Mbaks was rude, funny and right

2014-01-27 10:00

Bafana Bafana is like the drunk uncle we simply can’t disown. It has often been said that they score their best goals in adverts. In real life, they are a letdown.

But no matter what they do to spoil our mood, they are our only national team. We can’t borrow one from somewhere else. We curse them, we love them, we hate them and we support them because, through it all, we believe in them.

It’s a tension Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula showed in his recent “attack” on the team after they did not make it through the first round of the African Nations Championship.

This week, Mbalula split the nation in two. The first group agreed with what he said about Bafana and the second disagreed with the manner in which he said it. But in all the varying views that followed his controversial press conference, nobody was against the underlying sentiment he was trying to convey?– ?things need to change in South African soccer.

The person talking at that press conference was a man of passion. We saw a minister spitting fire. Put aside, for a moment, everything he said and what you saw was a minister who cares about something. He cares about the state of soccer in South Africa to the point of getting carried away.

He let emotion take over.

That is not a bad thing. It is easier to curb a minister’s choice of words than it is to instil in them a fiery spirit and zeal for their portfolio. This is the fiery spirit Mbalula displayed. He was offensive. He was rude. He was funny. And most importantly, he was right.

Speaking to Danny Jordaan about shaking things up and encouraging him not to be half-hearted in reforming structures in the SA Football Association, Mbalula said: “If you are going to be in the kitchen, you will find me in the toilet.”

Very few people understood the reference, very few people cared. It was hilarious. The room erupted in a roar of laughter. Everybody listening was hanging on to every word he was saying.

In South Africa, we have very few opportunities to hear politicians speak passionately. When it happens, it usually causes fissures in thought and opinion.

But it’s a refreshing escape from the scripted and rehearsed responses we get occasionally. He was offensive. He was rude. He was funny. And most importantly, he was right.

As a comedian, one of my jobs is to hide truth in humour. Sometimes it is offensive. Mbalula was funny at the expense of stand-in goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.

Mbalula’s truth was that things need to change. One of the most important jokes any South African has ever told was Trevor Noah’s black-accent routine. In the joke, he talks about how we swoon over French people mispronouncing words like ‘management’. We admire the French accent without correcting it.

But when a black person does the same and mispronounces the same word as “manayjment”, we laugh and feel the need to correct it.

Everybody loves this joke perhaps because there is truth hidden in the laughter. And sadly, we quickly forget about what he was actually trying to say.

Mbalula said some flowery things, some closer to the truth than others. But in the midst of the emotion, let us not forget what he was actually trying to say: things need to change.

Yes, he was offensive. Yes, he was rude. Yes, he was funny. And yes, he was right.

»?Nkonzo is a stand-up comedian

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.