I feel like Edvard Munchs’ Scream!

I am losing it. I just need to rant write for a second. I don’t have answers, solutions. Only desperate hope.

How silly of me. There was a cautionary message when both Prez Cyril and Mr Moneybags, Tito, chose to use thorny symbols during the recent SONA and budget speech respectively.

Cyril handed out roses to the women of South Africa. It was Valentine’s Day after all when he stated the state of the nation. Roses with thorns sadly to say.

Just 365 days before we got, we thought, the best Valentine’s Day gift. The back of JZ. Whaha…him and the consequences of the lost nine years can only be described as the perpetual gift. Long after the stone is cast on calm waters, ripples remain. This is the big thorn on our Valentine’s Rose.

Our roses not nourished, nurtured and cultivated properly. A plant does not like stress. No living breathing organism does. Neither our country.

CR came in for emergency care, just before the rose wilted. A bit of tender loving care, some special compost to extended its life. Only just. Will we be cut away in May? It is too soon, roses are pruned by end July to bloom in summer. Will we be uprooted and cast aside?

Our Mr Moneybags, TM, wisely brought an aloe to his budget speech. Beneficial, but bleghhh, the medicine is bitter.

There is no easy way out or enough spoons of sugar to make the medicine South Africa needs go down.

What is my point.

I don’t know what is to be done. We are so far up shit creek.

Like the mother of a girl called Marelize, all I can say is:”My fok Marelize.” The girl, ineptly riding a bicycle, and hitting the only obstacle for miles, and her mothers’ exasperation, humorous as it is, is a sad metaphor.

Our country and people are very much like the hapless bike rider, hitting the rugby post, because we cannot – no, WILL not, change. So my hashtag is #MFSA – “My fok South Africa.”

I look at what has been going viral in South Africa the past months:

The things I see, are difficult to unsee. And all the while we spew out hatred and irritation and vitriol at everything.

And the madness continues as I write here – another viral video making headlines: gender-based violence by police officers on colleagues. News of Gr 8 boys from a Diepkloof High School arrested for the rape of a Gr 8 girl on the school premises. That was the headlines on the morning news. God, help us. It is only 09h00.

O, yes, I forget. I want to keep on holding out hope, hope like Ben Okri the poet. The Prez read out this poem at SONA- it was the best part of the whole address. Pray words can spring into action.

A NEW DREAM OF POLITICS

They say there is only one way for politics.
That it looks with hard eyes at the hard world
And shapes it with a ruler’s edge,
Measuring what is possible against
Acclaim, support, and votes.

They say there is only one way to dream
For the people, to give them not what they need
But food for their fears.
We measure the deeds of politicians
By their time in power.

But in ancient times they had another way.
They measured greatness by the gold
Of contentment, by the enduring arts,
The laughter at the hearths,
The length of silence when the bards
Told of what was done by those who
Had the courage to make their lands
Happy, away from war, spreading justice
And fostering health,
The most precious of the arts
Of governance.

But we live in times that have lost
This tough art of dreaming
The best for its people,
Or so we are told by cynics
And doomsayers who see the end
Of time in blood-red moons.

Always when least expected an unexpected
Figure rises when dreams here have
Become like ashes. But when the light
Is woken in our hearts after the long
Sleep, they wonder if it is a fable.

Can we still seek the lost angels
Of our better natures?
Can we still wish and will
For poverty’s death and a newer way
To undo war, and find peace in the labyrinth
Of the Middle East, and prosperity
In Africa as the true way
To end the feared tide of immigration?

We dream of a new politics
That will renew the world
Under their weary suspicious gaze.
There’s always a new way,
A better way that’s not been tried before.


—Ben Okri OBE FRSL is a Nigerian poet and novelist. Okri is considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions, and has been compared favourably to authors such as Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez. He was born on March 15, 1959 in Minna, Northern Nigeria.

In the meantime: #MFSA, wake up, wake up!