OPINION

How's that karma, Mr President?

19 March 2019 - 07:27
President Cyril Ramaphosa on the train from Mabopane, north of Pretoria, to Pretoria station on Monday March 18 2019.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on the train from Mabopane, north of Pretoria, to Pretoria station on Monday March 18 2019.
Image: ANCJHB via Twitter

My Monday was blue until I heard that President Cyril Ramaphosa got stuck on a train from Mabopane to Pretoria on one of his "pretend to be like them" episodes. I mean, look, if that ain’t karma doing her rounds, I don’t know what is.

Every general election since 1994, there’s a common practice in SA that sees politicians suddenly have the urge to “experience” life as an “average” South African. You know the whole shebang - kissing babies, visiting that gogo who stays in a shabby mud house and patting white people’s dogs as they walk through the 'burbs. By now we know that act.

It’s tired. And yet in 2019, it’s still a thing. At least for politicians because, as usual, they missed the damn memo.

Mzansi is on a different steez this year though. I don’t know whether it’s the born-frees, ama2000, online revolutionaries or just the Woolies water,  but a spade is being called a spade this year and man, do I love it!

It’s so real on these streets that even Prasa forgot to be on its best behaviour for the president’s once-in-five-years “commuters' experience of the train ride” spectacle. It was just a normal day in Mzansi (unless, of course, it was a 'conspiracy against him').

What this day looks like for most black South Africans, is that by 3:30am they are standing in long queues so they can catch a taxi - which is almost always four-four-mas’hlalisane AKA overloaded - or trying to avoid creating a stampede as they board the also often overloaded trains so they can make it to work by at least 8am.

In all that struggle, they’ve probably left someone else at home to make sure that their children make it to school bathed, well-dressed and having at least eaten breakfast. All with no electricity because of... load-shedding. Sometimes that someone else is the oldest sibling, who can be anything from 7 to 8 years old.

Then there’s always a possibility that they might not make it to work with all their belongings intact. Or even their lives, because thugs also wake up early to do their “work”.

What is waiting for them at work is often a boss who thinks they are just lazy or full of excuses whenever they arrive late.

That is a REAL normal day in Mzansi for the majority of black people.

Something politicians, no matter how “in touch” they are with reality, just don’t understand. After all, they only visit this life for a few hours and return to their state mansions with beefed-up security and butlers. Oh, and they'll reminisce about the days when they struggled - while sipping on 50-year-old whiskey.

And then while he's stuck on the train, the pres speaks about load-shedding, mentioning Cyclone Idai's damage in Mozambique for a part of the mess. 

Uh. Hello. Forgot about state capture and the role that played?

About the train delay, the pres told journalists that people were "surprisingly patient" and this was because of the hope they have in the ANC to bring change.

He clearly didn't see people jumping out of the train to the other side. People aren't patient. It's been 25 years and now we know better. Politicians are handing us lemons and we see lemons. There is no lemonade. Or tequila. They are lemons.


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