Politics of politics

By Azwihangwisi Mufamadi

Africa is faced with more problems than any other continent in the world. These problems include, amongst other things, the killing of innocent people because of their ethnicity or their religion (which is what is happening in Darfur), the power struggles in countries such as Somalia, Congo and Uganda; and diseases such as malaria and HIV/Aids.

Malaria kills more than 850 thousand people a year in Africa alone, yet nothing is said about it. HIV/Aids provides Africa with an additional layer of problems. Other people even go as far as saying that Aids is an abbreviation for ‘Africans in deep shit’. A lot of money is being pumped into providing people with Aids education, antiretroviral drugs for HIV/Aids patients and condoms.

However, the fight against HIV and Aids has proved to be far from over, especially in a country like South Africa where some of the leaders have proved to be desperately in need of Aids education themselves.

Minister of Health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, has been strongly in favour of nutrition as a prevention method in the fight against HIV/Aids. At the recent Aids conference in Toronto, she promoted beetroot, lemons and garlic as an alternative to antiretroviral drugs. While nearly 800 000 people are dieing of HIV/Aids everyday in South Africa, Tshabala-Msimang (or should I say Dr Beetroot as she is now known) showed the world that she likes vegetables.

Tshabalala-Msimang is not the only prominent figure who can benefit from Aids education. Jacob Zuma, former deputy president of South Africa, has also proved to know nothing more than putting on his Aids ribbon. In his rape trial early last year, Zuma said that taking a shower after having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman would lessen the risk of contracting the virus. This statement has been huge step backwards in the fight against HIV/Aids because Zuma was perceived as someone who knows a lot about HIV since he was once head of the National Aids Council.

The National Aids helpline has reported that after Zuma mentioned his shower theory, the number of calls they receive increased with a lot of people asking about the validity of the shower, while women called to ask if they should take a shower after being raped.

Zuma’s theory not only provided questions about how to prevent HIV/Aids, but also about Zuma’s ability to lead South Africa. With people like Jacob Zuma and Manto Tshabalala-Msimang holding high offices in South Africa, it only shows that ministers are given positions that they know nothing about.

Since becoming a familiar face to the media during the rape trial, Zuma has been using culture to defend his actions. He would make a great minister of arts and culture and he would be working on something he knows (or at least pretends to know) and as for Tshabalala-Msimang, she would do a great job in helping to grow vegetables as the minister of agriculture.

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2 Responses to Politics of politics

  1. SHIVAMBU CAIPHUS says:

    hi GADI,i do agree with you as far as your analytic view regarding the challenges Africa faces as a continent.but much as i agree with you i somehow beg to differ with you.my argument been based on that maybe somehow the global media puts a spotlight on Africa as a dark continet (maybe to enlighten it,who knows).I sometimes tend to think that alot o bad things a reported about Afica.Do you think Africa is the only continent that’s been ravaged by war,poverty &
    HIV/AIDS.How is the socio-economic conditions in Brazil?other than been a top footballing nation.how much have you heard about social & political problems in that part of South American continent.There have been terrorism bombing in Madrid and London,and as i write the suspects are appearing before the court of law.Madrid and London are not part of Africa,are they? How many times have you heard or read about the GAZA Strip bombing in the Middle East?Hence I can bet my last Zim Dollar that if you search the word Gaza strip in the Google search-engine,you will find the word ”bombing’in the same line.As for the HIV/AIDS the less said about it the better,it is not only Africa ‘s concern,other continents are also ravaged by the various.In conclusion,my view is that Africa just like any other continent is faced with her own callenges.It’s just that we get exposed to hearing about a lot of bad stories coming from this continent just because we found ourselves in it.Don’t you think that if you were in South America you were still going to write the same story that goes as:”South America is faced with more problems than any other continent in the world…”.It’s a case of a farmer who will always look at the farm of his neighbour wishing it was his,because he thinks it is more greener than his,unaware the problems that that particular farmer also faces.My conclusion is that Africa continent problems get more media coverage and they are also blown out of proportion.Lastly, I’m looking forward to reading more of your thought-provoking and interesting columns this year m’fowethu and Good luck for the academic year 2007.Bear the pain of been ”inside the kitchen ”and you will get out a finished product,i tell you…

  2. Mzo says:

    Caiphus mf’ethu, I agree with you to a certain extent. Indeed a grass looks greener on the other side until you get there, as someone once said.

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