Sat Oct 22 18:16:30 SAST 2016

Mboweni, the man I'd love to hate - sometimes

By unknown | Oct 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sometimes I'd love to hate Tito Mboweni, the first man at the country's first bank.

Sometimes I'd love to hate Tito Mboweni, the first man at the country's first bank.

But then, again, through the benefit of hindsight, I realise that unless my fortunes change drastically I'll have to live with the man's inflated ego, which at present is the size of the Zimbabwean inflation rate.

This is the same man who rewrote the history of photojournalism in this country when he took umbrage at being snapped wiping his brow. He really got my goat there!

But behind this snobbishness lurks a hard-nosed character that leaves me green with envy.

This is a man, the child of humble folk from the hinterlands of Limpopo, whose proud mother, when he took office, could only say that her son was going to be nhloko ya timali - literally the head of the money.

This is not based on any scientific Markinor survey, but it is thanks to the SARB head honcho that our Xitsonga-speaking brethren are able to speak their mother tongue with a degree of pride.

Before the advent of Mboweni, the Shangaans preferred to converse in atrocious isiZulu rather than be heard speaking their own. His showy manners aside, he's his own man - my kinda man.

Sometime in mid-September, says the grapevine, one white man had the temerity to stand up to the governor at the bank's AGM.

Before he could sit he got a full dose of Mbowenism in his ear. "I shall not permit you to talk to me like whites used to talk to blacks!" Mboweni was reported to have told the white man, Mario Pretorius, a shareholder at the bank.

Now lawyers' letters are flying in both directions!

Someone was always going to whip these whites into line. Granted, there are good white folk - Beyers Naude, George Bizos, Bram Fischer et al, but the rest, especially those who seem to think they are God's gift to the black man, need a telling off from time to time.

When they gather, white folk decide a black man can't lead their political party. They then choose one of their own, a woman, to head the party in Parliament.

What happens next? The same crowd that had no confidence in a darkie leading them put up his name as their choice for the country's presidency.

I mean, really now! I have yet to find something that boggles the mind more.

White people hide behind the mike of a public radio station and address a government minister discourteously. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang might have a weakness for the bottle but she definitely does not deserve this insolence.

Apartheid era blue-eyed boy Pik Botha had the same frailties but he was always U agbare - honourable minister - on talk shows.

If you want to spoil a dinner table conversation while in the company of those of a lighter hue, just try mentioning the word apartheid in the same sentence as opportunities.

They will tell you to stop living in the past and make something of your life.

They will stand up and then go to a gathering to remember the Holocaust.

As if this is not enough, they will go on to organise a marathon on June 16.

Where's Mboweni?


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT