February 16, 2010

The Opening Monologue – Tuesday the 16th of February 2010
Written by Vittorio Leonardi.

Good evening.

The week that was gave us time to reflect: On past joys, on love and the right to speak out, even when we make absolutely no sense. Some events were truly wonderful and gave us the hope of looking to a future with some joy in it, while others reminded us of why we must sometimes cover our ears and shout “Lalala! I am not listening!! Lalalala!!!”

So, let’s get started with a few of those.

To say that President Zuma’s State of The Nation address was met with criticism would be like saying the credit crunch was a minor flutter on the economic radar. Everyone had something to say about it, most of it bad, and the address was slowly razed to the ground.

Here are a few of the glancing blows:

Zwelinzima Vavi, secretary-general of Cosatu: “Overall (on) the issue of jobs, poverty and inequalities, I’m quite disappointed.”

Nic Borain, independent political analyst: “I was quite surprised with the claim of job creation … it just doesn’t work with me. It sounds like a massaging of figures.”

Shadrack Gutto, University of South Africa law professor: “It was not inspiring. It was more of a regurgitation of policies,”

But the headshot came from Payco – The Pan Africanist Youth Congress of Azania – when they stated that President Zuma must resign as head of state with immediate effect because he continues to embarrass South Africa.

Ironically, this statement comes from the same group that said the SABC 1 soapie Generations had “declared war with African cultures and practices” and that “Africa is not the home of gays and lesbians.”

Proof positive that they know what they’re talking about. Clearly they’re experts on what it takes to embarrass themselves and the nation.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country. Cosatu has just realised that the 2010 Football World Cup will be a merchandising boon… for China. It seems that the manufacturing of most of the events merchandise including the World Cup mascot Zakumi is being outsourced to China.

Cosatu has insisted that: “Every sweater for the world cup must be made here.”

However, the contract for making Zakumi was awarded to a KZN-based company that later outsourced it to China.

Methinks Cosatu has forgotten where they get their apparel from. The next time they give out free shirts at a rally, check the tag. Chances are you’ll see the words: Made in China.

Elsewhere on the protest front, shots rang out last Monday as the police fired on a protest staged by… fellow officers. Police reservists were protesting no pay and a lack of promotions among its ranks. But never fear, the situation was calmed by the arrival of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.


Yes indeed. Winnie’s presence quietened the tense atmosphere. Then she ruined all that good work by speaking. She said that it was tragic that the protest had to take place just days before the ANC celebrated its 98th anniversary and the commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

She has a point; these men should’ve chosen another week to get shot. I guess timing is everything.

Staying with good timing. Thursday the 11th of February marked the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison; a truly momentous occasion in our history and the birth of Madiba Magic.

Unfortunately, Julius Malema decided he’d work his own brand of Malema magic by opening his great big pudding muncher. At celebrations marking Madiba’s release he stated that former president FW De Klerk – who won the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela – should not be celebrated.

“De Klerk never released Mandela – De Klerk must never be celebrated. De Klerk is a product of apartheid.”

“De Klerk sponsored black-on-black violence. De Klerk sponsored the IFP to kill our people in KwaZulu-Natal.”


*Covers ears with hands*

“Lalala! I am not listening!! Lalalala!!!”

And finally; Valentine’s Day came and went, like so many premature lovers. Florists had a boon in sales as did chocalatiers and lingerie salesmen and hospitals worldwide began preparations for the avalanche of whoopsie pregnancies that will be arriving in November this year.

Sadly though it wasn’t all hearts and kisses. Two members of a Potchefstroom Apostolic Church drowned in a botched baptism at Durban’s North Beach on Sunday morning. They were wading out into the shallows when a strong rip current pulled them out. The problem? They couldn’t swim.

The moral: All you need is love. And a life-jacket.

This concludes this week’s edition of The Opening Monologue. See you next week and remember, you haven’t heard it all till you’ve heard The Last Say On Sunday.