NO SENSE of anticipation is as gripping as the dawn of a new year.
Counting down the minutes to the final second that announce a brand new start is a ritual that never ceases to excite the world over.
Closer home, there is no greater expectation than the delivery of the State of the Nation Address by the president of the country.
For many citizens, delivery of the speech marks the beginning of a political new year.
Depending on the content of the speech, the art of delivery and picture of success it paints to ignite the imagination of the nation, the political new year can either be an inspirational encounter or a dull affair.
President Jacob Zuma's address last Thursday simply did not rise to the occasion.
It is more so because the occasion was meant to coincide with founding democratic president Nelson Mandela's walk out of the prison gates 20 years ago.
Most of the analysts who have been heard on the matter suggest it was a dull affair.
Harbouring no intention to hide behind what others said, let me state my case, the cause of which is neither to buy Zuma's face nor to delight those who believe he is not suited for the land's highest office.
Equally, Zuma must be wary of those who are singing hallelujah choruses for saying what they would like to hear as they are not beyond calling for his crucifixion as soon as he ceases to be music in their ears.
This was no State of the Interests address, but the nation's.
As for those who shout the loudest, Mr President, never confuse them to be the dependable volume of wisdom.
Empty tins are not strangers to making the loudest of noises.
Those who are silent should not be assumed to be brilliant either.
Cowards are notorious for taking refuge in silence when trying times call upon the brave to dare the moral hazards of taking a public position.
My position is no sweet-talk for fools.
Health is fast degenerating into a commodity and set to spiral out of reach for the many who are poor.
In the end, democracy would be populated by dead people walking with the right to health proving to be not worth the page it is written on.
Education is either dead or dying. With the demise of education comes the erosion of the spirit of a nation that seems to have given up on ever recovering its sense of self-worth.
Poverty has already laid to waste the dignity of the poor.
In their vulnerability, crime has not failed to pounce with the marauding power of blood money to corrupt public representatives.
As dishonesty takes the front seat, criminals take charge, storm the corridors of power, bribe their way to the top, undermine regulatory bodies and dazzle some of our crime-fighting agencies to cock the snook at law-abiding citizens.
Our country must not be a play ground for criminals. Democracy must not only show teeth to smile but also bark and bite.
The State of the Nation Address did bring the blood to fighting boiling point. The heart did not move. Imagination did not ignite.
The picture of success did not yield clear focus.
The certainty of achievements to be made choked in doubt.
The political new year sadly became a dull affair.