I’m claustrophobic. Imagine one going into the deep darkness of an underground mine and staging a “sit in” for one’s union to be recognised. What on earth is going on in mining these days guys? Let’s have a little dig or scratch a little more than the surface of the media this week.
Firstly, I’m going to tell you that the Afrikaans word #Kant is our biggest story; we choose cheer here in SA china. So, you can put that smile back on your face, because I’m going to use it a lot. Ek #Kant not. I didn’t say I could speak Afrikaans well, so hold on tight.
Headlines broke: “Three Hundred Miners Held Hostage Underground in Springs”. What a headline. Turns out that wasn’t the story at all, here’s “die ander #Kant”. This was all for a union, the #AMCU members sitting in for their rights. I’ve learnt one thing since the 7th of October and that is our voices are rarely heard. But three days sitting on your behind in a dark dank place gets people’s attention. Look mining is a mess, just look around you, Joburg is sinking and the #ZamaZamas are relentless. What’s behind it all? Not enough. Scarcity. Not a great way to start the weekly report. #GoldOneSitIn.
Would you feel better if I told you that South Africa united against racism? Every single one of us. Maybe we united “in racism”. I can’t really work it out. It all happened on Saturday’s match against England when apparently #Mbonambi shouted “wit kant” across to his team and #TomCurry got the hump. He had heard something different. SA stood together, tough, steadfast in our knowledge of the Afrikaans language, proud even of knowing Afrikaans words. This story had memes for days and it is just cracking. Bongi #Mbonambi, the story of the week, is now the part owner of the word “kant” in the Afrikaans dictionary. Not kidding, I read the news, so you don’t have to. Apparently, Tom Curry whined that #Mbonambi called him the c-word, a “white c-word”. Never, we roared, he said “wit kant” – the white side. Well, that’s just a bunch of merriment we couldn’t resist. We had to use it or that wouldn’t curry favour amongst the readers. Look we did burn #Curry on social media, we tore chunks out of the poor chap, to the point that our team members came out and told us to stop it. With over seventy thousand mentions and over four hundred thousand engagements this was our story of the week. And now we face the #AllBlacks. What will happen when Bongs or Eben says #SwartKant? We should really own this stuff. Hey, South Africa, don’t look now but we’re all getting along. Bly hierdie kant! My Afrikaans is nou klaar. #WatterKant.
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There was so much news this week and there was nothing at all. It was weird. I’m not going to pretend that my entire week was consumed by Palestine and Israel. I can’t look away and the tears don’t stop. The babies in incubators must be dead by the time you’re reading this. And it doesn’t matter that the whole world is outraged, that civilians across each continent come out en masse to call for a #CeaseFire. The bombs still drop, and journalists are killed, or they lose every person they hold dear. The UN dared raise its voice to be denied further entry into Israel. Bodies without body bags, bodies without limbs. For the most part this week, I’ve been feeling grim and helpless. And I tried very hard to watch South African news, but it seems so moot. When I watch it, I feel numb. That’s a first for me.
Let me try wrap up what was force fed to me this week. The #SAMAS, that event that has been going for as long as I can remember, well, this year we’re canning it. Why? Because it’s “tone deaf” apparently. KZN needs the money. Look I’m not a fan of pomp and ceremony in general but are you telling me that the twenty million that was going into the SAMAs is actually going to go to the six thousand people left homeless from April last year? Well, go ahead then, show me. I’ll wait. It turns out the actual event only costs something like eight million, but eight / twenty who’s counting. Little piggies. So, for eight million we are not hosting our music award ceremony. Ok, who bought a watch? I mean really, tone deaf? Out of touch? Have you looked around you. Paul Mashatile’s son’s house is worth R37 million. #WatterKant.
#Zuma was in court again, so boring. And #Dali was banging on about #Downer for a change. Guys, Zuma has money for days, ne? Imagine Barry Roux, uDali and Mshololo, just those three, what is that worth a day? How many #SAMAs? Oh, and I forgot to tell you last week, guess who #ThaboBester is calling for council? Yebo, uDali and #Mshololo. Quite a team hey? Will you tune into that drama? Of course, you will, and I’ll see you there. Then the trial continues into #LifeEsidemeni where the frailest of our community were massacred. I wonder if a solitary person will go to jail? And finally, we have word from the #EnyonbeniTavern. No, it’s not that pesky toxicology report you’re meant to forget about. The owner is in court in May next year. Why does this stuff take so long? Then there was #SenzoTrial: I’m lost dear people. It is too difficult to try to unravel this trial within a trial and I think that’s the point. Let’s see what next week brings, but between you and me, I don’t like that judge, and something is off, again.
#PravinGordhan or #PrivitisasionPravin is busy selling off #Transnet, not sure what he’s selling though? Have you seen a railway line lately? No, neither have I. And then #SAA, the airline that is literally a #PravinMagicShow, has launched a new route to Sao Paulo. Don’t even ask me. I just work here. #WatterKant.
And then word on the street is that Nkosazana Dlamini #StillAZuma is next in the firing line as she refused to vote for the Public Protector or #PresidentsProtector. #DipouPeters has been banned for a term, that’s the best we got guys. This is the chick at the #StateCaptureInquiry who gutted #PRASA to the tune of about R14 billion. You think that’s a whack of cash, check this out: fifty-six billion was knicked from #NSFAS, you know that entity that’s meant to educate our school leavers. Fifty-six billion, isn’t that what we need to fix #Eskom? #WatterKant.
The big story we are not talking about is #Water and #RandWater and how there are places in Gauteng that have been bone dry for more than a month. Why isn’t it headline news? In fact, there’s no fury on social media either, and that is just plain weird. #WaterKant. You realise that’s a basic human right you’re forgoing, right? You get that? Where’s the sit in for water? We got a one-billion-dollar loan from the World Bank, but how do we get these loans if we can’t even host a #SAMA? #WatterKant.
Ok hush, don’t say a word, #loadshedding has been quiet. Can the Springboks win the shiny cup and please stay “daardie kant” so we can keep enjoying electricity? Sport truly saved South Africa. Uncle Cyril is going to the game and no doubt he’ll hold the shiny cup, too. And we’ll cheer like mad for onse kant. And we will wish it wasn’t all just chatter on Monday. Let’s not leave it here, good people. This is #OnseKant, if we can win that shiny cup, what else can we do? #StrongerTogether.
I’m Tonya Khoury and this is this week’s Acumen Media report.