/ 10 February 2017

The weekly pop sack: Bittersweet days buoyed by the Bey

Doubling up: Beyoncé’s pregnancy picture is the most liked ever on Instagram
Doubling up: Beyoncé’s pregnancy picture is the most liked ever on Instagram

The internet has become chockful of profiles of baby bumps, twins and doubles of everything. People are posing seated demurely on a bed of wild shrubbery in renditions of Beyoncé’s pregnancy photo shoot — in which she is said to reference Yoruba mythology — because that’s how you get to announce your pregnancy when you’re the most adored human woman on the planet. The announcement eclipsed most other happenings this week, even the news of Gerrie Nel’s new relationship status with AfriForum.

The Bey Hive is abuzz

Bey is carrying two babies. Mrs Carter shared the news that sent the internet into overdrive. The former lead singer of Destiny’s Child knew what she was doing when she announced that they’d been “blessed two times over” in a post that is now the most liked picture in the history of Instagram.

Bey Hive factions the world over took ownership of their beaming matriarch and could be found organising themselves into formations at a Beyoncé Pregnancy Announcement afterparty somewhere out there.

Many blogs and crazed fansites speculated about her pregnancy after rumours that the power couple had turned to in vitro fertilisation to conceive a second time. Critics called the photo fake; haters will say it’s Photoshopped before the Bey Hive savages them. Ntsiki Mazwai would know. Or perhaps she should’ve known better than to label the Bey Hive “dumb black people” for showing Bey nothing but love.

Gerrie Nel jumps ship

When I learned that Gerrie Nel had not only quit his job at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after years of service, the faces of Oscar Pistorius and the late Jackie Selebi came to mind. The merciless, razor-sharp and, frankly, frightening state prosecutor lit a fire under these two and showed them just how hot it can get in his kitchen.

He is well respected and feared for the right reasons. So it was bewildering to hear of his move to AfriForum — an organisation publicly perceived to protect the interests of white Afrikaner farmers.

In trying to paint a more palatable picture of what’s shaping up to be a controversial move, Nel said there was a need for a parallel body to the NPA. He envisages a body that would prioritise tackling corruption and the abuse of political power — bringing to mind the NPA’s failure to reinstate 783 charges of corruption and fraud against the president. Still, can Nel continue to protect the interests of all South Africans under the roof of AfriForum?

Taxing our sweet tooth

To tax Coca-Cola or not? The debate has been ongoing since the government proposed the taxing of sugar-sweetened drinks from this year. This has been in response to reports of the growing rate of obesity in the country. Would paying a few rands more for a can of Sprite change people’s eating habits? Most likely not. Also, although it’s problematic to blame everything on cooldrinks — because there are myriad factors that have led to lifestyle-related diseases — I don’t think a sugar tax is completely missing the point.

Going Gaga at the Super Bowl

Born This Way superstar Lady Gaga dropped more than just her mic at the annual championships of the United States’ National Football League. As is customary at the heavily exhibitionist football match, Gaga’s performance was larger than life and left people overly excited after she leaped off the roof and into the stadium. Grand showcases are the order of the day at the Super Bowl final, if you remember Beyoncé’s Formation centrepiece in 2015. Or did Bey set the standard?

Troll targets Joost and gets dragged

Rugby great Joost van der Westhuizen has died after suffering debilitating motor neurone disease. He had been confined to a wheelchair in recent years. Somehow, in a country like ours, his death has sparked more race-dragging on social media. Facebook user Riaan Lucas is being hung out to dry for an offensive racist meme, seemingly cheering the death of Joost as a white man. Naturally, the jury is split, quoting the many instances where black people have been victims of such awfulness from another race. But does it make it right? Does it make black people any less capable of having the most hateful of prejudices? Surely not.