Well, I tried to stop myself from writing anything about Brett Murray's depiction of President Zuma with his penis exposed on his recent art. But, I will write something even if it will not set well with other people. Like Murray I'm entitled to my own opinion about his art, like he was with Zuma.
I don’t like Zuma, I never did. But I respect him as a president and as a human being with his own Human Rights enshrined in our South African Constitution. As a Media student I believe in Freedom of speech. Also as a political science student, I know the importance of keeping our leaders on track by criticising their actions. However, lines have to be drawn.
I know what Zuma has done in the past; but now he is our president and we have to show him some level of respect. The portrait undermines the President’s Privacy, a Human Right which we all entitled to. When becoming a president, it does not mean you immediately stop being a human. We must also remind ourselves that Zuma did not put himself in the position that he is in right now. 60+ South Africans did, that painting does nothing to unit the already divided South Africa.
Gwede Mantashe said that the depiction of the portrait was racist. I don’t want to agree with him. But it was crude and does not only disrespect Zuma. It disrespects his presidency and South Africa at large.
Let’s all put our political affiliations aside for once; and debate the matter with Human mind-sets. Those that know that even a criminal, a murder cannot be paraded in public naked. Zuma is a human like all of us.
I personally love Zapiro’s Cartoons and I sometimes go and watch some of their work on www.ZaNews.com, I don’t really care about the showers on Zuma’s head and all. But, making a portrait about him with his penis hanging is something on its own.