/ 16 March 2010

Jub Jub, Juju and Jesus

It’s getting as hard to find a positive role model in South Africa as it is to find a white person who remembers apartheid, or a black person who didn’t fight in The Struggle. Not that I’m a fan of role models, necessarily. But apparently, if you read the reams of nonsense printed about the power of celebrities to influence the kid in the street, they’re a de facto part of our lives, like potholes and polygamy.

The less said about Jub Jub the better, although it’s a little late for that. Any kids who’ve taken a musician as a role model are doomed anyway, so a little MiniManslaughter isn’t going to put them off. Ah, men and their cars.

Common wisdom has it that men buy big cars to compensate for having small penises. What does it say about your base size if your automotive upsize is a Mini? Ah, wait, I remember now — Jub Jub was the lad who left Celebrity Survivor (I’m sorry, that should read “Celebrity” Survivor) because his dick was rotting, or as djsbuonline puts it, “He had a coral infection on his penis, which turned out to be minor.” And if anyone knows whether a penis is major or minor, it’s Dj Sbu. I guess if your penis is falling off, even a Tata would compensate.

Still, there you have it — role model number one. Number two, in so, so many ways, is Juju Malema, whose chequered career I don’t need to rehash here. Except possibly the last bit, where he’s recently been found guilty of hate speech. By a woman judge. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. Phylicia Oppelt’s excellent column on Times Live is quoted on the blog A Radical Profeminist, and this point is apposite: “When [Malema] calls ID leader Patricia de Lille ‘not a real woman’ or the DA’s Helen Zille a ‘little girl’, he understands full well the power relations in our country; that as a man, however intellectually bereft, he can get away with it.”

Don’t you love the “however intellectually bereft” bit? The Radical Profeminist blog, where I first found Oppelt’s column quoted, “exists to challenge white heterosexual male supremacy as an institutionalized ideology and a systematized set of practices which are misogynistic, heterosexist, genocidal, and ecocidal”. It’s nice to see that the blogger is extending her product set a bit to take on black sexist pigs too. Why should white men have all the fun.

But from Juju, whom some (not me, not me!) call the the MoFo of the Nation, to Winnie Mandela, whom some (not me, not me!) call the Mother of the Nation. Winnie is another person who has turned out to more slaptjip roll than role model. If only she was as on the ball as the Radical Profeminist. Winnie, what were you thinking! Never, ever trust the white man, even if he’s a diminutive Pakistani woman. Because for your purposes, the white man includes any representative of the British press. Why did you trust her? Be more like I imagine Phylicia Oppelt to be, and realise that being a white man is a state of mind — to all intents and purposes, Julius Malema and HF Verwoerd are one and the same person. Well, Verwoerd is slightly more preferable, because he’s dead.

In fact, as Thought Leader blogger Amanda Sevasti has pointed out, the one lesson that the white man brought to Africa that seems to have stuck is the Christian one, “Don’t worship false idols.” But despite centuries of object lessons, we don’t seem to have made the small intellectual step required to realise that all idols are false. We live in a world where Jub Jub, Juju and Jesus rule supreme. There’s always someone looking to follow, no matter where they lead. It’s sad.

  • Follow Chris on Twitter @chrisroperza, or visit his blog chrisroper.co.za