Thu Oct 27 16:57:25 SAST 2016

Ironing out issues will not smooth our crumpled selves

By unknown | Feb 07, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Today I play the jinx - the legendary bearer of bad tidings.

Today I play the jinx - the legendary bearer of bad tidings.

Let's get on with it right away and debunk the myth that South Africa is a normal society. Normal? My foot. We are not even normalising.

Forget the heavy stuff - that the wealth of the country is still heavily skewed in favour of our paler compatriots and we darker ones are doomed to fighting over the crumbs that fall from the masters' table. Leave that to the career politicians.

Take the simple stuff like how we communicate. Ever more, we blacks are doing our utmost to distance ourselves from communicating in African languages. We think it is sophisticated to bamboozle our audiences with English phrases.

In a "normal" society, it should be the other way around.

You should not be surprised to walk into an all-white church and find the fired up priest hurling the holy gospel to his flock in Setswana. Or a ditched Afrikaner beau, Jakobus Pienaar, sending an SMS to his sweetheart Susannah in isiZulu: "Ngizakukhumbula sithandwa sami." - I will miss you sweetheart.

Now that is what should be normal in a country where more than 80percent of the population is African.

But we are so much possessed with love for our former oppressors that we try to talk and look like them. Our women-folk are trying their damndest to look Caucasian. O, ye gods.

Take the president's favourite bugbear: gender equality. The poor man must have done something extremely mean and unspeakable to the tender sex in his previous life because he does not miss an opportunity to atone. It's like each time he wakes up in the morning he ponders the question: "How can I be nice to women today?"

The sad news for the president and us all is that the sexes will never enjoy absolute, total equality. Not in this generation nor the next few - and this is not to excuse gender inequality.

The trick is to be fair and never - I repeat, never - discriminate against people because of their race or gender. But in my warped mind there will always be a distinct difference between men and women.

Imagine Mrs X coming home and finding her husband lolling on the sofa.

"Jabulani, why the hell have you not washed the dishes?"

Sidling to the sink, Jabulani: "Ha o sa tjho?" - Why didn't you tell me to do so in the first place?

Another time: "Jabulani, you have not ironed the laundry."

He, taking out the ironing board, says with irony: "Ha o sa tjho . ?"

When that happens and no eyebrows are raised, we shall have reached a stage of complete gender balance and normalcy. And maybe we will have a happy president.


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