/ 19 September 2016

​#CulturePop: Mourning Mandoza amid data woes, bad feminism and gifted surgeons

Mandoza performs on stage as part of 'MTV Base 100th Live!' on April 20
Mandoza performs on stage as part of 'MTV Base 100th Live!' on April 20

Unhappy endings ushered us into and out of last week. From the anniversary of the death of Steve Bantu Biko at the hands of apartheid’s wolves some thirty years ago and then, on Sunday, the passing of Mandoza. Death remains abject and yet it remains nothing new. Mandatory. The only kind of process that toughens and softens. May they continue to rest in peace.

As a fan of Kwaito, the rate at which we a losing our musicians here is worrying. Brown Dash left us in a hurry and then, after resurfacing with the album, I am Back, Senyaka had to go much too soon. Big Nuz was not quite the same after R Mashesha. Is it all in the natural progression of things or is it a symptom of a life lived in the fast, dangerous lane?

Dangerous, funnily enough, was the attitude of Julius Malema in Parly when addressing another gripe with his fave, President Jacob Zuma. Ever in the mood to agitate, Juju had MP’s in the National Assembly in a tizzy after calling South African Airways Chairperson  Dudu Myeni – “Dudu Zuma Myeni”. He attributed the poor performance of the airline under Myeni to her closeness to Zuma.

There was no mincing of words as he went on to chastise the ANC, as one does these days. But, without being partisan, Malema, like Kanye and Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones is necessary because he isn’t afraid to speak truth to power, albeit rudely and vulgarly. That doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t watch our backs around him. Agendas have been known to change.

Like those of cellular networks that never loved us. Using my cell phone has never been so taxing, financially and emotionally. Vodacom, MTN and the rest were the targets of virtual protest under #datamustfall. It may have been somewhat of a silent one but we’ve been crying for lost gigs and stolen megs for what seems like an eternity. Something’s got to give and it cannot be my unwholesome use of data-annihilating Instagram. No sir.

But back to speaking truth to power. Intersectional feminism took white feminism to task in the spirit of Angela Davis and her seminal work in the book, Woman, Race and Class. This following an incident where Girls actress,  Lena Dunham concluded that she was being snubbed by footballer Odell Beckham Junior because she was chubby and he, anti-woman. And, after being called to order by Twitter, the actress apologized profusely in the tradition of privileged people everywhere, who have no clue that their privilege could actually render them thick and offensive.

It gets tricky when you turn the mirror around as did Vashna Jagarnath in an article for  The Daily Vox. She points out, among many issues, that while racism can come from white feminists, patriarchy is still held up and defended by women of colour as is done by the black women of the ANC Women’s League.

That said, last week was also about remembering a great leader on her 80th birthday. A woman, unapologetic, rebellious and sometimes lawless. Our original first lady  Winnie Nomzamo Madikiziela Mandela showed as that not only does black not crack (especially under the guidance of skilled rhinoplasts) but is a reminder that the face of black feminism will be critiqued and transformed or it will be bull dust. 

Days before she becomes an octogenarian, mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela brings all her A to Z game. (Elmond Jiyane)

A photo posted by Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) on