LOL! Vladimir Putin's South African bucket list
Russian President Vladimir Putin's in SA for the BRICS summit. We think he should stay on for a vaycay 'cause there’s plenty of bare-chested, macho fun to be had in Jozi
President of Russia and Puppet Master of the US, Vladimir Putin touched down in South Africa today for the BRICS summit.
While his excellency is here on business, he might want to explore some unique tourism opportunities that our country offers and which, in the light of several of his well-publicised extramural interests, should really tickle his fancy.
We offer some suggestions for additions to his itinerary:
IT’S A WILD, WILD LIFE
Over the years Putin’s PR department has worked hard to paint him as a macho, macho man and a great lover of the outdoors and close encounters of the shirtless, horseriding, big-cat kind. They also tout that he's the type of guy who fights for the preservation of polar bears.
Well he’s in luck because this is the home of the big five and the Kruger Park (not quite as big as the Crimea so no worries of annexation there).
If he’d like to exercise some animal preservation instincts he can always do a shift with one of the Kruger’s anti-rhino poaching units, provided he and his convoy all place red plastic horns on the front of their armoured vehicles.
If he has the time for a slightly longer journey – there’s plenty of bare-chested horseriding to be had in the spectacular mountains of Lesotho (slightly bigger than Crimea so perhaps more in danger of possible annexation).
I WANNA BE IN YOUR GANG
The Night Wolves, a notorious Russian biker gang, are reportedly some of Putin’s biggest fans, but perhaps he needs to make some new friends while here.
There are plenty of East Rand and West Rand biker gangs in Joburg to choose from, but for the sake of positive image adjustment — and in an effort to prove that the myth about Russia being basically racist is just not true — a ride with the Soweto Eagles may be in order. They're all about reconciliation and breaking racial barriers and what’s better for that than the image of a sort-of-smiling Vlad roaring through the kasi on a Harley twice his size?
If that sounds too soppy for our eminent visitor then he’s welcome to make friends with some of the members of the taxi business – perhaps they’ll even let him drive a minibus on one of their next sorties.
And, of course there’s always the quick thrill to be had by ditching his security detail and trying to catch an Uber outside the Sandton Gautrain station.
ENTER THE JAZZ DRAGON
Putin is well known as a martial arts devotee, with black belts in judo and karate. If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa wouldn’t you be willing to wager the cost of a new nuclear deal on a fight between Vlad and South Africa’s own karate master and jazz legend, Abdullah Ibrahim?
WATCH | Abdullah Ibrahim talks about his iconic composition Mannenberg
Ibrahim, who’s been practising the martial art for almost 60 years, may be in his 80s but you have to feel that the man who wrote Mannenberg has the spiritual, lifestyle and height advantages over the man from Saint Petersburg.
He’s a little early to see the fruits of any possible-meddling-he-was-never-involved-in as far as our next election is concerned. But if he’s got the time there is an election going on just north of the border, which as a keen observer of democracy, Putin may want to go and check out.
After all this is the first election since 1980 in Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe’s name isn’t on the ballot – a pivotal moment for the country – but one that may amuse Putin who’s not used to having his name left off election ballots.