Could Lindiwe be JZ’s last hurrah?

2014-02-23 10:00

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Our president needs a good woman on whom to retire.

There was a time in our culture when it was pretty common, if not actively encouraged, for an elderly polygamist to take a very young wife as his way of saying: “Gents, I’m out of here. I’m never gonna look at women lustfully again. I’ve had my day.”

This young bride was called “indlu yokugugela” or “umfazi wokugugela” (literally, “a wife to retire on”). Needless to say, the wife to retire on used to be the man’s favourite.

New in a household where there were maybe three or four wives, she would work hard to impress the man and would cook up a storm – it is a well-established fact that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Unlike the other wives who had formed alliances and camps among themselves, the new wife was always a loner, not given to malicious gossip about which wife was bewitching whose children.

She moved like a whirlwind around the compound, cleaning up after the children of the other wives, and generally being useful and helpful – thus giving the elder wives reason to tolerate her, at worst, or even love and cherish her, at best.

Not only was her arrival at the household going to give them respite from their household chores – but in the nocturnal gymnastics department, too, she came in handy. She was still agile, full of verve and vim, while the other wives had long switched off their batteries and were complaining about arthritis and sore lower backs.

A young, vivacious siren is just the elixir needed to revive even a 90-year-old madala.

Knee joints creaking, he will rediscover his mojo, thanks to his new young wife and her creative engagement in bedroom acrobatics.

These thoughts about young wives came to me late last week as I reviewed the bloody confrontation between ANC and DA supporters in downtown Joburg.

I thought: this picture is getting uglier by the day. It needs a creative intervention, so I mulled over this for a while.

When I saw President Jacob Zuma walking into Parliament for his state of the nation address accompanied by his first wife Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma, things suddenly clicked into place.

It is about time President Zuma takes a new wife, I thought, a very young wife who’s going to keep him on his toes.

But this wife also has to serve a national interest in one way or another.

I came up with a radical proposition: let’s get President Zuma to take Lindiwe Mazibuko of the DA as his umfazi wokugugela.

Why? To create stability in the country, you need a DA that is on good terms with the ANC.

The marriage of the two prominent leaders could just do the trick. Helen Zille is married, and she is?...?emm?... rather too long in the tooth to be umfazi wokugugela. In fact, she needs a Ben 10, but that’s another story altogether.

So, with President Zuma married to Mazibuko, members of the ANC would find it difficult to attack DA supporters because, in doing so, they would be attacking their in-laws.

And the DA would be ill-advised to say rude things about shower heads and whatnot.

After all, one of their own would be enjoying the royal shower by then.

In case you think I’m a genius, consider the fact that it’s already a long-established tradition for leaders of nations to marry outside their own group.

King Louis XVI of France was married to Marie Antoinette of Austria.

The British have, through the years, married into the royal families of Spain and Germany and so on – all in the name of keeping the peace.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini himself is married to women from Swaziland, Eastern Cape and elsewhere.

But let’s not stop there. Let’s make the circle bigger.

Let’s get Mangosuthu Buthelezi to act as President Zuma’s “umkhongi omkhulu” (chief negotiator during the ilobolo proceedings).

For a change, the poor chief will find something useful to do with his time.

I’ve consulted with some experts on this matter.

One of these is my good buddy Ndumiso Ngcobo, who made a very salient point.

Ngcobo noted Lady Mazibuko’s?...?emm?...?umm?...?“dimensions” are just up Msholozi’s alley, if you get my drift.

Over and above extinguishing the fires of animosity between the two parties, the matrimonial bond between President Zuma and Lady Mazibuko will also put paid to the tiresome noise about the Nkandla compound.

With Mazibuko moving in, all we can look forward to is an expanded Nkandla compound.

She is not coming to Nkandla empty-handed, she’s bringing her own stuff.

She can’t use a bedroom that’s been previously occupied by the other wives.

She needs her own wing of the compound.

That little pond that has been the source of mirth for many will need to be expanded as well.

As it is, I can’t see the existing wives fitting into that pool.

During one of the family gatherings, I can just imagine Lady Mazibuko and Khulubuse Zuma jumping, at the same time, into the pool. Crisis.

Before Msholozi reshuffles his Cabinet, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi must move fast to set aside some funds for the extension of the Nkandla compound, complete with a new pool.

Khumalo is a freelance journalist and novelist

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