Beyonce, Democracy and the Media we deserve

Somehow, Beyonce’s latest music video release — a sloppy mix of bathroom selfies and dancing-on-a-hotel-balcony-in-a-pantie shots called “7/11″– got me thinking about democracy. The music video and its sloppiness , the crowd-pleasing lows of it, the commonness of it, was not simply a video to me. It was a law in practice that I had only begun to recognize. A law whose name I could not easily find on the first page of google results, so I’ll summarize it as: “at any given moment, we get the Beyonce we deserve.”

When we celebrated excellence and talent and hard work, we got excellent, talented, hard-working Beyonce. When we celebrated mediocrity we got 7/11.

beyonce-711-video-1-thatgrapejuice

The constant hype we generated around “lesser” stars, the think-pieces on Iggy Azealia and Kim Kardashian, the “ironic” enjoyment of mumbling rappers like Yung Thug, the simple entertainment of that which required less talent, is what lead to us receiving this underwear-clad, lazy-dancing, dirty-bathroom Beyonce. Because we deserved it.

We voted with our views. By subscribing to Youtube stars who danced in their bedrooms, by hyping up musicians who produced nothing original and by giving attention to attention-seekers, we continued our newly-adopted tradition of rewarding mediocrity. 

So Beyonce gave it to us – mediocrity.

Beyonce is only an obvious analogy of what has been going on with democracy for the past few decades. In the age of glamorized politics, scandalized political campaigns and dramatization of actual change, we have witnessed democracy, like Beyonce, fall from being a pillar of human excellence to being a populist contest where the person making the least effort wins.

We get corrupt politicians with big smiles, we get indefensible public policies with little coverage, we get failed public projects with glamorous opening ceremonies. Essentially, we get the democracy that we deserve.

Human beings are hardwired to appreciate talent, hard-work and dexterity. But we are also hard-wired to create and support systems that give us what we want.

We’re doing the same with media now. We allow click-bait-headline-heavy news outlets to gain popularity over news sources that give cold, hard, boring facts. Our obsession with being entertained right now has created a world where all one needs to win public approval is throw some gold paint over a thing and post a five-second video of it.

We get poorly-edited pieces in formerly respectable newspapers, we get bottomless click-holes on popular news websites, we get narrow-minded, whiny obsession with things that are only significant to an insignificant portion of the world population. In short, we get 7/11 Media.

In the age of the internet and measuring popularity by how many people give something attention rather than how many actually enjoy it, we find ourselves in a position where Beyonces, Democracies and Media give us what they think we deserve – mediocrity.

Its up to us to realize that.

Siyanda is a 21YO writer. For more on this story, contact her: siyandawrites@gmail.com. Otherwise, follow her on Twitter @siyandawrites 

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Conversations With Siyanda Mohutsiwa

Originally posted on Gaamangwe Mogami:

Siyanda Mohutsiwa is one of the most intelligent and alluring writers of our time. Her incredible passion for African issues are transparent in national and international publications she has done. She talks to me about African Feminism and the importance of Black Consciousness movement.

Gaamangwe: So, In my books you are one of the most thought-provoking writers I know. You are not afraid to say it like it is. How did your relationship with writing start?

Siyanda: I started to writing professionally when I was 12. I had a short-lived column in a national paper. I think writing from the position of the kid nobody takes seriously has always helped me not worry too much about filtering my thoughts and opinions. So even now, 9 years later, I write with the courage (some might say, carelessness) of someone whose work is not considered serious or consequential.

Wow. That’s interesting. What…

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EVENT | Nordic-Africa Institute Celebrates 20 Years of SA Democracy

It was by a happy internet coincidence that I found out about the Nordic Africa Institute event celebrating twenty years of South African democracy. I’d spent an afternoon googling a number of keyword combinations, including: “Africa + Finland Society”, “Southern African + Scandinavia Group”, and “Nordic + Africa Association” out of the sheer longing that comes from having not made contact with another African in weeks.

 

So it was quite a wonderful thing when google brought up a number of results that included a business seminar hosted by the Finnish African Society, that I attended a week prior, and most wonderfully, “20 Years of Democracy in South Africa” of which perhaps the most anticipated speaker, Governor Emeritus Tito Mboweni, was to deliver the keynote address, September 23rd.

 

The event was held on an island called Hanasaari in Espoo, right outside Finland capital, Helsinki. A location, I was quickly informed, held great historical significance as a site for the planning of anti-apartheid activism by Nordic nations during the fight to end South African apartheid.

 

Beginning with the traditional two-thirty PM coffee I’d grown accustomed to in my short career of attending Finnish events, the seminar kicked off with opening remarks from Mrs. Gunvor Kronman, CEO, Hanasaari–the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre, followed by an introduction by H.E. Mr. Sello Moloto, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa.

 

Both expressed a joy in the fruition of this event, Kronman particularly expressing gratitude for Mboweni’s appearance, and pointing out that the room filled with important people from both Sweden and Finland, was something of a site for reunion of people that participated in anti-apartheid activism together, while Moloto stated the importance of these “types of events” for the mapping out of South Africa’s future.

 

The topic for the event was also revealed to be “Two Decades of Freedom – What South Africa is doing with it, and what now needs to be done”, and the audience informed that our participation in discussion would strongly welcomed.

 

Mboweni began his presentation with a cool and blunt reminder of what Apartheid was, saying it was, “a system of oppression and suppression of the black majority,” and then adding solemnly, “let’s not forget that.”

 

“It was a deliberate system of economic exclusion of the black majority.” He continued to stress the effect of creating self-doubt in the oppressed and how that continued to cripple progression of black majority to this day. But perhaps most interesting was his praise of the South African constitution, “The constitution of South Africa was designed to make sure the oppression of one or another shall never come back to South Africa,” and then describing it as “an important safe-guard for democracy.”

 

Soon he was presenting data gathered by Goldman Sachs, of which he is on the advisory board, including a summary of key advances and challenges remaining for South Africa after two decades of freedom. One important statistic he relayed was “growth of LSM 5-10, from 13.8 million people to 23.4 million people.”

 

He added soon after, “Unfortunately unemployment has stayed very high,” reasoning that, “the problem is the education sector is producing too many labourers and not enough people in tertiary sector. The  biggest setback for SA is underdevelopment of education sector”

 

After presenting more data, but not, it seemed, as much as he had planned to, he thanked the crowd for their time and question time began.

 

At this point I informed my followers on Twitter, to whom I was live-tweeting this event, to send me any questions they’d like asked on their behalf during the portion of time reserved for audience questions.

 

Many flooded in, particularly, when Mboweni touched on the topic of FIFA’s 2010 World Cup, after being asked by an audience member, “We had doubts about the world cup. How did it benefit poor people in SA?”

 

Mboweni’s response was a brief regaling of his and Trevor Manuel’s, former SA Minister of Finance, near-refusal to sign off on FIFA agreement as “FIFA wanted to act outside of South African laws.” Eventually they had to and the world cup took place. This answer drew dissatisfaction from many South Africans on Twitter who requested that I re-ask the question.

 

When, I did, two answers came from both Mboweni and the Ambassador, Moloto. Moloto said, “The FIFA WC was something of a political statement. It showed the world that Africa was not just a dark place full of indistinguishable countries and their problems, but a place capable of hosting an international audience.” Mboweni later added, “There is a FIFA fund in SA setup to improve conditions of poor people. But, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t apply to host [The World Cup] again.”

Next up, was a dialogue about Swedish and Finnish engagement in the Liberation Process, between Ambassadors, Kristi Lintonen (Finland) and Bengt Säve-Söderbergh (Sweden). Lintonen gave a brief history of actions taken by Nordic nations against apartheid government including: arms embargoes, sanctions, etc, and stressing some of the challenges they faced when trying to enforce their anti-apartheid stance in the international community.

“Almost all the Western world sided with Apartheid regime except the Nordic nations,” said Säve-Söderbergh. He went on to detail his own discovery of the brutality of Apartheid. “Sharpville was the turning point. That’s when we [international community] realized the horror apartheid.” His first encounter of apartheid was in Cape Town where he saw a sign that said, “For Europeans Only,” at the time he thought “What a strange place. Is there a sign that says “For Americans Only” too?”

He went on to discuss his involvement with ANC in “the early days” to assist in building the organization, concluding with, “Some say had the Nordic nations not cooperated with ANC [the end of apartheid] wouldn’t have been such a peaceful outcome.”

 

After him, University of Pretoria Professor Schoeman began her talk entitled, “A Crisis of Leadership?” beginning with, “We are still battling with an unresolved class struggle” Saying a big problem is, “the big investment we were hoping for didn’t quite come because of ‘financialization of capital.’”

 

Schoeman dropped a number of gems in her speech, touching on everything from race relations (“The mistake [white people] made was overestimating importance of tolerance. There is a big difference between tolerance and respect. People want respect and dignity.”), education reform (“Despite what some think, we do not spend too little on education in SA, What we need is ideas.”), the economy, (“Some studies show that white people are richer now than they were during apartheid. Something is very wrong.)

 

Following this was a panel discussion titled “South Africa after Mandela era” between Lintonen, Säve-Söderbergh, Schoeman, Associate Professor Annika Teppo (also director of Nordic-Africa Institute) and Professor Liisa Laakso.

 

After introducing panelists once more, lina Soiri, co-author of Finland and National Liberation in Southern Africa (Nordic Africa Institute, 1999 ), said the importance of race has never been more important as, “We need to examine the reality that populist, openly racist parties are gaining footing in Nordic countries.”

 

This sparked off observations from  Säve-Söderbergh about the relationship between feelings of economic exclusion and xenophobia. Some gems from the panel discussion were “South Africans feel very misunderstood,” (by Prof. Teppo, when outlining difficulties she faced as an anthropologist that studies post-apartheid cities), “There has never been space for one nation to lead in African organizations, (Prof. Schoeman explaining why SA can not always live up to high expectations when it comes to foreign policy in SADC and AU), “The Nordic Model is based on trust. SA can learn from that model,” (by Ambassador  Säve-Söderbergh)

 

After some heated audience participation in which Mboweni gave a brief list of “sites of continuous struggle” which included the state police being “inherited from Apartheid government” and resulting problems from that, the closing words were given and we were released into the restaurant where a cocktail party was held.


Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a 21 Year-Old mathematics student at the University of Botswana. She is currently slumming it in Finland.

Its Not About Evil | Why Examining Motives for Colonization Is More Important Than Ever

good_evilNow this may sound like a radical concept—and indeed it may very well be to some, but my stance is simple: Colonization is not an act of inherent evil.

In order to explain this I will highlight what may not be obvious to some: ‘inherent evil’ is not a complicated idea. In fact, for something to be inherently evil it must be born or designed with the sole, or at least, major purpose of carrying out evil.

(I will not dictate to you what you should consider evil, I will only say for the purposes of this article, ‘evil’ will mean the tendency to take part in cruelty for cruelty’s sake.)

This, colonization, is not. Now you may ask what it is exactly, your mouth foaming with rage. Well, colonization is simply an economic tool most often employed by powerful nations in moments of economic desperation or often, greed.

Colonization, being the colossal undertaking it is, is rarely if ever carried out with the sole purpose of wreaking human suffering. That human suffering often follows colonization is an entirely different matter altogether and dare I say, takes nothing from the argument under question. (I hope I don’t have to explicitly state that I am against human suffering, like any sensible person, and I am not in need of a history lesson on the gross injustices and genocides perform during colonization)

So why does this matter?

Because viewing colonialism as the domain of evil men with evil intentions is missing out on the chance to view human nature at its most calculating. It is refusing to see history of colonization as an opportunity to realize the great extents to which poverty and greed can push human societies.

What must be realized is that it is not a burning desire to cause human pain that drives colonizing tribes to risk the lives of their people to take over the resources of tribes of interest. And it is certainly not a pool of hatred for humanity that a tribe must bathe in before it decides to risk its own resources to undertake the very serious task of colonizing another.

It is the simple, universal human—nay, animalistic drive to survive that pushes any tribe to colonize another. Whether we like the methods that history has shown tribes to behave towards others is largely inconsequential. It may not be a very popular sentiment to express, but the reality is, how we feel about things does not change the nature of human civilization.

And this is especially important as the pattern of economic greed/desperation of one tribe leading to suffering of another can only become more prevalent as the population rises to unmanageable heights.

So what is the point?

We cannot learn from history, in any meaningful way, if we choose to view it from the good guy/bad guy narrative of popular American comic book writers. We must examine the motivation and consequences of certain economic systems objectively and open our eyes to real-life applications today.

Africa is entering a crucial era. For the first time in centuries, we have a say in who we enter colonialist relationships with. And to continue to believe that it is the inherent evil of colonizing tribes that leads colonial relationships to result in the suffering of colonized peoples, is to enter into our current era with a dooming naivete.

We must remove from our mind-sets the idea that in order for things to go sour, the colonizing tribe sitting across from us, must be represented by a seedy-looking man rubbing his handle-bar mustache and laughing menacingly while salivating over a map of our nations. We must begin to look away from our own economic situations and realize that it is not only the strength of the colonizing tribe that matters but its own economic desperation.

What is most imperative is that we study the tendency-to-greed of powerful nations and make cautious decisions from there.

We must realize that the colonial relationship operates by placing the colonized party in a position of disadvantage and  that is not a function of how evil the powerful party is, simply one of economic hunger.

To say that colonization is inherently evil is to deny the reality that those that fall victim to it are just as capable of doing it. All that separates the colonizer from the colonized is military strength and economic desperation—not moral integrity or ethical superiority. All civilised societies are capable of wreaking the same amount of suffering onto others if they have a strong enough economic need and an even stronger means.

Ultimately, it would do us great good to remove from our minds that colonial powers are the forte of the rotten-hearted and recognise that the measure of “good will” a colonizing party is completely inconsequential. It is their economic desperation that is most important.

And considering this will decide whether we remain perpetual victims or not.

It’s not about fairness | Why “If the west does it, why can’t we?” Is stupid

I am absolutely exhausted by the argument that says we cannot complain about inefficient and corrupt African leaders because, “even Western leaders do it.” The follow-up to this point is usually the indignant “How come when white people do it, its OK?”

And by ‘it’ here the speaker is referring to plunging a population into a well of suffering simply because one can.

A few days ago I happened upon an article on The Root in which the gripes social media users have with the royal family were brought to light. The article was short and simple: a report on a report really.

In fact, ‘Swaziland’s royal family has found itself ensnared in the firm grip of social media users who are determined to expose the lavish lifestyle of “Africa’s last absolute monarch,” while most of the country’s people barely subsist on $1 a day per person, Agence France-Presse reports.’
Was basically the gist of it.

But the responses to it are what angered me. Of the hundreds of comments that this post attracted, many of them repeated the same idea: if the [insert white royal family] can do it, why can’t we?

I was so overcome with rage, I found myself doing the one thing I promised myself I never would: I left an angry Facebook comment. But that was not the end of it. The rage at the commenters, many of them African American echoing a sentiment often uttered by Africans too when our own leaders are to be held accountable for one act or another, did not go away.

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FICTION| The African Bull

“This girl, Margaret…when I met her she was cleaning toilets at a public library. She was at the edge of poverty. And now she has the audacity to even consider writing books about me? I am revolted!”

Thabo quickly realised that this rant required more than the sweet lubricant of an almost warm beer. He needed an audience. For the first time since he arrived, Thabo lifted his gaze from the beer before him and the empty bottles that stood abandoned beside it. He turned his head to search the bar for someone lucky enough to be an audience to his wisdom-building sorrow. What he found instead was a barroom filled with men whose eyes were glued to the screen before them. They were definitely far too interested in the English Premier League game to be torn away from it by even the frothiest promise of beer. Thabo turned his attention back to the bartender.cover_AFRICANBULL

“Sipho! Sipho!” he motioned to the bartender to come to him. ‘Sipho’ was not his name, but the bartender came anyway. Thabo did not seem the sort of man one corrected. Though Thabo had only been in Piggs Peak for two weeks, he had built himself a reputation as a trouble-maker. It was not quite as respectable a fear as his reputation in Manzini had provoked, but Thabo was grateful for the small moments of power it afforded him.

Like now as Sipho The Bartender said, “Nkosi,” and fastened a stiff smile onto his face.

“Yes. I was saying about my ungrateful wife—or shall I say, ‘ex-wife’? I know such a thing does not exist in your culture but I’m sure you can imagine what I mean.”

Sipho The Bartender’s expression remained unchanged, even as he began to collect the empty beers at Thabo’s side and throw them in a nearby bin.

“What I am saying is this…people have such short memories. You do something for them and they forget as soon as they get the chance!” he said the last sentence loudly; simultaneously proud of his great wisdom and disappointed that the only audience he’d have for it was an uninterested barkeep whose English proficiency he was unsure of. He continued anyway.

“Before me, Sipho, she was nothing. Nothing, I tell you! She could barely speak English when I met her—and now she thinks she’s too good for a man of my calibre? Matlakala!”

Thabo had lived in Swaziland for almost three years but still peppered his sentences with seTswana when he became impassioned. This was particularly unavoidable when he became drunk. Not that he cared to avoid it.
“If you expect me to be ashamed of my language you are about to get the shock of your life!” he once said to Margaret on a particularly lubricated night.

After all, he considered himself a man of great principle.

That morning, Thabo had gotten a phone call from some soft-voiced man that claimed to be a journalist from a South African paper. The man, whose name Thabo forgot as soon as he heard it, claimed to be calling to interview him about something called ‘The African Bull.’

“Mr. Sediba?”

“Yes?” Thabo had said, making sure to sound as annoyed as he was. There was nothing Thabo hated more than being called on his phone before noon. Everyone knew not to call him before his first drink, and normally he kept his cell-phone off until well into his second glass of whiskey, but ever since Margaret had left him he’d begun keeping his phone on all hours in the hope that she would come back to her senses and call to take him back.

So far the decision had brought nothing but trouble—debt-collectors, jilted lovers and drunks he met at bars, blew up his phone like it was a police station line and he had seriously considered selling the damn thing just the day before. So, I’m sure you can imagine that our comrade was in no mood for Soft Voice.

“What do you want?” he grumbled angrily as he searched the trousers nearest to his feet for a pack of cigarettes.

“Yes, sir. I’d like to hear what you think about the book”

“What book, sisi? Did someone foolishly tell you I review books? Don’t waste my damn time…” Finding a pack of almost crushed Marlboro’s in his front pocket, Thabo had straightened up to begin his search for a lighter.
Unoffended by being referred to as ‘sister’, Soft Voice had soldiered on flatly, “Are you not Thabo Sediba, former husband of Neo Mosigi?”

“Who?!” Thabo was now more confused than angered. “My man, what are you on about?”
“Neo Mosigi has written a book about being married to a Thabo Sedibi from Botswana. You are the only Thabo Sedibi in Swaziland, correct?”

Thabo mumbled an affirmation, but his mind was focused on trying to overcome his customary weekday hangover for long enough to sift through all this information for sense. ‘Neo Mosigi’? It came to him like lightening to a bewitched man.

“Are you talking about Margaret Sediba?” he said, now slightly calmer. Mosigi had been Margaret’s surname before they got married. And Neo was her middle name. When had she changed it?

Soft Voice cleared his throat before saying, “I’m not sure…did she write a book called ‘Being Married to the African Bull’?”

Thabo promptly vomited in the rubbish bin next to his desk. The desk where he had finally found his lighter. It had been cushioned beneath his leather-bound notebook and the Swazi Telecommunications phone directory.
That’s when he allowed his phone to slip from his sweaty palm almost immediately and landed into the bin along with his liquid dinner.

And that was the end of Thabo’s hope. 

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[VIDEO] Book Review | The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Today I review Junot Diaz’s masterpiece, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

“The book chronicles both the life of Oscar Wao, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and with falling in love, as well as the curse that has plagued his family for generations.
The middle sections of the novel center on the lives of Oscar’s runaway sister, Lola; his mother, Hypatia Belicia Cabral; and his grandfather, Abelard. Rife with footnotes, science fiction and fantasy references, comic book analogies, and various Spanish dialects, the novel is also a meditation on story-telling, the Dominican diaspora and identity, masculinity, and oppression.” (Wikipedia.com)

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Open Letter to the African President

Your Highness

I know you may be wondering why a mere peasant dares to write you a letter—and an open one at that. I imagine you’re having one of your aides read this out loud to you while you stare out of the window in absolute repulsion at my gall. I apologise in advance for upsetting your day. Please bear with me.

It is officially 2014 now, and I’m sure you welcomed the New Year in a most majestic way—clinking glasses with your fellow oligarchs and marvelling at the sheer magnitude of wealth you all will be amassing in the new year. I truly hope you enjoyed the time you spent with your family and friends this holiday. Did you get something lovely from the Chinese Government for Christmas this year? I’m sure you did—and as usual, I’m sure you dared not insult their president by questioning the quality of whatever gift you received. You are above all, a man of great tact.

That’s what makes you such an amazing leader.

Now, you may be wondering why a 20-year-old girl from some dusty village had the audacity to not only address you so directly, but to do it so publicly. I am sure you are tired of the sheer clumsiness of the Open Letter and if you were like the majority of your constituents who don’t have the luxury of a lifetime supply of 4-ply toilet paper, you may view this piece as nothing more than a scrap to wipe your royal bum with. Once more I apologise.

In any case, this piece serves as a request. As a temporary representative of the young African—the future leaders of this beautiful continent—I come to you with one simple appeal: could you maybe, perhaps, a little bit, just maybe listen to us? This year (just for one year) can we have actual platforms for political discourse? Can you, perhaps, make us feel like the future leaders of this great place? Could we maybe, for a short while, have actually effective programs whose purpose is to groom innovative and strong leaders who will one day (soon – not in fifty years) make this place what our forefathers dreamt it would be? Can we get a real shot at political innovation; at democratic effectiveness?

Perhaps I am asking for too much. And I can understand if at this point you have slapped the aide reading this letter aloud to you, for his sheer foolishness in, what I imagine you view as, allowing me to waste your time. Once more, I have to apologise.

But let this letter be a very polite precursor to what this year will truly be in your land—a historical year of great change. Simply put, I’m giving you a chance to make it a simple process—for very soon, we will rise up and we will take this place where it needs to go.

But for now, please enjoy the tea your aide will bring you to soothe your aching head from reading (heading) this letter.

I wish you a happy new year, sweet President. And I thank you for your time.

Yours Truly,

The African Student

Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a 20 year-old mathematics major at the University of Botswana. Contact her at siyandawrites[at]gmail.com for inquiries or something.

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5 things NOT to say when trying to seduce an Afrikaner

This weekend my cousin invited me to her place for drinks. I anticipated nothing more than a night of heavy drinking (punctuated by an increasing number of slurred proclamations starting with the words “in life…”), followed by a morning of deep regret.

However, before I could get to my second drink and un-buckle my “drinking jeans”, the loud engine of a work-van parking in the guest-house garage  brought my attention to the finest product of South Africa I’d ever laid my eyes on. My jaw dropped (but not my drink…never my drink) as I watched a man so gorgeous that his muddy jeans and rolled up sleeves looked like they’d accompanied him straight out of a 1970’s romance novel titled “[the afrikaans version of] The year Hans, the tractor-mechanic re-awakened my desires” (or something), walk out of the van. His piercing eyes and confusingly arousing uni-brow shot sparks through my body and I immediately decided to seduce this man even if it meant my advances would have to be lubricated by the tears of my ancestors.

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The Dangers of Thinking Like An African

Last night the president of South Africa told a roomful of students, academics and businesspeople at Wits University in Johannesburg, in a ANC manifesto forum, to “not think like Africans.” Discussing the need for Gauteng residents to pay e-tolls, Zuma remarked: “We can’t think like Africans in Africa generally, we’re in Johannesburg.”

Now, when I first got wind of this my first reaction was of course, anger. As a full-time African (except when there’s a World Cup Final and it pays to be Brazilian); I found myself wondering why he believed that my manner of thinking would destroy his beloved city, if its residents were to adopt it.

But when he said that the freeway between Johannesburg and Pretoria was “not some national road in Malawi”, a light bulb went on in my head and I finally understood exactly what he meant.

But not only do I understand, I wholeheartedly agree! We really cannot afford to allow African Thinking to destroy Joburg like it has the rest of the continent. I mean, think about it – when has thinking like an African ever solved anything?

That’s when I realized that thinking like an African is what had stopped me from excelling during my university career. All the times I thought I was struggling with Abstract Algebra because it is a difficult subject, it was actually my African-ness that was preventing me from “getting it”!

Jacob Zuma has released me from the shackles of African thought patterns, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude. Now when I encounter a problem, my first thought is “Don’t Think Like an African!” and the solution comes to me as fast as white women to professional athletes! My life has changed.

Of course, people may wonder what exactly is African thinking – but the very thought pattern that leads anyone to ask that question is the biggest symptom of African thinking! Liberate yourself!
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Instead, think like a coffee-table and under-stand. That’s what I do every time I feel that nagging African in my mind imploring me to think in my native language. I think like anything else but an African.

Sometimes I think like a train when crossing the road. Other times I think like a carpet when I’m lying down. Most of the time I think like a t-shirt and just be. That’s what I figured out: in order to stop African Thinking, an African typically has to stop thinking completely. And it is clear Zuma has been doing it the best for years!

I mean the problem with African Thinking, is it requires an African to think. And that’s the last thing Zuma or any African president needs: thinking Africans. So we have to work together to combat this problem.

Please share this article to raise awareness about African Thinking, and save your own country from the dangers of contemplation.

Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a 20-year-old mathematics major at the University of Botswana. Contact her at: siyandawrites[at]gmail.com

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