A nation of fakes

2014-11-05 06:45

South Africa is quickly becoming a fake nation, or a faking nation.

Unlike the early days when the word ‘fake’ was more commonly used to describe wives faking their orgasms to make their husbands happy, fake is now in fashion.

Fake has moved from the bedroom to the boardroom.

Do you remember the “fake” guy who we recently discovered holds a fake doctorate? My apologies, it was not a fake doctorate.

It emerged ANC stalwart Pallo Jordan did not hold a doctorate at all, but was instead a fake doctor who misrepresented his qualifications by insisting on being addressed as “Dr”.

Then there was SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who also apparently faked his matric. And then there is the SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala, who faked her labour relations qualifications from Unisa.

The list goes on.

The unfortunate part is that for those of us who have genuinely lost matric certificates, our lives are made harder by prospective employers who now insist on seeing the certificate as a result of the level at which qualifications are being faked in the country.

Our poor graduates are now subjected to unnecessary scrutiny while the fakes are enjoying the benefits of office.

While Jordan immediately resigned from his positions and apologised, the other two are giving the nation a run for its money.

None of them wants to spend time at a disciplinary inquiry, and they challenge every court or parliamentary ruling. They simply refuse to be hauled over the coals.

The most worrying thing is the deafening silence of the mandarins in Pretoria who are supposed to be their bosses.

But the matric-less Motsoeneng even went out of his way to rent drum majorettes to march to the Public Protector’s office. They got television coverage for their stunt.

Now you have a fake executive and a fake protest march with no genuine demands, a fake story, fake TV coverage and possibly a few million fakes watching as the drama unfolds on their TVs.

Then, a chief was reported to apparently have brought a cow, a calf and a wife to crown the meritorious achievement of the “Fake of the year”.

It is a travesty to have a fake Houdini lead a team of schooled professionals with tons of experience.

Instead of producing the qualification she has supposedly earned, Tshabalala has brought in lawyers and has threatened to go to court.

Is it that difficult to ask your alma mater to produce a record of your completed qualifications? Why pay an attorney to defend the indefensible?

It should be as clear as daylight that – after all these incidents – there is hardly any credibility left at the faulty towers of Auckland Park.

Now, take our children with the fake American accents they just happen to have acquired after a few weeks at a multiracial school.

What about the fake priests and pastors who get people to consume petrol while carrying the holy book in one hand and promising their flock a passage to Heaven?

We fake sickness to be absent from work and fake the medical certificate with the fake medical practitioner.

Worse still, our randelas have been faked. In case you don’t know what a randela is, open your purse or wallet and the currency that is there with Nelson Mandela’s face is the one I am talking about.

Now take the fake lifestyles that many of us live. We pretend to be doing well when, in actual fact, we are living beyond our means.

Imagine what will happen if all of us who are being fooled discover that everything around us is not as genuine as it looks. It is actually a fake.

Even worse, think about the day the banks come and repossess everything we pretended we owned and we discover we are actually fakes who have been lying to ourselves that we are financially independent or are well off.

As a nation of fakes, the next generation is likely to be more fake than the current generation.

Seshoka is corporate relations executive director at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

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