the money, I get the money?”

“What about the TV station?”

The queen steps forward again and plays against another peasant.

This time the peasant wins and all the peasants go crazy!!

“Yebo, yebo!!! We DID it! Ja! Ja! We keep the news!!”

“What about the government? Who gets THAT?”

The queen steps forward and plays another peasant.

This time it’s a tie at first, so they play again.

The peasant wins and all the peasants rejoice giving hi-5’s!

“We even get the government? It must be raining blessings from Heaven?

(Hey, where was God all the time we were suffering under this woman?)”

“Who gets the military and other key institutions? Who gets THAT?”

The queen tries one last time to redeem herself summing up all her SA rock-paper-scissors skills to defeat the peasant who is cracking his neck from side to side as if they are about to box in the match of the century.

BOOOM. The queen wins and all her royal friends rejoice.

“We keep it, you reap it. We own the stuff; you sweep it!”

I’m of course paraphrasing. I don’t remember what key institutions were done, but you get the idea. I mean Mandela has been accused once (back in 1996) of being a “black head of a white country,” a slur which really hurt South Africans (this was when Nigerian-South African relations were not good). All this brings me to a recent soccer match that happened a week ago from today (June 10).

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