The weekly pop sack: Midweek roasts, appropriation and black excellence

OPINION

There is nothing quite like allegedly captured politicians being christened members of Parliament — and by extension ambassadors of our Constitution — to let you know that nobody cares. If money in the bank is more your thing, you may have recently learnt that banks aren’t the safe refuge for your investments you thought they were. Even they don’t care. And, without sounding too lonely in our dashed dreams, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has said that Zanu-PF wants him to stand for elections in 2018 because “the majority feel that there is no replacement”. If only our political will could mimic the kind we’re starting to see at the movies.

From bad to worse

If the State of the Nation 2017 address was chaotic, the debate was no different. Lawlessness is the new black in Parliament as opposition parties hurled insults at one another across the auditorium. The worst were wrapped in swear words and slung at President Jacob Zuma. The Economic Freedom Fighters said they wouldn’t attend the debate. Although their fiery-red overalls were missed, their belligerence was adopted by the likes of Democratic Alliance spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme who, calling a spade a spade, knuckled down on rampant corruption in the ANC. Corruption, she rioted, was setting poor South Africans on a back foot. Zuma’s response was neither here nor there, nor surprising. One has to wonder just how extensive state capture is — and whether any political party in the ANC’s position would have been immune.

Rand rigging

Standard Bank, Investec and Absa are the local banks that allegedly form part of a larger syndicate of banks colluding on rand/dollar deals. These financial institutions have reportedly been manipulating the trading rate of the rand to expand their profit margin. Reuters reported that the banks used an instant messaging chat room called “ZAR Domination” to co-ordinate their trading activities when giving quotes to customers who buy or sell currencies.

MP tissue wipes Molefe tears

Eskom’s chief executive wept when he quit over the State of Capture report and the Eskom connection. Now Brian Molefe is a member of Parliament with rumours that he is probably going to make the Cabinet. The move was met with strong mixed reactions. Many argue he is on the Gupta family’s payroll. Others complain that media coverage of Molefe is skewed. Another theory? Maybe the illuminati isn’t such a far-fetched notion after all.

Kasi Mlungu will never get it

Anita Ronge is a house music DJ. It’s difficult not speak of her without getting triggered, whether it’s scoffing at the utter cluelessness of white privilege or crying because it’s so crushing. Or you could be weary because of erasure. Tired because being invisible is actually taxing and every race war is urgent but is also distracting. Kasi Mlungu, a name she was given by her buddies when she crossed that frontier, “doesn’t see colour” and believes she can be whatever she wants to be. She will likely be — on the backs of black people’s time, energy and attention — before she ever acknow­ledges her unfair advantage or uses it to transform anything. She doesn’t strike me as a Babes weTransformation.

Black Hollywood

We have entered the era of representation in the movies. Storytelling that speaks to the diverse experiences of people of colour and women are taking centre stage in projects such as Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight, The New Edition Story and more. Oprah Winfrey has joined the league of Viola Davis, Taraji P Henson, Mahershala Ali and Denzel Washington as she plays the daughter of Henrietta Lacks in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It’s a new HBO film about Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman from whom cells were taken without the knowledge or permission of her family. From the HeLa cell line came the first human cells to grow well in a lab.

After bagging arguably more than the necessary number of Oscars, La La Land is being criticised for paling in complexity against the other films in its category. It’s probably the same set of people who are behind Taylor Swift’s questionable MTV Video Music Award and Adele’s Album of the Year Grammy win.

Off and on AKA and Bonang

The Super Mega and the ever-poised on her tip-toes, Queen B, appear to have survived #CycloneDineo in life and in their relationship. AKA announced their break-up on Twitter on Friday, only to change his mind the very next day. Social media took this and ran. Followers, however, felt trolled by the couple, who can’t seem to keep their business private. Don’t they know that they can only fool their fans sometimes and not all of the time? 

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

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Kuntha Ndimande
Guest Author
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