Collen Maine's Disappearing Presidency

2016-02-19 08:49

Collen Maine is dangerously close to leaving young people that he suppose to lead disillusioned. Forget about the news of the intra party squabbles within the ANC Youth League, bad as it is. For me, the deeper disappointment lies in the near-absence of the ANC Youth League President’s voice from the national conversation, mostly on pressing issues affecting the youth.

The ANC Youth League President, by virtue of leading the youth league of the entrenched ruling party is supposed to be the dominant spirit in national youth issues, creating an agenda, mobilizing youth on the agenda and securing golden future for the youth.

The ANC Youth League should automatically represent the ultimate leadership of the youth of South Africa. But alas, that is not what we see.

Collen Maine was virtually unknown before becoming president, even though he was MEC in the North West Province.  Before his election, there was little information that could be culled to define the person. But now that he is in the limelight attempts are made to provide a picture of the man.

Comments are coming out that his personality traits resembles that of Julius Malema. At the superficial level that might appear to be the truth: Both men have a bit of brashness to their personality, a certain kind of a radical streak in their character. But a little digging beneath the surface shows that the two men are far wide apart.

Let us consider the differences in the spirit of wholesome and positive debate.

To state what is obvious in comparing Collen Maine and Julius Malema is to note the grave imperfections of Collen Maine. Unlike Julius Malema, Collen Maine does not have a powerful microphone voice. Collen Maine's voice is thin and it fades down, down, down as he speaks, bit by bit as he continues speaking his voice seems completely going away.


Looking at the issue of their brazenness, Julius Malema is far superior. What puts Julius Malema completely on top of Collen Maine is that Julius Malema is a full pedigree enfant terrible, natural provocateur, devil’s advocate, challenger, cross carrier and effective propagandist.

This is opposed to Collen Maine whose brazenness is political miscalculation of the crudest form.

Collen Maine's predecessor put the ANC Youth League on the national map. The human spirit is persistent; it can't be permanently suppressed. Sooner or later, those who are cast out lick their wounds, and re-emerge in another form to positively contribute to society.

Remember him promising South Africans mayhem and lynching  if they do things that does not fit his mind. He promised South Africans a Civil War. South Africans must be permanently angry with him for his desire to turn such a beautiful country as South Africa into a Civil War – that will see the blood of humans flowing on the streets.

Another factor working on Collen Maine is that within the ANC Youth League he is not an Olympian figure, as compared to Julius Malema, during his reign as ANC Youth League and now President of the EFF. We hear news that within the ANC Youth League Collen Maine is rather puny to the extent that his Secretary General has the audacity to clash with his decisions. We are told that the ANC Youth League within its structures is a choleric bazaar of strange bedfellows who detest one another as they compete and fight for gravy deals.

But for me comparing the two men is wrong approach. It is not a worthy angle from which to proceed.

If my hunch is right Collen Maine is very much impressed by the leadership of Julius Malema. He is thoroughly blown away by Julius Malema. He considers Julius Malema as his ultimate hero. And therefore he seeks to follow in his footsteps through the application of the doctrine of mimicry. Mimicry assists a person to pick up the best role model in society and then work hard to mimic / copy the behaviour, conduct and personal style of that role model.

The problem with mimicry or what is called role modeling is that no two persons can ever be the same. There are certain inherent qualities that one posses that you can do little to modify. Like as I have already mentioned the tonal quality of Collen Maine's voice. No matter what he does in trying to emulate Julius Malema he will still come short.

Time will tell. But this much one can claim with confidence: Collen Maine's presidency of the ANC Youth League is far, far from inspiring. He may well take off in the near future, and soar as a leader. But for now that is what we get.

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