SA author gives his ‘kak list’ for 2007

2007-12-18 00:00

Grant Schreiber, co-author of newly-released title Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak?, gives his take on 10 of the kakkest things in South Africa in 2007.

1. O. R. Tambo International Airport.

For all the controversy about renaming the airport, Oliver Tambo would probably not have wanted his name attached to it simply because it is now being associated with incompetence, corruption and general kakness. And this is the first impression of the country for countless visitors. 2010 should be a blast!

2. The Vodacom meerkat.

The customer brief for the Vodacom meerkat campaign must have been a hoot: “Guys, Vodacom needs a hideously annoying character to symbolise the brand and serve as a mental punching bag for people across the nation.”

3. South African Revenue Service.

Great work getting all that money into the coffers, Sars people. Just remember, we all still hate you.

4. Jackie Selebi.

It’s strange to think that Jackie Selebi could have connections with the sinister underworld characters of organised crime – mobsters who run protection rackets, mafia types who take out hits on people. He looks a lot more harmless than that.

5. Bank Fees.

This may come as a surprise to you but, due to increasing customer dissatisfaction, bank fees were actually reduced in April. Now instead of being utterly outraged at the way our banks take advantage of us, we can just be mildly appalled. Except that you will never just be mildly appalled at the way South Africa’s banks treat you. Because the reductions will have virtually no positive effect on your account balance and the banks will just find another way to screw you over.

6. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

Sometimes we have doubts. Is there a god? Are Angie’s breasts real? Is it wrong to demonise Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as the symbol of idiocy, unaccountability, neglect, egomania and farce in our national government? The first two may be debatable, but just to confirm the last one: no. And that’s a definitive no – the same thing Dr Beetroot said for many years to Aids sufferers asking for antiretrovirals. This has been Manto’s annus horribilis. Has she had one positive article written about her this year? Allegations of thievery, alcoholism, bullying and favouritism, among other things, have combined with an ever-deteriorating general reputation. Shame, Manto, are you wondering why no-one likes you? Listen closely: it’s because you tell people dying from Aids to eat beetroot! What did you expect?

7. Bono’s role in the world.

It’s not that he used to sing really good music and now he sings music that makes you want to claw your ears off. It’s not even that Bono’s a self-important poser who says things in interviews that make you want to run screaming into the night. Because, to be fair, sometimes he says things that make sense. It’s the fact that his job is to be a rock star, not a politician. Next thing Kofi Annan will form a rock group called Midnight Oil-for-Food Programme and Dubya Bush will roar up the charts with his hit single I Still Haven’t Found The Weapons Of Mass Destruction I Was Looking For.

8. Twenty20 cricket.

The Twenty20 Cricket World Cup was a blast, wasn’t it? Er, no, not really… Twenty20 cricket: less a logical progression of limited-overs cricket than an imposition of the mindlessness of modern society on a once-proud sport. Subtlety traded for crudeness; skill for luck; glorious strokeplay for ugly hoiks; genuine joy for compulsory fun; general pleasantness for dancing freaks who you really just want to dive-tackle. But that would be rugby, then, wouldn’t it?

9. The UK.

Another year passes and the UK takes another step down the ladder of civilisation and culture. Now that the average Pom is an 18-year-old velour tracksuit-wearing chav, pregnant with her second kid so she can qualify for welfare housing, who gets fall-over drunk on alcopops and shames sailors with her language, the appeal of heading north for a cuppa at Fortnum & Mason really is disappearing.

10. Kobus Wiese.

Wiese was everywhere in 2007. Not just in physical terms – he’s a big guy – but in terms of rugby coverage. It was to be expected, I suppose. After all, he has everything a rugby pundit needs – barring looks, style, insight, eloquence, clarity, wit and the ability to interview foreigners without coming across as a colossal meat-head.

• Adapted from Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Kak?, R95, now available at leading retailers and from

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