Dudu, the flight­less bird ...

The Citizen (KZN) - - Opinion - Bren­dan Seery

The lights in the au­di­to­rium of the In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for In­quiry and Ex­plo­ration dimmed and, as the spot­light came up on the lectern, there was an ex­plo­sive crack of a bull whip. A khaki-clad fig­ure, wear­ing knee-high leather boots and a wide, sweat-stained bush hat, stepped into the cir­cle of light.

Ap­plause erupted. This was the hot-ticket lec­ture on the New York aca­demic cir­cuit be­cause ev­ery­body wanted to see who would be able to fill the big, big boots of the late, great In­di­ana Jones.

“Si­lence!” the fig­ure roared.

(Th­ese scaredy white peo­ple liked a bit of what the Bo­ers called swart gevaar, he thought as he looked out on them in a mix­ture of pity and ir­ri­ta­tion. Yes, I see you, you #IAmS­tay­ing peo­ple … when the go­ing got tough, you got go­ing.)

“Good evening, my name is Zam­bezi Zuma… and I am noth­ing like In­di­ana Jones!”

(Of course, he wasn’t: he was pitch black, his boots were made by Louis Vuit­ton, his bush hat was DKNY and his ac­tual name was Hon­esty Mabuza. That used to get so many laughs, he even­tu­ally dropped it. The new name was cool – Zam­bezi sounded wild to dumb Amer­i­cans and Euro­peans and the name Zuma told ev­ery­one he wasn’t go­ing to be cheap …)

“Ladies and gen­tle­men, thanks to your gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions, I have com­pleted my ex­pe­di­tion to find out the fate of the Great African Flight­less Bird! ”

ZeeZee (as some of the Yanks called him – and who was he to com­plain when they were trans­fer­ring the money?) pulled up a map of Africa be­hind him.

“The old colo­nial­ist sci­en­tists used to say that the great flight­less bird was na­tive to the is­lands off the African coast. They called it the dodo and said it had gone ex­tinct.

“Of course, they were so busy rap­ing and pil­lag­ing and writ­ing scripts for He­len Zille that th­ese fas­cists did not no­tice a sur­vivor bird es­caped from Mada­gas­car and was blown to­wards KwaZulu-Natal.

“She came to land at a vil­lage called Nkandla and was about to be the main course (along with putu) for the peo­ple there that night, when she was res­cued by the Chief.

“He called her Dudu and sent her wad­dling north-west.” ZZ paused for ef­fect.

“We tracked her to a place called Kemp­ton Park. We couldn’t find her but we could see the destruc­tion she brought to the nest of the SAA hadeda. That strange bird made a lot of noise, splat­tered crap ev­ery­where, left its nest in a mess but it could still fly…

“Un­til the Dudu Bird moved in. She ate all the strong SAA off­spring and in­ter­bred with the par­a­sites (form­ing en­tirely new life forms called Numsa and Irvin Jim) so that, in the end, there was a se­cond Great African Flight­less Bird, look­ing up at the sky above Kemp­ton Park and squawk­ing pa­thet­i­cally…”

The au­di­ence tit­tered in sad sym­pa­thy. “What should be done, is that the Dudu Bird and its hang­ers-on should be roasted.

“There will be plenty of meat, es­pe­cially for Numsa, which would love the left wings…”

“Of course, South Africans are kind, so they won’t do this. They have found a source which will con­tinue to feed the mu­tants and hope they will one day fly again.”

He looked solemn: “The source is the South African job holder – Tax­payerus ex­ploita­tus – but it is also in dan­ger of be­com­ing ex­tinct.”

They called it the Dodo and said it had gone ex­tinct. Of course, they were so busy rap­ing and pil­lag­ing they did not no­tice a sur­vivor bird es­caped – Dudu.

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