We can pull out of this fa­tal spiral

CityPress - - Business - Muzi Kuzwayo busi­ness@city­press.co.za Kuzwayo is the founder of Ig­ni­tive, an ad­ver­tis­ing agency

The struggle, friends, has been down­graded from self-de­ter­mi­na­tion to 26% black em­pow­er­ment. Some­one de­cided that we couldn’t own the whole cow, and re­served the blocked teat on an oth­er­wise healthy ud­der for us.

We agreed to call our chil­dren “pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged”, as if they were sur­vivors of a dis­abil­ity they were born with.

When they didn’t go to school, we blamed their teach­ers.

When they failed their ex­ams, we blamed the school sys­tem and then ad­justed their marks up­wards.

Be­liev­ing they are in­deed dis­ad­van­taged, black peo­ple now idolise the white man, as if he is the god that opens the gates of for­tune and mis­for­tune.

As the black gov­ern­ment wor­ried about look­ing good in the eyes of its de­trac­tors, the pack­ag­ing be­came big­ger while the prod­uct di­min­ished; the spin grew un­til ev­ery­one was dizzy.

In the mean­time, the struggle be­came a petty squab­ble about re­sources, like hosts and guests who fight over what’s left on the table with­out think­ing about cook­ing some more food.

Un­for­tu­nately, more got wasted and our free­dom was squan­dered.

The world watched as we tore into each other, and the good­will that had opened the trade routes slowly evap­o­rated.

Our cur­rency to com­mand re­spect be­came weaker un­til we be­came the joke of our ill­wish­ers.

No, friends, I have not been cap­tured by the blight of neg­a­tiv­ity that is om­nipresent in our coun­try. I am sim­ply re­view­ing how we lost our way. The aim is not to blame, but to learn. We lost our way when for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki ap­pointed some­one who was less qual­i­fied than him to be his deputy.

If it is true that pres­i­dents Mbeki and Ja­cob Zuma were friends, then Mbeki would have known all of Zuma’s weak­nesses.

He would have known about his vo­ra­cious ap­petite for women and money.

He would have known about his propen­sity to be ma­nip­u­lated by those who dan­gled the cash car­rot.

He would have also known that his friend lacked the mind and so­phis­ti­ca­tion to man­age the web of com­plex fi­nan­cial and political sys­tems that con­nect the mod­ern world. On this, for­mer pres­i­dent Mbeki failed us. He groomed an age­ing war­rior who uses a spear in the era of drones.

Mbeki failed be­cause the pri­mary job of a leader is to build a sus­tain­able or­gan­i­sa­tion and to groom his suc­ces­sor. That is what Oliver Tambo did. Look at the lead­er­ship pipe­line of the ANC, and then get ready for its fu­neral. The ANC is dead.

The prob­lem is, no one is will­ing to take the party off life sup­port.

Look at the op­po­si­tion and weep, be­cause those are empty ves­sels whose main gripe is that they were ex­cluded from the largesse. They have no vi­sion for the fu­ture. They cry about cor­rup­tion, but, in real­ity, they are in the queue to do the same.

Mind you, I have faith in this land and its peo­ple.

It has pro­duced in­com­pa­ra­ble lead­ers in many spheres. It knows how to heal it­self.

It will pro­duce new lead­ers in re­mote vil­lages in Xhora. It will give birth to more prin­ci­pled lead­ers even in de­mented squat­ter camps such as Dunusa – young men and women who have ex­pe­ri­enced the in­jus­tice of our times, and who are de­ter­mined to end it.

It will pro­duce busi­ness­peo­ple who are too great to be chained by the prej­u­dices of our time.

This is our South Africa, the land of the re­silient.

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