I had decided not to write about the distasteful so-called painting that has belittled the country’s fourth rightful president, Jacob Zuma, until I heard comments attributed to one Tselane Tambo, daughter of the ANC’s longest serving president, the late OR Tambo. “He must get over it. No one is having a good time. He should inspire the reverence he craves. This portrait is what he inspired. Shame neh!”, Tselane reportedly tweeted.
I respect Tselane’s views and appreciate that everybody has a right to express themselves as they wish. And, lest I am jabbed by my critics for being unfair, I must stress that, more than anything else, my jealousy for the name of OR Tambo is my motivation for this article. I feel obliged to defend the name of OR Tambo in the interest of the struggle for freedom.
Tselane, and her siblings, have a primary responsibility to guard the legacy of OR Tambo with their souls. Apart from being a very insignificant actor, Tselane has not done anything to contribute to the country positively. Unlike her father, Tselane has not sacrificed anything for the good of the country.
OR Tambo never disrespected his elders. When he was a leader of the ANCYL, he and his comrades never disrespected their elders in the mother body on any matter. Despite their impatience with the policy of the ANC at that time, OR and his comrades followed organizational processes to lobby for their preferred policy stances. In a clear show of lack of respect, Tselane argues that president Zuma “inspired” the insult from Brett Murray.
She openly disrespects her elder by saying that, for some reason, he deserved to be insulted and disrespected as he has. This un-African posture by Tselane is directly opposite to the values and overall legacy of his father. And, for this, she needs to spit on her navel.
Tselane argues that, because other South Africans do not enjoy poverty, unemployment and homelessness, president Zuma must not make the fuss about this vulgar piece of shame. This illogical argument seems to argue that, 1) Zuma enjoys, or is directly responsible for, the poverty and unemployment that swallows our country; and 2) only the president, or political leaders, are responsible for fighting the socio-economic ills in our society. Tselane seems to have a very problematic understanding of the role of civil society, business, and labour in the development of our communities. What role is she playing to ensure that hopelessness begets hope? Why doesn’t she, like her late father did, get over her own selfishness and work towards building a better society? All she does is disrespect her elders.
One wonders if Tselane would have liked to see the portrait of her later father in such a manner as depicted by Murray. Would she be happy to see Murray draw a shameful picture of her naked body, and put it in some public gallery for everybody to nurture their pornographic cravings? I really doubt. So Tselane must learn to be selfless rather than selfish, like her late father was.
The Spear, as the portrait of the president is named, is not a work of art. It is a mere pornographic cartoon painted by an attention-seeking, lustful imbecile. It does not deserve to be treated like art at all. For Tselane and others to even applaud it is a vivid reflection of a sick society we are living in. It is a society that celebrates those who insults its leaders as creative artists. Ours is a society that always wishes that our nation could fail so they could say; “We told you. This is another failed African state!”
OR Tambo and his wife, Adelaide Tambo, are shivering in their graves today. Their daughter, Tselane Tambo, is a stark contrast of what they lived for. She has become a selfish individual who, apart from being a tweeter fanatic, spends no time in creating a better life for other South Africans. Their daughter participates in degrading and insulting her elders, particularly struggle icons like president Zuma. Their daughter will, unfortunately, never be like them!