AFTER a long spell of silence, I have decided to think out loud. They say that some people are born leaders, others acquire leadership, while others, still, have leadership thrust upon them! So is stupidity, I will leave that for another day.
The current jostling for power and manoeuvrings in both the ruling party and the opposition is indeed a sight to behold. We have never seen such thirst and desperation for power since Brutus gave Julius Caesar the okapi treatment. We are yet to see blood on the floor, or are we?
Never has bootlicking and praise-singing been taken to greater depths. I thought the South Africans had perfected the art during their elections. Until Julius “Juju” Malema stole the thunder, of course!
Malema and his red hovhanga brigade literally made outright fools of themselves in Parliament. No matter how much some of you admire the guy, his behaviour was deplorable. OMalema benza ubulema (Malema and company are playing the fools) straight! Call me what you may, but those are the facts on the ground.
There is something called decorum and it can only be understood by someone who has had a passing glance at a classroom well above matric. This brings me to this Hlaudi (Motsoeneng) debacle where the ANC believes that qualification does not matter when it comes to appointing self-serving drones at the SABC.
For all his sins, SABC chief operating officer Motsoeneng was promised a wife and seems set to have a stadium named after him in Venda! Clearly, we are not alone in celebrating mediocrity.
It reminds me of one Edson Zvobgo when some villagers had invited him to officiate at a graduation party of their son who had just passed his first degree.
Standing up to address the guests who were all flush with awe and pride, he thundered to the rabblement saying he wondered what all the fuss was about. If people were so excited about their son obtaining his first and only degree, what was he and his severally degreed siblings expected to do?
I am writing so animatedly about our southern neighbours because I recently spent the best of a month over there. I watched with trepidation as I observed clear signs that they were slowly but surely sliding down the slippery slope toward where we are now.
Africa is replete with examples of misgovernance. Do not forget that we used to laugh at Zambia and many other examples of the African curse. We have not only surpassed them, but have perfected the art of self-destruction. And better still, we give the process a fancy name!
But then I digress. Malema and the retinue of hopefuls that seek positions of leadership have never heard of the chaos theory. It postulates that the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future. I will leave you to chew, swallow and digest that one.
There are people who aspire and perspire for leadership when the cap does not fit. And I not talking about Arthur Mutambara and his trademark Kangool beret either. I thought I must let out a secret about that character’s leadership beginnings.
While at the University of Zimbabwe, we prepared to hold elections for the Ballromm Dancing Society, which at one point was accused of having too many Ndebeles in its committee. Like was the norm at the time, we organised that the combined elections and the annual party of the society be staged out of campus to counter perennial gatecrashers.
The venue was Hotel Nyamutamba in Chitungwiza. I know we put in an extraordinary amount of distance between ourselves and any determined gatecrasher, but in any case we had a good time. The only blemish was a young, thin and tall fresher who demanded that his name be put up as a candidate in the elections.
Unfortunately, the rules did not work in his favour because he had just joined the society and was not eligible. He was so peeved that he shed tears! It seems the curse of ineligibility was to haunt him years later when Welshman Ncube’s MDC gave him the boot.
They say history repeats itself.
Now where was I? I was talking about perspiration, aspiration and perhaps expiration. With both congresses due causing all manner of feathers to fly, we, as we say in Ndebele, are going to see soothing else — Sizabona okunye lonyaka.
In terms of entertainment value, intrigue and drama, I can bet you that political developments surrounding the congresses of both the ruling and opposition parties are likely to exceed those of the just-ended World Cup.
We might not have our own Malemas, but judging by what is happening on the ground right now, we surely are not that far off. Some of you might be wondering what the point of all this is. It might sound like the ranting of a frustrated man, but mark my words, only time will tell. Welcome to the congress season. Ignore it at your peril.
Lenox Mhlanga is a communications and media consultant as well as an accredited trainer. He can be contacted at