Chance to laugh at ourselves

2011-03-09 00:00

WHAT a wonderfully refreshing read, and don’t be fooled: the title has nothing to do with the president of the country and father of our nation.

In fact the title is an indicator of the quirkiness of this collection of blogs or short reflections written by Azad Essa, who in 2009 won the title of best political blogger.

There are no sacred cows as this young South African explores the social, cultural and political milieu of living in this time of freedom. You will find yourself laughing out loud, smiling reflectively or just being jolted by his thoughtful observations.

Essa, who currently works for Al Jazeera network, was an academic who wanted to break into the world of journalism and explains that this is how he started blogging on the Mail and Guardian’s Thought Leader portal.

Part of the charm of his writing is that he pokes fun at himself and offers an insight into his own upbringing. Having grown up in a society with deep divisions, Essa shows that South Africans may have been brought up differently but they have a lot in common. His pieces are not just local but stretch to global issues as well. Most enjoyable are the enticing titles that lure you into each of his pieces, such as, Was Eugene Terror Blanche a Muslim?, Blue Julius (and Pink Floyd), or Curry-Stained Stud-Muffins.

More power to Essa’s pen and long may he continue to write. Interestingly, the publisher of this book, Two Dogs, also published Ndumiso Ngcobo­’s humourous Some Of My Best Friends are White and Is it Coz I’m Black? Along with Zuma’s Bastard they are also well worth reading — we get a chance to laugh at ourselves.

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