State of the nation: A voice from the South

February 21, 2007 at 10:31 pm 6 comments

A few hours ago, I chatted up a Kenyan buddy studying in South Africa.  Excerpts.  

me: any new insights, perspectives frm d south?

Q:  messed up like always…. wannabes…

me: check that out.

Q: harsh indictment but tis the truth…  I come across more ignorance than I’ve evr seen across africa… they dont know but still display with arrogance their NOT knowing

me: Lol abt d south. forget not dat dey r d elites of Afrique.

Q: hehehe now i dunno which one is more absurd…. ur elitism comment or Livondo.

America remains a country of largely idiots… with foreign brains writing policy papers and doing research inventions

me: kwani?

Q: Now that can be called elite coz… they want to live well but know that they can’t produce the thinking to sustain such a lifestyle… so they import every available thinker they can get….. SA is in the same situation only different that they are chasing away the same thinkers…. so that BEE is going to achieve a class of comsuming well paid idiots with BIG offices and No production in any sector….

me: uhmn, interesting views there.

Q: uc security for example… now they are calling upon Boer vigilantes (former boer security servicemen with private security companies) to help them fight crime… how absurd… while they employed thousands of ba=lack empowerment SAns to do the job n failed

me: sungu sungu , angola na msumbiji, taliban, mungiki, baghdad boys..i mean, i thot that was only our preserve [nose smile]

Q: I’ll give u an example I know DOctor friend a man veru good at his stuff…. a job was advertised for 7months YES SEVEN months… they never got anyone (BLACK then White) qualified enough to take it… and ignored his application for 7months.. suddenly they call him4 an interview n offer him… 28K…

do u know how peanuts that is for a PHD…. diplomas earn 22k… he felt insulted and the entire faculty agreed

he was gonna be haed of dept, trainer, the groom two deputies who wld take from him.. meanwhile they wld earn more than hi @40k each

me: waaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Q: now uc that… every time i meet SAns the first querry is when ru going back home….. some are even blunt… since you guys came here we dont get (he means we are not given) degrees the way we used to… coz we simply raised the bar a little higher…..

so they flunk then they blame it on foreigners

me: uhmn.

makwerekwere, right?

Q: men …. yup… now at that rate since they are not investing on research n production of new tech by foreigners and very few locals mostly white that do that… they are going to be held hostage.. apartheid continues only this time round its CONSUMERISM AND INTELLECTUALL PROPERTY

me: uhmn.

Q: 4the first time u remember the NRF scholarships i sent u… they were unable to get locals(black preferably) interested in research to do it so… they are chasing the theme too late

me: OMG

wat went wrong with the revolution?

Where did d ran start beating them?

N wat happened to the black empowerment prog?

Q: mmmmmm….. when i got nrf was for SA by SA of SA…

mostly BEE the black empowerment act… good intentions but the devil is always in the implemetation… ask comrade Marx and Engeles

me: lol

Q: Comrade Lenin, didn’t know what to do with a wonderful document like that

Q: BEE largely is interpreted by locals to mean they ahve a right of way in EVERYTHING… so they expect to get a job, pass exams, earn more money, live well without trying as hard….

4da 1st time in my life i’ve seen men with balls buying a loaf of bread and underwear on credit…..


me: lol

Hire purchase?

Q: whatever you call it… the banks have made it easier.. now meanwhile the acquisition of companies BEE=30%… now thats wher they have been shortchanged thoruoghly… ramaphosa, sexwale et al… just float the idea then raise money from small boys who sink all their life savings .. come out with nothing while the sharks plus whities smile all the way to FNB

Both ways in Engineering-speak.. THEY HAVE BEEN SCREWED


me: uhmn. thx. bye.


Entry filed under: Africa, Crime, Culture, Economics, Humour, Kenya, Literature, Media, Politics, Science, Society, World.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. acolyte  |  February 22, 2007 at 3:32 am

    A very interesting post, it seems that in the quest to solve one set of problems in South Africa a whole nother set of problems was created.
    I think it is about time south africans realised that other Africans are not the enemy, but I dont see this happening anytime soon.

  • 2. anonymous  |  February 22, 2007 at 4:17 am

    interesting though i find ur friends attitude towards SA’can and Americans very ignorant or lacking in perspective especially the part of calling s. African and Americans ignorant.

    i think i could apply that sentiment to kenya like – how can an obviously rich country with so much resources be so poor and how came they elect idiots to power and can barely run the ir country. – how come the roads to the most productive parts of the economy barely exist – what so hard about buildling roads – eeh. how come people still die of hunger.

    how is the xenophobia ins SA different from the fact that i as a kenyan cannot by land/property without in kenya based on my ethnicity.

    i find disengenous when people compare the highest common denominator in their country for example Kenya to the lowest common denominator in their host country (SA or the US).

  • 3. AK  |  February 22, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    these issues can be discussed without making sweeping statements. one thing often ignored by critics of affirmative action in SA is that it does not mean there are no brains in the black community. there are many blacks who are qualified and good at what they do. but they are not enough for that rapidly growing economy and for obvious reasons, and more need to be nurtured.

    the question is, how do you do this fairly in a country where existing power networks are concentrated in the white minority, who may still hold those stereotypical attitudes toward black people? if left on their own unchecked, they’d still be employing only whites, or importing skills unnecessarily. Isn’t that what Indians have been doing in Kenya? or other kenyans in positions of authority do to exclude those percieved as the ”other”?
    Over to you KA and friend…

  • 4. Q  |  February 22, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    While the assessment might look sweeping, the fact lies on the production line: SA’s history cannot be ignored indeed wealth and wheeler dealing still lies largely iwith white minority and indeed we have capable Black minds. But we are confusing Quality with Quantity… to fill the gap and accomplish the noble intentions of BEE, a ‘movement’ driven clamour for production line degrees and dilomas, then get them jobs promos and higher salaries is moving much faster than the actual skills are developing
    in the end SA has achieved more certificates than learning and technology while unlike any other country in africa it has the capacity to develop first class innovations.
    My grouse is they have the opportunity but they are unwilling to learn… we can’t blame apartheid 14years later for something as basic.. as getting the best brains to do the best job… not necessarily the best certificates…
    quality needs to be nurtured but how do you nurture it in a consatnt aura of activism… You point out a mistake and the conversation either turns into Afrikanner/arpetheid angle or kwerekwere angle…

  • 5. anonymous  |  February 22, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    actually now that i think about it – i think ur friend is really being ignorant of south African History – yes south african society has its failings but even if we look at the filed of education black south africans were pioneers among Africans in the field of education.
    predominantly black colleges already existed in SA at the tun of the last century and even at that time south africans were attending universities in the US.

    when i was in elementary school i remember reading a novel by i think ezekiel mphalele or tengo jabavu or beithir one of them was the subject of the story – another subject in the novel was peter okondo – actually the south afrticans had travelled to east africa and were hanging out in kampala with peter okondo. from the novel the south africans were struck at how the east africans loved showmanship – that they owned cars and yet did not have decent homes. another of their fascination was at how much darker the east africans were. – anyway the point of this is that the toles could easily be reveresed and what u decsrie of south african could just as easily be a description of south africans of kenayns or any other group.

    what we need is more understanding and als o an effort to undertsand other cultures within africa.wether we like it or not south africa i and nigeria are going to be the dominant cullture and economies in africa in this century and the sooner we learn to understand and communicate with those cultures the better we will be.

  • 6. Q  |  February 23, 2007 at 11:52 am

    @ AK, in most cases (like this) I agree with Taban lo Lyong’s critique (dismissal more so) of our so called intellectuals, that were hurriedly installed by the imperialist academics just after ‘independence’. There was very little time and they had to leave but well at least someone had to be in-charge of things, since mostly well read fellows were not in academia, they had to make a hard decision and barely qualified pompous fellows as Prof. mazrui et al. ahd to be broought up thro’ the ranks at godspeed , the results are we have well read people with very little learning. a classical case not seeing the forest for the trees.

    @ Anon, Anonymous i duly rest my case… You know we have this river and as it approaches the sea it has so many names just as it does when it leaves the mountains… each tributary is part of the whole and at the estuary all the ‘islets’ are borne of each and the whole… do the math


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