Like Juju, don't let anything stop you reaching your goal

09 March 2020 - 07:56
By Thabiso Mahlape
FILE IMAGE: Julius Malema is seen at EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, addressing media.
Image: ALON SKUY FILE IMAGE: Julius Malema is seen at EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, addressing media.

Two leap years ago, Julius Sello Malema, three days shy of turning 30, was expelled from the ANC. The end of his reign at the ANC Youth League would go on to be the death of the league itself.

Yes, things would carry on in and around the league but nothing would ever be quite as special after Malema.

Last week, buti Sello celebrated his 39th birthday, and as one watched the messages of celebration and well wishes sent his way, one couldn't help but marvel at how far he has come from that moment. A moment many, like the boy-man himself, thought would be his last.

I know I wrote and spoke about Mmusi Maimane last week, but I swear to God I am not trying to become a political analyst. That I am talking about Malema today is a mere coincidence. I'd be out of my depth in politics anyway.

Facebook has a wonderful feature called memories, even though it's only wonderful when it helps you remember the things worthy of recalling. On some days it comes at you first thing in the morning to remind you of the 50 shades of stupidity you have been up to in your youth.

There is a particular Facebook memory that comes up every year of an entry I made just after Malema was expelled. In it, I talk of how I know for sure that that moment would not be the last for Julius.

I knew Malema before his Gucci days, clad in 'bogarts'; for as you know there is a difference between a pair of jeans and 'bogart', pronounced 'bogathe'.

But even in those outfits, there was something undeniably powerful about the man. Perhaps that's the thing that influenced my conviction of his return and that it would be glorious.

In the Facebook memory, I mention that this path that Malema has taken seemed to be his destiny and that he wouldn't fail. And boy was I right.

What the EFF has managed to accomplish in this country is immeasurable. Malema, leading an assembly of some of the brightest minds in the country, has managed to create an inclusive and charged political space. Under him, the EFF has taken up its rightful place as the youngest political party to lead and steer conversations.

It is incredible to watch a man live out his destiny.

There is little doubt in my mind that one day, when we say Mr President, we'll indeed be referring to Malema.

This is not a piece to glorify Malema, and or his various decisions or acts over the years. Far from it. What I seek to do is to show you a man who was a born for something, stopped at nothing to achieve it, and how lucky we have been to have witnessed it.

You can bring every criticism of the man, and there's lots that could be tabled. You could have all of them validated, but it could never and should never take away from the fact that Malema will never be forgotten.

He will be spoken about, written about and referenced for many years to come. Ours is to document and archive him as accurately and as truthfully as possible for the future.

This column will probably rub some people up the wrong way, who will fail to read it with the objectivity with which it was written. And if it does, I hope it will at least inspire you to find your own purpose and destiny.

We stand powerful and glorious when we stand in the places that were created specifically for us. No amount of mistakes and or wrong turns can ever take away from that. Malema is a living proof.