Scary stories from a lovely place

The Kwera Kwera’s guide to enjoying Jozi # Knowing when to stay silent

Politics is always a tense topic. Maybe even more so in South Africa. There is so much invested in a political discussion; history, culture, people’s experiences of life. As a kwera kwera sometimes it’s better for me to keep my mouth shut than to give my opinion, because I don’t have enough background, I will never understand enough to equally partake in an argument. Listening is forever a virtue.

The past couple of weeks have been a good time to keep said mouth shut. Malema got busted for singing a song that has violent words in it. Eugene Terreblanche, leader of the AWB (militant wing of the Afrikaans nationalist party as far as I can gather) was violently murdered. AWB spokesman got mad and said some regrettable things. E-TV loved the footage. Malema got mad at a british reporter and said some regrettable things. Zuma disowned Malema. Headlines about Terreblanche’s private life boggled the mind. That brings us to today.

In the spirit of keeping my mouth shut, all I really want to do is link to an article that gives a better summary of these events than I ever could. It’s on the news24 website. Read it. It’s good. Watch the footage. It’s amazing.

It’s obvious that those for whom english is their first language have a distinct advantage in an argument over those for whom it is their second or third or fourth. I’m often intrigued by this disparity while listening to or partaking in conversations. This person has to listen, think and understand in an alien language, then articulate a response in a foreign language. And english seems remarkably limited in what it can express. There just aren’t english words to properly express Zulu or Afrikaans truths. This has undoubtedly perpetuated the last week’s problems.

There’s lots more on this I could and want to say, but in closing all I will say is in defence of Malema, regardless of what I may or may not think about him – who hasn’t been faced with a snooty british accent and wanted to give them an earful?


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This entry was posted on April 14, 2010 by in Beefs, Life in South Africa, The Kwera Kwera's guide to enjoying Jozi and tagged , , , .
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