South Africa Due for a Chuckle

For a really good analysis of the challenges facing South Africa in the nowinaugurated “Jacob Zuma era,” take a look at this piece by South African author/journalist William Gumede. Unlike his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, who was something of a stick in the mud,Zuma promises to be a boon for political satirists and cartoonists.

Thecontroversial South African cartoonist, Zapiro,has already gotten a head start with his infamous caricature of Zuma thatincludes a shower head embedded in Zuma’s skull, a reference to Zuma’sremark that he never worries about getting AIDS because he showers after having sex.

For another example of South African political humor, yesterday, I asked a friend in South Africa for her views on the election.This is what I got back. (DA refers to the opposition liberal party,Democratic Alliance, headed by white South African, Helen Zille):

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered heraltitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I wouldmeet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon,approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09minutes west longitude.”

She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a DA supporter!”

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me istechnically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be an ANC government official”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going.You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You madea promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve yourproblem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, butsomehow, now it’s my fault.”

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