The Jezebel effect

The Jezebel effect

Comrade Chris Hani warned against this sort of behaviour, ‘Comrade’ Maimane is very vocal these days about it, that is, the tendency for African politically elected leaders to hold on to power for so long that they begin to think and believe that the state is their private property with which they can do anything.
Chris Hani foresaw an African leadership that would after liberating the masses go on to live the lavish lifestyles of their erstwhile oppressors and colonisers and forget about the call of the struggle, that is, the emancipation of the people not only from the oppression of the coloniser, but also from abject poverty and all its related maladies.

The birth of independence and its aftermath has often, consistently, seen the rise of a new upper class made of the ruling political elite.
Shamelessly living the lavish lifestyles of the former ‘oppressors’, these new political Joneses flaunt the ‘rewards of their struggle’ in the presence of the poor masses that put them in office.

Only their entourages stand to benefit as they scramble for the often hefty crumbs from the new feudal lords disguised as liberators.
The African continent has often had to be freed from the clutches of the liberator for, many a time, the liberator’s megalomania has gotten the better of them that they cling on to the seat of power and do not want to relinquish their power.

The main reason for the political failure is caused by the now cultivated tendency on the part of the ruling class to hold the false notion that their position grants them, their families, and their allies primary right of access to the resources of the land.
The supporters, often not smart enough to realise the dangers of these new regressive behaviours, or, as is often the case, in denial of the fact that their leaders should uphold the highest moral courtesies in terms of the management of financial and natural resources, blindly follow and support their leaders until such a time that the abuse of the land is so bad that its solution lies in the use of arms and violence to excise it.

If a leader puts the blame on the European, the question is, why then do their followers condone such reprehensible practices as their leaders going on shopping sprees in European destinations while their people suffer back home?
The truth to this is that the African has never really been freed from the clutches of the colonial culture of materialism, where the individual in possession of the most European pieces of material was respected and looked upon with reverence because they were the most similar in terms of material possession to the colonial lord.

Of the freedom from tedious labour for little pay, of the rampant levels of crime in their neighbourhoods that needs addressing, of the abject poverty and squalor in which they and their neighbours have to live in, and of the diseases that plague them, the docile masses soon forget of as their party ascends the seat of power.

I often deem political contests and elections as nothing more than the old feudal practices where the natives were happy with just being associated with a certain lord or tribal chief. And the political leaders have somehow gotten the gist of this behaviour, and they go on to live like tribal chiefs of old who sold their subjects into slavery at a whim.

I am not impressed when the masses toyi-toyi in the streets for the removal of a certain leader they cheered for when they still naively believed he would serve their interests.  My reason for remaining blasé is simply due to the fact that there is no truth in what the masses are fighting for. Corruption, abuse of power, instability, and other so-called causes to the mass demonstrations to root out rotten leadership are just mere scapegoats.
The truth lies in the fact that the African never really got the tribal mentalities and gangster tendencies of the pre-colonial period out of the way; people gather in the name of independence when they have brought the scourge upon themselves.

A few years ago, there were chants of happiness in once mighty Zimbabwe as farmers were attacked by marauding gangs of ‘war veterans’, those same veterans are now calling for Robert Mugabe’s ouster. Where is the truth in loving the tyrant one day as you would a saint because he is serving your interests, and then hating him as you would the devil the next day because he has all of a sudden ‘been too long in power?’

There is a saying by the Stoic Roman author Persius Flaccus as quoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I often refer to when I come to the judgement of real truth and it states in Latin, “Omne verum vero consonant (Every truth is consonant/in agreement with every other truth)”. This statement in brief means that what is true does not have to defend itself at any point in time, because it is consistent and constant in terms of its origin and form.
It is wrong to defecate into the silo, it is wrong to spit into the wind; it is foolish for one to soon believe that they are invincible in these volatile African political landscapes: for a man can one day be the most loved, and be the wearer of the mark of Cain the next day.

The basic truth is that the leaders should be individuals that exercise the quintessential virtues of humility, moderation, honesty, loyalty, selflessness, and utter sense of patriotism to the motherland. Constant self-evaluation is of utmost importance, lest a man forget that they got to their exalted position for the sole purpose of serving country and state and not their followers.
I have observed unattached as Africans erred in terms of judgement when it comes to making the decision to effect the change of the guard.
The change of the guard is often accompanied by noises of a violent kind, not the usual quiet exchange and passing on of duties of state and position as exercised by sentries in police or military barracks. Why there should be noise when the masses feel that someone has to abdicate their high seat flummoxes me.
A mentor of mine in rehabilitation many moons ago had this statement he had me repeat on a daily basis in our contact sessions, “The manner of your exit from one level determines your entry into the next . . . ”
Exiting the scene in chaos naturally means that entry into the next phase shall be a chaotic one. We have seen such occurrences across the globe, with Libyans now regretting their so-called battles to oust Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as a living example.

One sees a new kind of political school of thought that has since the beginning of time managed to topple superpowers; bedroom politics.
The demise of Adam was at the behest of Eve, that of Ahab at the influence of the bejewelled Jezebel, and for Comrade Mugabe his rumbustious ‘Madame Gucci’ who, for some strange reasons seems to have in the recent past lost interest in the shopping sprees at Harrods, Monaco, Dubai and all those other expensive destinations she used to go to, boarding planes more than I take rides in 4+1’s while the rest of her country starved.
Grace was just ungraceful when it came to showing vested interest and her covetousness for the seat of power must have angered many in the old guard represented as ‘war veterans’.

The hunger that had over the years after the sanctions reached stratospheric proportions must have also had an influence. Like a line in Bob Marley’s ‘Them belly full’, Grace’s antics just somehow served as the catalyst to what is now unfolding in Monomotapa’s kingdom.
A favourite song by the great Roots Rock reggae star plays in my head as I view the scenes:
Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,

And in this judgement there is no partiality,
So arm in arms, with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle,
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble.

The truth is that this continent or the world is not yet ready for political monarchies as an idea or practice, that is, political empires run by families where the wife or the son takes over the reins of power when the old man kicks the bucket.

The Beijing pill seems to somehow have convinced a certain sector of society that they can order the states from the bedroom, well, it shall not suffice.
The reality of the matter is that many of those figures that shall attempt to govern states from the comfort of their private quarters in the state house shall sooner than later be thrown out of the window and be eaten by stray dogs like Jezebel was if they go on like poor Grace was going.
For me, swapping an old devil for a new one is the same as not moving at all. The old tendency to believe that the advent of a new era means change is proving to be an unreality for a lot of the continent’s states.

There are questions, too many questions, as to the credibility of the figures we often associate with new changes in the new era. Far often than less, the new figures have themselves been active participants in the ‘injustices’ that took place in the era that is being kicked off the pedestal.
This means that they have to a large extent been complicit in the commission of the crimes the main scapegoat is being accused of. How they end being considered cleaner than the accused I will never really understand, but can frankly declare this as a sure sign of hypocrisy.
The backhanded dealing and unctuousness that follows these struggles for ‘justice’ as we now see in Zim is plain sickening. Especially if you are genuinely politically disinterested and your main concern is the welfare of fellow African brothers and sisters who are bandied like a deck of cards by these poker-faced politicians.

I had to go around the block for a smoke and to really wrap my head around this one; how can we Africans deal properly for the effective rooting out of the greedy post-colonial bourgeoisie class posing as liberation fighters?
I think we should stop being Janus-faced about reality, the truth is that these new cultures of materialism and their tendencies will sooner than later see us at the bottom of the ocean.

Material rots, depreciates, fades into dust and nothingness, why it should have a once prosperous continent amok is a travesty.
The African has not for a moment been decolonised; we are even more colonised than we were in the days when chain-gangs and rampant genocides were the order of the day.

It is upon us to be rid of the mentality that had us thinking that the tendencies of the figure that taught us ‘long-sleeve’ and ‘short-sleeve’ were the guides on the right way to live in our city states and villages.
I have been in pursuit of the illusion for most of my life; and the illusion tried to convince me that I was at my best when I was not being me, when I was being someone other who I really am: that I would be better than others if I got educated.

On my first flight, I wondered why people were so fascinated by flying; the darn experience felt like a bus ride, it was just faster.
We see countries run by individuals who get so hooked on flying in the air that they forget how to walk the earth that gave birth to their forebears, and we for our part rather naively start believing that they can get us to a better future.

The earth is tilled by different people of different tribes, of varying opinions and interests.
The tyrant should have been seen in the Hitler style genocides he committed for the larger part of his early years.
I have always somehow questioned the man’s Hitler moustache, and I was beginning to wonder when Jezebel would see to his demise.
The waiting is over, Jezebel has done him in; and now the dogs are sharpening their teeth. Gukurahundi.

Tsepiso S Mothibi

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