Late last night I was contemplating what to write, I had lost my cat the night before and the lack of sleep created a purple haze that’s still hanging around me now. My ordeal included many tears, pacing, walking around in the middle of the night shouting Kairo like a lost Egyptian, creating Whatsapp messages with pictures. The minute dawn broke yesterday, I put my trainers on. I don’t run, I have them for fun but I was going to traipse through the bush until I found my precious cat. As I opened the car door she jumped out and then I cried for hours with relief. Back to normality, so I was scrolling through our busy news group where I stumbled on #MacG. I don’t normally watch the whole show because I find it crass but I admire how news has shifted into this space and how cool it is that radio-becomes-YouTube. In this episode they had #RobHersov on. He was drinking gin with his anchors and that allowed them to plough into the life of a billionaire. He was telling us how all he needed was to be able to eat out three times a day and fly business class. He also said he was a minimalist and that he has no possessions. I was about to switch over when he said something that made me wait like a cat caught in a car she didn’t want to be in. He spoke about newsouthafrica.org. Look, he’s a DA guy and you know what I’m like about the DA. Add to that, he is a billionaire; he is out of touch and he drinks too much, but he has a plan that will work for the rich, and in doing so, will help the poor. It’s a good one, so I’ll save it until last because there is no good news my country in #WTASA.
Let’s scratch the surface with Acumen Media and a disillusioned, tired but grateful Tonya Khoury.
Let’s begin with the obvious: WHAT THE ACTUAL … #WTASA?
How on earth did we get to #DayZero in Gauteng … there was no #CountDown, I mean at least Cape Town had a count down right? It just arrived, it was like the door opened and #DayZero #AntiSuperZERO walked in. “Surprise! How’s this for a change of narrative?” There was a #Heatwave predicted and on the same day #DayZero arrived. Do you smell that rat? Yeah, me too. I didn’t believe Twitter, and one shouldn’t, so I shifted to hard news, (the TEEVEE) and guess what I found? #PanyasaLesufi, all channels, all bulletins. #WhattheASA? I moved to online media, nothing unless you really looked. I ended up with the last of the independent media #dailymaverick and #MailandGuardian – whoop there it is. It was true, 30+% of our money-making hub was without water. Millions and millions of people not only without power but now without water (and no mayor but who cares about that). How? I couldn’t comprehend, how. #WhatTheaSA? Are we actually buying this nonsense? Look, there have been threats for over the years under #NomvuloMokanyane about how our water infrastructure is precariously hanging on the edge, but we have never had even heard of #DayZero. While I was scouring those headlines I came across another story. Did you know that another power station was blown up this week? Of course you didn’t, it’s the war we don’t talk about. #TheSilentWar.The #WTASA. It took three days for mainstream-so-called-independent-media to bring on their water experts and start drawing pictures of how water supply works. Three days! #WTASA. The Acumen Media statistics show an abysmal 136 news stories over seven days.
Here in Sodwana, we are blessed, we have the most delicious borehole water in the country. And the electricity, though off in my area more times than not, is no longer a problem with generators at the ready. For us folk, that are almost off the whole grid, we got a special surprise #NoSignalANTISuperZero. No signal means no business, no signal means no ATMs or speed points on pension day. I thought it was just us because Eskom doesn’t care about schedules and shedding here in the bush. It’s the wild west. But I was wrong as my team (across the country) and I juggled meetings to get work done. Here’s the thing, it’s not a rural SA thing at all, it’s the entire country thing. The #AntiNetworkSuperZero. More people dropped off Teams and tried to connect than you can say “Can you hear me?” or “Are you still there?”
As for our President, he is just a car salesman (a bad car salesman); he says yes and promises everything to everyone. Then he checks his watch to see how much longer he needs to stay in the room. Last week I told you he fessed up, this week he was even more vocal and told us that he “tried his best”. He said he inherited #StateCapture and that was it. He “tried” his best. Is Cyril squirreling off? #ZeroHero? I think so. I mean be serious wouldn’t you? He’s a billionaire, why does he need this? He has made all the contacts he could ever dream of and got to the pinnacle of his career. In Arabic we say “Gallas”. It means enough, I’m done, end it, I’m out. I think he said GALLAS this week. That makes me sad. Remember when we had the #WalkingPresident, the #SuperHero #LockdownPresident, The #NewDawn and the #ThumaMina President? He’s broken now, #WTASA.
I suppose we have to cover the other stories, but I’ll be quick because I want to talk about the #BlockChain and South African Heroes from Zeros. Let’s dive in, it’s nasty, so remember to breathe.
Those #KZNFlood victims have been so abandoned that they now are living in buses. Isn’t that absolutely disgusting? Come on Civil Society let’s at least help these people, it’s been six months. Imagine yourself in their shoes, if they have any. Please can we start a campaign to help these people, it’s a handful compared to the whole country. #WTASA. Bring on a superhero.
A tourist was killed at #NumbiGate and all coverage across the country was on this one death. Without being insensitive, but still being controversial, who goes to Numbi Gate? It’s a death trap. Shut it down. Why weren’t they warned? We all know you just don’t go to #NumbiGate. #WTASA
To date nothing has happened about our children that died at #EnyobeniTavern, nothing. We still don’t know why they died. #WhattheASA? #Deokaran’s case was postponed for the umpteenth time – nothing happened. #Makhura resigned and #Lesufi took over and there was the great #GautengCabinetReshuffle – do you even care? I don’t. One set of crooks exchanged for another. #ActionSA pulled out of the #TshwaneCoalition. Tshwane’s rule fell apart, well that’s what they told us on the news but it’s been like that for years, it’s all blah blah fishpaste (a word on fishpaste WTA? We loved the stuff). I digress, focus Tonya!
#Eskom announces indefinite loadshedding, yawn. They have a new board. #DeRuyter’s car was bugged. New boards, new cabinets, lots of clandestine stuff but nothing is working. The #JSCInterviews were a hoot, I’ve never seen more ineloquent people apply to make sure our elections don’t run properly. Juju was there, he tore them to shreds, nothing to see here folks. #WTASA. DA’s staff are on turnstiles, must be that #gogoZille another defunct set of drudgery. #Phalatse fought for her mayoral chain. What a joke, women are in chains ma’am, just help a friend and leave the ego at the door. #Tito was robbed, it happens to us all #FormerMinisterLuckyStar – “do you like fishpaste Tito?”. You must be so happy you’re out of this #bullettrain friend, you really tried. And then the scariest story of them all, the witches of Eastwick return, two of them – Dlamini-Still-A-Zuma and #LindiweSisulu team up in the presidential race to make the ultimate #AntiSuperHero double-headed medusas. One word … RUN!
Things I learnt this week: I really miss fishpaste; the ZERO signal is a real problem; (don’t tell the warzone, though, or our cellphone networks will be next on the terror hit list, that’s if they aren’t already, because they wouldn’t tell us if they were); also, you can’t trust most news media anymore and a billionaire came up with a plan.
Rob Hersov spoke about blockchain, the place where Bitcoin lives. For those of you who understand it great, for those who don’t, just think of it as a security system owned by the world that has a currency and a few pictures called NFTs. There’s a lot more to it, but blah blah fishpaste. The short story is that it’s a really secure vault owned by everybody. Rob’s idea is that you take the five people that you would trust your life with. I mean like my Mom right, it’s your life here. Then you bring them into this online community. Those that you trust are vetted by you and if they don’t do the right thing, it’s both your problems to resolve. Once we have a crowd of these exceptionally trustworthy people with all sorts of skills, we allocate projects and implement solutions. Money is used completely free of corruption and we just fix stuff and get paid. We give those #KZNflood victims food, home, housing and security. The very basics of human existence and we do other stuff like #BringBackFishPaste. Look I don’t particularly like #RobHersov but I liked the idea of the app he’s just launched called “newsouthafrica.org”. It’s a long way off to working properly but I joined straight away. It’s a very good idea. I’m happy to help those #KZNFlood victims and I also want my fishpaste back.
To round off let’s cross the waters where #Meghan started a podcast, #TrevorNoah left the #DailyShow (he left the funny in SA to be fair) and then the USA fired missiles in response to North Korea’s test missiles over Japan. So there is that. #WTAUSA.
I’m taking next Friday off so you stay safe, be a good South African, steer clear of politics, try out newsouthafrica.org and love those you trust with your life. I have a new friend under the sea, an octopus, she plays for so long that I often have to make sure I don’t get lost underwater. She’s magical and filled with colour and life – like us. Inshalla we will meet this weekend and my smile will be broader than the horizon.
I’m Tonya Khoury and you’ve just scratched the surface with Acumen Media