American woman steals candy from a blind baby

15017435-flags-globe

In case you decided to read this post purely to find out why the hell an American woman stole candy from a blind baby, sorry to disappoint you. This post actually has nothing to do with that. But, if said woman had indeed stole candy from a blind baby…or any baby for that matter… would her nationality be relevant to the story? That’s what this post is about – the relevance or lack thereof of mentioning nationalities in news headlines. Check out these actual headlines from various papers here in South Africa:

 

Nigerian drug dealers released on bail

Zimbabwean in court for fraud

 

These are real headlines from real newspaper articles. I mention only South Africa articles simply because I live here but this is common practice worldwide. Every time I see a report like this, be it in print media, digital media, or on TV, it makes me cringe. Why is it necessary to mention people’s nationalities in such reports? What does the perpetrator being Zimbabwean have to do with the fraudulent act he committed? Am I the only one who finds this kind of reporting to be more harmful than it is helpful? And the thing is, it’s never the nationalities of locals that’s mentioned, it’s always the nationality of foreigners…as if to say “hey, look what they’re coming to our country to do.”

 

I’ve had this discussion with some friends in the past and their argument is usually that the report is mentioning nationality simply for descriptive purposes. But if you are mentioning the nationality as a mere description, why stop there? Why not mention religion, qualifications, height, or even sexual orientation? Why don’t the above headlines read:

“Tall, dark, Nigerian Muslim drug dealers released on bail” or “Short, gay Zimbabwean Christian in court for fraud”

 

Tall and gay are descriptive right? But they are never mentioned. Why? Because they are irrelevant to the story. I’m not saying let’s not mention nationality in news reports. I’m saying let’s stick to information that is relevant. If the article is talking about immigration, then nationality is very relevant. If the article is talking about athletes at the Olympic Games who have been busted for using performance enhancing drugs, then nationality is very relevant.

 

Maybe journalists have a good reason why they are so eager to mention nationalities of foreigners in their stories. Is it something that’s taught in journalism school? Is there some sort of journalistic or scientific reason for doing it? Do tell because, from where I’m sat, it just looks like subtle fodder for the xenophobic inclined folks among us.

 

**** Just scribbling my Zimbabwean thoughts ****

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A Dummies guide to Africa…for our friends from the West

I received an email from an old friend of mine the other day. She’s from a small town in Boston, in the USA and she’s “coming to Africa” for a safari holiday. Seeing as we haven’t seen each other in years, she figured it’d be a good idea if we met up for a coffee. Her email read something like this:

“….I’ll be in Africa for about 10 days. It would be great to see you. Are you still in Johannesburg? Maybe we can do lunch?…”

I was happy to hear from her and thought of course, I can always make time for an old friend. So I responded to her asking where exactly in Africa she’d be and when. I was shocked…no, let me not say shocked…I was amused when she said she’d be in Mombasa (which is in Kenya) & and also Dar es Salaam (which is in Tanzania). So I respond with the following:

“…I’m afraid I won’t be able to do lunch with you on account of the fact that Mombasa is FOUR THOUSAND KILOMETRES from Johannesburg…” (She probably had to Google the relationship between a ‘mile’ and a ‘kilometre’ but anyway…)

We laughed off her oversight (read: ignorance) but I figured I might as well share a few insights into Africa for those who may be in the same boat as my safari friend from Boston.

1. Africa is the 2nd most populous continent on earth. So when you meet an African abroad, don’t ask us if we know some other African you’ve met before. “Do U know Ogba from Ghana?”…”No, I’m from Zimbabwe. I’ve never been to Ghana and even if I had, there’s like 27 million people there.”

2. Contrary to popular belief, we also learnt of the Lion King from TV, stage, and literature…not from personal experience.

3. This one time someone in the US noticed they were trending on Twitter in some African countries and they tweeted “Wow, I’m trending in Africa. Didn’t even know they had internet over there”…..We do.

4. About 2,500 people out of 1.111 billion of us are currently suffering from Ebola. That’s like 0.00023% of the African population. For those fans of Rihanna who were begging her “not to perform in Africa or she’ll catch Ebola”, you need to chill…and I think there’s a pill for that.

5. Africa is the world’s 2nd largest continent geographically. So for those celebrities (and common people) who like to say “Going to Africa”….WHERE IN AFRICA? WE HAVE 54 COUNTRIES.

6. And that “your English (French/Portuguese/Spanish) is quite good” malarkey needs to stop. We know it is. Most of us speak 3 languages.

7. Whilst on the subject of languages, don’t ask me to teach you “African”. WTF kind of language is “African?” That’s like asking a Chinese person to teach you how to speak “Asian”.

8. If we happen to be visiting your countries on holiday (yes, we take holidays too), please don’t ask how we got there. We didn’t swim across the India/Atlantic oceans, if that’s what you’re asking.

9. No, I never met Nelson Mandela.

10. We have planes, trains, automobiles, houses, hospitals, universities, industries, gadgets, politics, taxes, financial institutions, cops & robbers (sometimes the same thing), celebs, twelebs, winners, losers, saints, sinners, lovers, haters, and everything in between.

Basically, our continent is just like yours…the only difference is, we have a few more black people…which is the coolest part about it.

*just scribbling my African thoughts*

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How to Africanise Bafana Bafana

Today’s post is for my South African bredren.

As you may be aware, South Africa’s mens national football team got knocked out of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament currently taking place in Cape Town.

That Bafana Bafana, as they are affectionately known, got knocked out (via a 3-1 loss to Nigeria’s Super Eagles) isn’t all that surprising. They have somewhat mastered the art of impotent performances on the big stage. What was surprising was Sports Minister Fikile “Fiks” Mbalula’s scathing comments the day after the game. Pulling no punches, Fiks had this to say:

“We indeed have a crisis of
monumental proportions and this
tournament has proved that. The
mediocrity we saw yesterday is
disgraceful. It was not even lacklustre, it was useless. Last night, we saw a
bunch of losers who conceded two
useless goals. We must never wake up
to this situation ever again”

“Some of the players think it is their
right to be in the Bafana team, some
have been there but never won
anything. We must forget this
generation of players”

“They don’t respect their parents, their girlfriends and the nation. There is a need for a new generation of players as the current crop doesn’t respect the country”

“I saw people lining up outside to greet them (the team)…I won’t greet them. I didn’t even call them”

As you can see, the Minister threw away the handbook of political correctness for this press conference, and went old school on the national team. It was sound bite heaven I tell you.

Some people think the Minister went too far, others think Bafana are indeed in need of a bit of tough love. I’m with the “tough love” bunch. But instead of just complaining, I’m actually going to tell the Minister how to fix this problem. You see, Bafana’s main problem is they are that rich spoilt kid playing against ghetto ruffians. Yep, if you want to play soccer in Africa, you got to be Africanised first.

So here’s “how to Africanise Bafana Bafana”

1) What the hell kind of a name is Bafana Bafana anyway? Boys Boys? How you gonna call yourself “Boys Boys” and expect to beat “The Stallions”, “Super Eagles”, “Warriors”, “Elephants”? Change it already.

2) When Bafana travel on the continent, they carry tonnes of their own food and water because “the hygiene in Africa is questionable”. Rubbish! When in Rome, eat Fufu. Eat whatever the other kids are eating out there. If the water in Sierra Leone has Bilharzia in it, U best be having a second serving of that Bilharzia juice.

3) Get rid of yellow bones. Seriously, have you seen any light skin brothers in Nigeria, DRC, or Mozambique’s teams?

4) Stop whinging. Bafana have been made to wait at host nations’ airports for hours in the past. They usually just stand there and whinge. F that. Get cabs, go to the nearest brothel/hostel and sleep. TIA: This is Africa. Go hard or go home.

5) Forget Mohitos, have some mosquitoes. Those anti-malaria shots Bafana take before travelling on the continent, forget the bloody things (Pun!!!). Nothing like fear of Malaria to make U want to win asap and leave!

6) The so called state of the (f)art training facilities used by Bafana are making them soft. Have them train on gravel…bare footed…with a bag of cricket balls for a ball. As the locals would put it: JBS – Just Be Strong.

7) Stop overpaying Bafana players to play for their country. Zimbabwe are through to the CHAN quarter finals (Yeay!!!). How much do you think they are getting paid? Let me rephrase that…how much do you think they are not getting paid?

8) Can we get some testosterone injections in there too so they can bulk up, or at least grow some beards or something. Some of those guys look like they just came out of creche. How you gonna beat a Mandingo-looking navy man from the Congo when look softer than the Andrex puppy?

9) Speaking of testosterone, some Bafana players have voices so squeaky you’d think their testicles haven’t descended. Man up and turn that bass up. Chipmunks don’t win tournaments.

10) Lastly…this is to the South African Football Association…stop hosting every single tournament! Yes, U have stadia but geez! You host more tournaments than the Kardashian family hosts weddings. You’re making Bafana Bafana get so used to default qualification as hosts. Stop it!

*just scribbling my thoughts*

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My 10 favourite blog posts

Top 10 posts

Firstly a big shout out to everyone who reads my blog posts. You all make it a lot of fun to scribble my thoughts.

I’ve received a fair few emails and tweets from folks asking me what my favourite posts are. Naturally, as with your kids, you can’t pick favourites….but you do like others more. Yes people, you love all your kids but you like some better than others right? Or is that just me?

So, in no particular order, here are my 10 “favourite” blog posts. Read, Share, & Enjoy!

1) How xenophobia can improve your life

This was definitely one of my favourite posts. Following a spate of xenophobic incidences in South Africa, this was just me trying to understand this intolerance.

2) How to keep your twelebs happy

After a few fracases with twitter’s “cool kids”, I decided to share the secrets to keeping the twelebs on your timelines happy.

3) 7 Stages of the Friend Zone Cycle

We all know someone in that dreaded Friend Zone…or have been there ourselves. This was my take on the mechanics of this courting construct

4) White people are insane…black people are crazy

We’ve all thought of pleading insanity in those desperate times right? Well maybe not all of us. The title says it all really.

5) Welcome to Zimbabwe: 10 Fun Facts!

To celebrate Zimbabwe’s Independence Day, I decided to have a fun look at the country of my birth.

6) How driving makes women lose their virginity and become prostitutes

This post was inspired by an “academic report” that highlighted some of the consequences of allowing women to drive

7) We got 99 problems but gays aint one

The senseless increase in violence against gays and lesbians inspired this post

8) South Africa – Two sides of two different coins: Commuting

This was one of a series of posts regarding some contrasting differences we experience every day

9) Prejudice: My poem for Africa

I’m not a poet so rather than being a poem, I guess this was kind of a shared moment with my beautiful continent

10) The joke’s on black folks…it always is

A friend sent me this picture and I just had to share my thoughts on it

These are just some of the posts you’ll find here. So do come visit now and again. Read and feel free to share with others. More posts will be up before you know it. Thanks again for reading.

*just scribbling my thoughts*

Dear White Beggar…

white beggar

I’m sure you’ve seen him before; clothes pressed, hair combed, necktie in that Windsor knot, nails manicured…oh, and a sign written in fluent Afrikaans. Yes, it’s the white beggar…or as I like to call him…a waste of white skin!

 

I drove past him again today and I always have the urge to have a chat with him. It’s like that giant red button signed DO NOT PUSH…you know that urge you have every time you walk past it? The urge to just push it? That’s it. I didn’t push it again today. Instead I thought I’d do the next best thing and write him a blog post. So here it is:

 

Dear White Beggar,

 

Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way first…you know you’re white right? Okay, just wanted to make sure.

 

Second order of business…why are you so broke?

 

Between 1881 and 1914, European powers (who incidentally were white men like you) set about invading, occupying, colonising, and annexing African land that belonged to people who looked like me…”non-whites” as you like to refer to me as. What were your forefathers doing during all this? They didn’t think to at least grab a few chunks of gold?

 

I mean I know why I’m broke. My forefathers had all their wealth molested by yours. It sucks but I guess it is what it is now. I have to start from zero but why are you in life’s overdraft?

 

Even as the decolonisation of Africa began and took its course, your forefathers kept all the wealth they had taken. They even formalised the ownership of their booty with title deeds, bank notes, etc. Meanwhile my forefathers were left with empty victories and truckloads of bibles. The land and minerals were all yours and you had “documentation” to prove it. What were your forefathers doing during all this? Unless all they wanted from Africa was some “big booty hoes”? But what use is a hoe if you have no land? 🙂

 

From 1948 to 1994, South Africa was an apartheid state. Your dad and his dad could go wherever and do whatever they wanted. They could get whatever jobs they wanted. You think Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is bad? You’re truly deluded. Apartheid was the purest form of White Economic Empowerment (WEE). In fact, all your white lineage has done to Africa for hundreds of years can be filed categorically under WEE. So I ask you again…what were YOUR forefathers doing during all this?

 

I’ve been to school and university with some seriously dumb ass white people and they have way way better jobs than me. Even with the imaginary “BEE barrier” they have to supposedly contend with. What’s your excuse? I tell you what, I’ll give you the “wheel chair” you’re asking for and you give me your skin. I’ll be back next week with 50 wheel chairs and the keys to the De Beers safe.

 

Anyway, credit where it’s due, you do look very smart. And the way you still turn up your nose at black folk? Very impressive. I mean, the least you could do is write your begging brief in English. ‘Cause you’re dressed so smart I don’t know if you’re begging or you’re Jehovah’s Witness…though your alcohol breath kind of gives you away.

 

*just scribbling my thoughts*

Le’s be nice to Lesbians

Stop gender violence...

Stop gender violence…

There two types of men that really get my blood boiling. The first is the idiot who gets mad when they are hit on by a gay man. Why are you getting upset and all worked up? Just say no. I mean, if a gay man hits on me, I react the way I would like a woman to reject my advances…politely with a simple ‘no’. Why fight? Why throw a fit? Why abuse and go so far as to kill said gay man?

The other is the moron who gets mad when he’s rejected by a lesbian. This idiot I really don’t get. I mean, surely it’s better to be rejected by a lesbian than a straight woman. No? A lesbian is saying, hey, I’m not into men. Even if you had the face of Denzel Washington, abs of Michael Ealy, and butt of…I can’t think of other celebrities but you get the point…, I am not interested in men! A straight woman on the other hand is saying, hey, I love men. In fact, I’d love one right now….just not you. Ouch! Either way, why fight? Why throw a fit? Why abuse and go so far as to kill said lesbian?

Actually, both these men tend to be the same person. They are “the male homophobe”. There are obviously male and female homophobes out here but I just wanted to scribble a bit about the male of this bigot species. You see what makes the male homophobe the more dangerous is his tendency to resort to violence in an attempt to put his very daft point across.

Sadly, attacks on gay people have been on the rise on the continent. Needless to say, this is not helped by this anti-gay culture entrenched in our justice systems. We don’t modernise laws against child abuse for decades and yet laws against homosexuality are revised every week. What a damn shame. But even countries with pro-LGBT laws like South Africa are not exempt from this senseless epidemic of brutal homophobic attacks.

Remember 24 year old lesbian Noxolo Nogwaza who was raped and had her face and head completely disfigured by stoning before she was stabbed several times with broken glass? Or 22 year old Phumeza Nkolonzi of Cape Town who was shot three times in front of her mother and niece in June of this year simply for being a lesbian? A month later, 29 year old Hendrietta Morifi was raped prior to her neck being slit simply because she was a lesbian. Just a fortnight ago, 19 year old Sihle Sikoji was fatally stabbed also just for being a lesbian. These are just a handful of examples in a world where countless numbers of gays and lesbians are dying for being themselves and living their lives.

No one’s forcing you to agree with someone’s sexual orientation, only that you respect it and their right to enjoy the freedoms that you do. SAY NO TO ALL GENDER VILOENCE!

*just scribbling my thoughts*

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