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Mandela’s legacy unrecognised amongst the masses whilst the ones that largely benefitted from his heroics bask in all its glory.

I am most probably going to get a heavy backlash for this but I think I am writing from a point of authority as I have witnessed the life in South Africa first hand.

Although the works of Nelson Mandela are pivotal to the current environment the country finds itself in, it is by no means a clear reflection of the current state he would have loved to see it in today. I am sure he is turning in his grave at how some of his principles have been easily eroded by cheap politicking and kleptocratic tendencies as portrayed by high officials, their families and counterparts who without notice can easily capture entire economies and run them as their own backyards.

Today I spent the day observing the birth commemorations of an icon, which are supposed to create meaningful dialogue and offer exposure to issues that barely get enough attention in a democratic South Africa such as racism, poverty and equality but are sidelined with petty cat and dog donations that can barely hold a community together.

The true essence of Madiba and what he stood for has been lost in some way or the other. The minority that seemingly benefitted from Mandela’s love and compassion celebrate the day and month clandestinely knowing how much they gained from the peace that Nelson Mandela preached.

The majority, however, of those that are eagerly waiting for a chance to own a piece of land or create employment for themselves can barely celebrate or commemorate instead choosing to strongly focus on putting food on their tables.

A few can claim to enjoy or partake in the 67 minutes as they can hardly get the same time to themselves. It is the hardships of the economy and the unsettling nature of politics and politicians that have stolen the possibility of actually praising the birth of such a wonderful man. His 67 year fight for equality and tranquil has in fact been sidelined as each day we see the widening gap between the poor and the rich.

The privileged will quickly turn their 67 minutes in helping kittens and puppies while the poor, elderly and fresh water deprived communities continue to dream of a Mandela ‘utopia’ community.

South Africa today is characterised by a large number of the “have-nots” who cannot connect to the great deeds of Nelson Mandela so as to find reason to celebrate his centenary, whilst still living in a shack, with no hot water, electricity and proper ablutions.

Try telling them to give their hour spreading the virtues of Madiba – Its a punch in your face.

To the one driving up his acre of land and lock up garage, off to sip sundowners on his balcony over looking a private golf course, Madiba month is an event to showcase his power, win elections and gain favourable friends and positions of influence.

Nelson Mandela’s great efforts are slowly becoming extinct and only be visible on the gazetted calendar, the true works of Madiba is when we start solving issues such as classicism, racism and equal opportunities such as how he reconciled when no-one expected him to and while the many didn’t want him to.

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You fought your battle, it’s time we started with ours.
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The inevitable writer’s block and how to cure it!

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I think everyone who writes does so with feelings attached to it. No matter the reason that has led you to settle down and write, the ultimate reason as to why you succeed in doing so is because you are feeling some kind of way.

Take this post for example, I have been literally struggling to write about anything prior to this surrounding my life! I have sat down numerous times to stare at a blank page and closed it after minutes on end only to produce nothing.

It’s because the emotion or feeling that always accompanies my writing, which I have identified to be “anger” has largely been dwarfed by other feelings such as anxiety and stress. Though I have tried to channel my writing from these feelings, they have actually made it worse. I could only write (as I do now) when my anger came back to me while the other feelings took a back seat.

As funny as this sounds, there is always a major feeling that accompanies our writing and to find it is to cure writer’s block.

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I am so unlucky in a way because I have to be angry or disappointed at something and might not sound objective in my writing but it is what it is. I write better when I am angry. While some write from a point of happiness or confusion, understanding the feeling that makes you write better is the key to solving writer’s block.

The greatest writers of all times have to be the ones who can write from all emotional angles, combining it all in one book or story or writing differently for different times. That I think is the pinnacle of good writing. If I can master that then I would have reached my career highlight.

So I guess you are sitting right there, reading this and wondering if my writing strength comes from being angry, then what could have made me angry so at to create this post?

The answer lies in a question I have been asking myself for the past couple of weeks and I could barely fish out an answer.

I mean, how is it that I seem to get life’s short end of the stick when it comes to jobs? For months now I have toiled night and day in an attempt to chase a dream and all I have met is inconsiderate bosses who really do not deserve my services!

In a nutshell, this has been my anger, amongst many other things ( I chuckle).

It follows then that if you also write your experiences more clearly than anything else. A war veteran will write better, the feelings of war, far much better than a fiction writer who wants to create a masterpiece from just the thoughts in his head, unless of course, they write someone else’s story.

Check out other tips of curing writer’s block here but if I where you, I would focus on the last tip, the other seven are just to fill space.

THE CURE

Tap into the emotions that make you a good writer and explore them deeply. Whatever it is, that’s your mojo, milk it!

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Calvin and Hobbes

 

 

 

 

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What a World Cup of emotions it’s been!

I was suffering a severe writer’s block.

I would stare at the blank page and I just couldn’t create! But the Monday game between Belgium and Japan revived not only the need to create something from a hopeless situation but that I don’t need to stop trying until the very last whistle blows. Always give it your all.

Belgium Japan Soccer

Whoever came up with the saying, “the most beautiful game’ saw how the game is played on the field but was not fortunate enough to see how easily the game brings everybody together into one big family, rivals and team mates but with one single outcome, bragging rights and unimaginable excitement.

The Euphoria that gripped South Africa when it hosted the 2010 cup was too much for an African continent which for years could only be part of the tournament by watching on their television. This excitement though, never left although the tournament did and landed in Russia. As the games are beamed in all major radio and television stations, there is once again a coming together of the different peoples into one conversation of who will lift this year’s trophy.

The majority of the teams that a lot of people believed would make it to the finals have left already and Belgium (one of the most revered teams in the tournament, looked set on a shocking exit when they found themselves two nil down with Japan.

Germany, Spain, Argentina and Portugal have been the most likely picks on teams that would make it to the top but they have all faltered and could not go past opponents that were tipped to lose against them. There have been more upsets in this 2018 World Cup  that placing a bet  is tantamount to minor heart attacks, it is for the strong of heart and mind.

Maradonna who after watching an Argentinian match suffered a health scare of sorts and had to be examined whilst still in the VIP area. A much stronger and fitter Peter Schmeichel, leaping in joy at his son saving a penalty that could have sent them packing in the initial 90, could have thought it was a night of celebrations for Denmark but was subdued by last minute heroics from the opposing team’s keeper who saved more penalties than he could when the game was to be decided by spot kicks.

The true story of this world cup has been the fighting spirit from teams that have been labelled under dogs. Save for African teams, who all now have been booted out, the rest of the teams have given the bigger teams (in terms of experience) a good run for their money.

This 2018 World Cup in Russia has gathered a name for itself as the ‘tournament of surprises’ and if an under dog should lift it, it could again have a new name to it.

In yesterday’s match, I would have never believed that Belgium would overturn a two nil deficit and take the game away from the Japanese. A memorable night it was for Belgians but very much heartbreaking for the Japs who really give their opponents a good run for their money.

LETS WAIT AND SEE!

How do football bodies remain unmoved as referees continue to err in top clashes?

Like a relic, stuck in the past and seemingly unchangeable, primitive and persistent in the art of screwing up people’s nights is what the game football has become today. No matter how blatant it is to see that in today’s game there is need for a second opinion other than that from the referee in the middle of the park (VAR), football bodies continue to turn a blind eye and pretend the game will loose its spark and be slowly being turned into a boring spectacle is utter rubbish!

For weeks (if not more) I have wasted precious time away from family and friends in the hope of getting satisfaction from soccer, a sport which had always played second fiddle to basketball which I preferred when growing up.

Today, I regret ever deserting my first love for a dogmatic approach to a game that always manages to leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth almost every time I attempt to watch it. It is as if there is none brighter in the football decision making body that can see the value to fairness and clarity that is being lost in the name of preserving cheating and utter stupidity!

Admittedly I am a Manchester City and Barcelona fan and I will not trade any other way of playing football such as I will not trade my love for Chicago Bulls for Cavaliers because there are winning a lot. A certain type of play will always resonate with me.

BUT it is more than what I support. The past referring in the last UEFA Championship games has been atrocious and calls for a better way of handling the game and the better team (in terms of actually playing the game) to win!

I have had it with soccer matches decided on referees’ whimsical approach when there are ways in which a sport can be made less heartbreaking.

In a world where all top sports such as American football, Basketball, Rugby, Cricket and Tennis have moved past the times of relying purely on humans making all the decisions, how then does soccer continue to shun Video Assistant Referee as a tool to make well informed decisions on parts of the game the human eye and mind cannot?

With the announcement in February that VAR will not be used for the Champions League next season (2018-2019) casting more doubt over the legitimacy and professionalism of the game, I am tempted to believe there is another hand at play here.


buffon2The purists and the so called protectors of the game ( I can visualise a group of old white men wearing spandex and capes with beer bellies, bold heads, flabby arms and moustaches) who do not want to see a change in the game have to be benefitting somehow in all this chaos!

My theory is that football bodies feed off these bad behaviours from players and referees in someway or the other, leaving loyal football fans at each other’s throats until the next game comes on and creating a permanent ambivalence and euphoria of the most “beautiful game” in the world. One cannot help but wonder off to such a state of conclusion when a certain norm has been forced upon our will. Football is not meant to be played or handled in a manner that defies fairness and skill.

The best team on the night should win and certainly not be disadvantaged.

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The image that sums up Juventus night against Real Madrid.

 

 

Southern Africa first ladies: Trailblazers or trophy wives?

The Southern African Region finds itself at a position where it has three new heads of state and consequently three first ladies since November 2017 when events around Harare somewhat triggered an exodus of leadership within the region. Though in a somewhat dissimilar political activity, the past five months has seen the block inaugurate three heads of states . There hasn’t been such activity in the region since its formation and it could be hard to keep track of who runs what if you don’t pay close attention.

In this regard, the role of the first ladies who join the spotlight and play multiple roles in ensuring we have sound leadership throughout the tenure of their husband’s come to a close. Will they be trailblazers or mere trophies and what legacy will they leave for the continent?

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Auxillia Mnangagwa 

Auxillia Mnangagwa would be the longest serving amongst the new three first ladies when her husband assumed power through a soft coup in November 2017. She took the reigns over one of the most notorious and infamous first ladies ever to grace this motherly role within a country. Grace was well known for her unmotherly like behaviour which became even more aggressive at the end of her husband’s downfall. Leading some to believe she played a big part in destroying a once revered Mugabe.

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Tshepo Motsepe and President Ramaphosa 

Three months later, after Jacob Zuma’s resignation, Tshepo Motsepe, wife to Ceril Rhamaphosa, the most educated of the new first ladies assumed the most influential post in the country taking over from a polyamorous pair involved with probably one of the worst post Apartheid presidents that South Africa has ever seen, Jacob Zuma.

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Neo Masisi

Finally in Botswana, Mrs Neo Masisi assumes a post that has been vacant for the past ten years since Ian Khama assumed power. He never married until he stepped down. She will probably be most sought after considering the country went for a decade struggling at official functions. Although she assumes a a vacant post, she is most likely going to have it easy as the country enjoys a good economy and a good democratic persona far superior than that of the rest of the region.

The role of the first lady therefore cannot be lightly defined in today’s political landscape as they have proven to be crucial, enough to shape an entire administration single handedly. With the right partner off course.

The three countries combined have only had 13 presidents so far with Botswana and South Africa each tied at five a piece but very few first ladies amongst the pack stand out as ground breaking and as true heroines.

Most have tagged along for the ride and failed to contribute supportively to the work of their husbands, choosing to remain wives and mothers while the men go off to war.

The most successful in this regard have been the first ladies who have experienced the struggle and seen their husbands rise from the ashes into the most powerful seat in the land. It seems success and love from the people has often such women whilst those that seem to latch onto an already moving bandwagon, never quite catch the idea and the work ahead.

 

I am tempted to use the most distinct example of Sally Mugabe, the first wife to Robert Mugabe who defied all odds, fought against injustices, exiled and was a humanitarian at heart and not because of stature. She put her country first and sought to bring about a positive change for many through various initiatives before she passed away in 1992. One could easily say that was the start of all the problems in Zimbabwe.

When Mugabe re-married, the country got an opposite of ‘Amai’ Sally coupled with an ailing economy. ‘Gucci’ Grace saw it fit to parade her love for the finer things in life while the rest of the people suffered and lived below means. She became more paranoid and a nuisance to the nation until the time of her husband’s demise with her association with the G40 faction. If she could have paid particular attention to the plight of the people, she could have easily saved Mugabe’s administration and restored a legacy of the man who once was. Till today, even away from first lady responsibilities, she manages to attract bad press by being implicated in illegal ivory exportation and smuggling.

South Africa also had their own ‘mother of the nation’ in Winnie Madikizela – Mandela though she never assumed title of first lady. Her actions alone during the apartheid era where of a woman of strength until the end. Defying all odds for the betterment of her people and always assuming the never die attitude of a fighter.

This entire piece would be incomplete if I was not to mention Botswana’s first first lady Ruth Williams Khama whose life continues to be celebrated far and wide till today. A woman with a movie after her life and inter racial marriage to Seretse Khama.  Despite her being white, Lady Ruth was revered as a mother of the nation and passionately loved by her people and the rest of the world. She stood for something greater than just being the white lady who married a prince.

IN today’s world, we need more and more of such women of virtue. Our daughters need more and more great examples such as Michelle Obama, Ruth Khama, Sally Mugabe and Winnie Mandela. They need to see the power a woman can wield at the highest ever position in the land and what can be achieved if a powerful couple stay strong together.

By the rate at which we are going I fear we might not have anything good to speak about in terms of first ladies. The new ‘mothers’ need to change and correct the mistakes of the past and blaze a path for many to follow.

 

 

Will Mugabe follow Zuma in court?

There is a forceful wind of change in the world today. Wherever you look and if you are paying attention, you will see that more and more nations are tired of the internal rot of governments and leaders taking what they do not deserve.

I woke up today with one news story after the other of ex-leaders facing the law over their past deeds. Deeds they would have thought would never be exposed.

In Brazil, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will serve a 12-year sentence for a graft conviction while in South Korea, former president Park Geun-hye was sentenced to 24 years in prison for abuse of power and corruption. In Africa, former South African president Jacob Zuma was in court facing allegations of bribery and corruption which despite being adjourned to June 8, shows the path the world is willing to take to get rid of corrupt tendencies in leaders of today.

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Jacob Zuma appearing in court for corruption charges

The entire world feels the same way as I do that whoever assumes power with a hidden agenda to amass treasures and favours must be held accountable. Leaders who have abused their position in making lives better for themselves, friends and family must be investigated and brought to court as no one should ever be above the law.

I sat there and saw the world move in a certain direction but it seemed Zimbabwe was standing firm, defying the pull from other economies to bring to book leaders who have abused power.

There have been calls for the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe to face the music in terms of human rights abuse and corruption charges even when he was still president but it seems these calls have died down ever since he was forced to step down. Instead he enjoys his lavish Blue Roof mansion, meeting with opposition leaders whenever he desires and off course commanding attention from the media whenever he feels like speaking to the world. Such should not be the scenario around a leader who is believed to have caused pain and suffering for millions of Zimbabweans who are scattered all over the world.

So will Mugabe get his day in court?

This question still remains difficult to answer for the entire nation. His links to his predecessor Emerson Mnangagwa make it almost impossible for people to believe that Mugabe will face a single day in court.

In an interview with Newsday,

PDP secretary-general Gorden Moyo said the opposition party believed Mugabe and several others must be charged for crimes against humanity, but expressed doubt that  Emmerson Mnangagwa would allow that “as they are accomplices in all his crimes”.

“The fate of all thieves, murderers and criminals must be determined by the courts of law. That includes Mugabe.. But I don’t see him being dragged to the courts because both G40 and Lacoste are his accomplices in all his crimes,” he said.

The pain of not having Mugabe and ‘criminals around him’ can easily be felt amongst the victims of his crimes, especially in the people of Matebeleland whose forefathers where slaughtered during the Gukurahundi massacre which has been estimated to have taken over 20 000 lives in the area.

Just like South Africa, Zimbabwe has a National Prosecuting Authority functioning since 2013 which can investigate and prosecute the former leader, wife and friends. However it seems unlikely as Mugabe is reported to have been granted political as opposed to legal immunity by the current regime.

In such cases, prosecution will not attempt to bring to court individuals with political immunity, according to Musa Kika, a lawyer and researcher in governance, constitutionalism and human rights.

“The NPA can just investigate and prosecute him (Mugabe). That is all. As it stands, nothing legally stops them from doing that…It appears to be Grace and Bob who got immunity. No one else. Political immunity does not translate to legal immunity. But usually if one gets political immunity the prosecution wont dare touch” He said.

It seems we will have to wait another day for justice. Especially if the country can vote into power, the opposition which can over turn the political immunity that the former president enjoys. There is need for explanation, apologies and closure. Far too many lives have been lost and until there is a way we can have an end to this discussion, the faster the country can move on.

 

 

Bob finally speaks, but ask yourself why?

Let us take a moment to realise that the democracy Mugabe mentions in this statement is the same that he and his team of crooks snatched from the people of Zimbabwe leaving them as vagabonds and gypsies throughout the face of the earth.

In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black and wrongly perceived to be a blow to the current Mnangagwa institution or the progress of the nation, Robert Mugabe finally gathered himself up (well, if he still can) and with the help of his mastermind come downfall Grace and company, spoke out on the events leading to his departure from the country’s helm.

Take a look at the video here.

I am no politician dare I say but have a keen understanding of the unspoken word, the between the lines conversations, body language and tone. I believe, to better understand any situation or a person one has to carefully scrutinise.

Mugabe’s statement can easily tell you of a man, defiant to the end, obsessed with power and unashamed of what he had become. He holds a certain disregard of the people which can be felt when he easily lies and like a magician, assume to make us believe he is the victim.

His wife plays along too, conniving to say the least, a mastermind of sorts and far from being loved by the people and keen to have his family back on solid ground.

Describing his administration to have “short comings here and there”, suggesting people to “obey the law” is an indication of either how old he is to have forgotten how a couple of generations have been altered because of his failure to demonstrate what he preaches today.

How does one man who seemingly was not interested in discussing a change of fortunes for his people while he still had the chance, want to do so now when he has been relinquished of power? How does he become relevant today when he failed to do so for over 37 years? What could he possibly do now that he has never done in the past and are we to start trusting him now when he broke that trust for years.

And in just a press statement, like a wizard sprinkling magic dust in a portion intended at causing unwanted hype and confusion amongst the masses, Mugabe seems adamant to see himself remain the centre of attraction within the country.

I believe that before we make too much of the press statement and how it all might seem bigger of the man to extend an olive branch to ED in the guise of saving the country, take a moment to reflect on the past years where he paid no attention to the will and voice of the people and bulldozed his way to become a self imposed king with a very uncultured queen and an infamous round table of politicians and ministers, meant to rule forever, even from his grave.

Let us take a moment to realise that the democracy Mugabe mentions in this statement is the same that he and his team of crooks snatched from the people of Zimbabwe leaving them as vagabonds and gypsies throughout the face of the earth.

It’s a really sad story of a man who has lost what he thought he would never.

It’s all a game to them

It must sound all to blunt, but the current state of affairs in the country leave a lot to be desired. It seems (like what it has always does) that this up and down, back and forth is a game to every politician involved. While their rich kids are driving Benz automobiles, the poor have to put worry before anything, on where their next meal will come from.

No longer is it impossible to dream in Zimbabwe, the political confusion, clutter and chatter is too much to make for a peaceful dream at night. It seems, there is no end in sight.

In an interview with John Ray (ITV), Mugabe still believes the country is better off compared to other nations in Africa,

“we weren’t that bad..” he says

It’s sad to see how detached from the realities of the country he has become and will probably never see the truth for what it is with the people surrounding him. They have managed to create and feed him a lie that he was and still is the best thing that has happened to the bread basket of Africa.

Where to now?

If you ask me, I have no idea what will work in the country. Over the past weeks they have been formations and alliances in the political arena and one could develop a mild migraine trying to make sense of it all.

Will voting work or will Mnangagwa take over the reigns from his mentor to rig and rule for ever? Or maybe, defy odds and win the hearts of the people freely and fair?

Will the opposition finally take over the country and place their hopes over the 40 year old charming Nelson Chamisa who has been compared to the likes of Emmanuel Macron?

Or will they be a new player/s in the arena, ready to take my beloved to an all new high? I wonder.