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12 Feb 2009 06:00
So, our president-in-waiting Jacob Zuma “likes women —” And ditto for that tall, dark and mysterious gentleman currently warming his seat, President Kgalema Motlanthe.
So there, I’ve said it. It’s high time someone spoke up on behalf of these beleaguered gentlemen, whose predilection for the fleshy delights of the fairer sex is seeing them being lambasted and lampooned in the press not only here but across the world.
Zuma has come in for a particular hammering, owing to his tendency not just to luuuuv the ladies but to collect them.
And so the pundits and feminists are in a frenzy.
And then, of course, the old anti-polygamy treatises will be brought out of retirement and rehashed—you know, polygamy is against “morality”, blah blah blah.
As many of these selfsame pundits and “feminists” will know—particularly those whose husbands keep mistresses on the side—pulling the morality card is the refuge of the scoundrel. A last resort where other arguments haven’t held water. Just whose morality are we speaking of here? A white Anglo-Saxon ideal that praises über alles that great ideal to aspire to: the nuclear family (oh joy!)?
There is something more than slightly patronising in the assumption that alternative lifestyle choices are contra bonos mores(contrary to good morals).
Not to mention how slighted I feel as a woman at the suggestion that “having” women is a vice, right up there with a crack problem and syphilis.
If “having women” in any way had an impact on or impaired the ability of the man in question to perform his (non-coitus-related) duties, it’s time someone produced the proof.
Some of the world’s greatest athletes are known womanisers, not to mention some of the sweetest-sounding musicians. One shudders to think how many mistresses fuelled the passions that spawned some of the greatest novels of all time —
Everyone knew JFK had a harem, his lovely wife notwithstanding. Did anyone suggest he was unfit to be president of the United States? Hardly. In fact, he remains lauded in history as one of the country’s finest.
So, one wonders, can someone, as they say, “look like a joller”?
You know, a twinkle in the eye, carnation in the button-hole, as in the days of yore. JFK certainly looked the part. So does Zuma, what with that gregarious laugh, that generous midriff and the natty suits.
Not sure people would figure the lanky and bespectacled Motlanthe for a lady’s man, though. He looks too serious.
As for me, I’m all for being led by a “lady lova”.
In the case of our man, Zuma, a man who not only keeps a harem, but won’t go to sleep without satisfying them. As he testified in his rape trial, he couldn’t just leave the lady hanging — “And I said to myself that I knew as we grew up in the Zulu culture that you didn’t just leave a woman in that situation —”
Not to mention that with all those fetching Zulu matrons to satisfy he’ll have no time to invade other countries, start wars or crash the economy. There is something to be said about the time on George W Bush’s hands. Maybe if Laura had kept him busier he wouldn’t have wreaked so much havoc on the world.
The image of Zuma as the playa, the Daddy Mack, of course plays into unfortunate stereotypes about “The African Leader”. And splaying those voluminous thighs on the front page of the Sunday Times hasn’t helped much.
But hey, he ain’t no Jean-Bédel Bokassa. Or a Mobutu Sese Seko. Or even a Bush —
Despite the assegais and skins, it seems our man’s a lover, not a fighter —
Read more from Khadija Bradlow
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