There’s more to this than just Zuma, Dr Khoza

2017-08-27 06:00
Makhosi Khoza. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Makhosi Khoza. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Dear Dr Makhosi Khoza

I’m a fan of yours, although on some days I think I’m a bigger fan of your hair.

With all these cameras and microphones following you around, would you care to comment on more than just President Jacob Zuma and the ANC? We, meaning the media, have centred President Zuma in our programming and the lives of our audiences. For obvious reasons, of course; he is the president of the republic. But if we are being honest, many of us are kept awake at night by issues that a South African presidency sans Jacob Zuma does not resolve. Afflictions such as a cheating partner … the bastard, impossible weight loss goals … high water retention, the high cost of Nando’s chicken … chicks fronting! Or racism … can’t even buy unappetising KFC in peace while black. All of these persist whether ubaba, “uGedleee”, His Excellency, is in the highest office in the land or not.

So what is your view on the landlessness of the black majority in South Africa? What are your thoughts on the issues of racism and race relations in South Africa? You’re an economist: What shift is required to make the numbers work in favour of the marginalised in this country? I asked you this question on a talk radio station recently. You were in conversation with Azania Mosaka, as the station celebrated “iimbokodo”. Rocks. “Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo”. What a problematic and violent phrase. Allow me to digress for a moment.

When you strike a woman, you don’t strike a rock. You strike a human being who bleeds, hurts, who dreams, loves and deserves to not be violated physically, economically or in the many ways women are violated. Rocks don’t bleed. Rocks don’t contribute to building economies, societies and families. “Don’t be literal,” you may be thinking. Well, the fact is that the violent response to y(our) figurative strength as a rock, is literal.

The attitude is: You’re a rock aren’t you? Let’s see you deal with threats to your life and the lives of your children. Angithi you’re a rock? You can take it. Take all of it then, take the misogyny, rape, being inadequately paid. Here’s a kick in the gut for the road. Angithi you’re a rock? Then take it, take all of it!

And when you remind us that, actually, your strength is built on a deep love for country and service to people; when you cry as a result of the difficult road you’ve been on, those tears are interpreted as weakness because you/we made us believe you’re a rock. There are so many wounded rocks walking around, ashamed of their rage, of their weariness, of not having anything revolutionary to say or just being in need of therapy. This “imbokodo” notion must fall.

Back to my question on radio the other day. Your response on land was shaky. You fumbled and settled on expropriation with compensation after a push from Mosaka for clarity.

You said we must interrogate who sets the market-related price of land. Meaning what exactly? You then said you don’t believe in policy that will destroy the economy. Again, meaning? Maybe you would have expounded further had you had more time, or maybe you were just caught off guard?

Before Mosaka moved on to other questions, you quickly squeezed in a comment about being committed to nonracialism. In the context of a country where racism continues to dwarf the potential of black people, what does your commitment to nonracialism look like? The response was so wishy-washy I thought Mamusi My-money had swopped seats with you for a moment.

One does not need an above average IQ to comprehend that the ANC has lost its moral fibre. We know that you are targeted and judged according to a different standard as a woman ANC member. Perhaps speaking about this at every opportunity is a part of your strategy to keep us informed of developments, to ensure your safety.

By remaining top of our minds, you ensure that should anything happen to you, universe forbid, we will know why and who to suspect. But what if you also used the spotlight you currently occupy to present your ideas on other sore points? This may mean less applause and #MakhosiKhoza getting bumped off the trending list, but we’ll at least know that you aren’t just another Zuma Must Fall-type of public figure. You would show us that you’re a thought leader who appreciates that while President Zuma is a monumental headache to the nation, he is not the end all and be all of what is wrong with our beloved country.

Nkambule is a wine-drinking, shade-throwing, cricket-loving Talk radio presenter on Power 98.7 in an abusive relationship with Kaizer Chiefs, intrigued by all things diversity, gender and queer

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Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  makhosi khoza  |  politics

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