Politics and Africa. Not politics in Africa. That’s another thing completely. But politics and Africa are two things that really get me a bit hot under the collar. And I tend to rant a bit when it comes to these two. Let’s go look at politics first. Africa will follow a bit further down.

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Politics

Politics is most likely the only thing that really gets under my skin in a bad way. Politicians and the lies they tell are just too much. Really. I can’t get away from it. And it’s an easy target for when I am too lazy to think too much. Like sitting ducks.

Is Obama the American Mandela?

Let me be honest here. I am not a fan of Mandela. No. It would be an understatement to say that I am a fan. He means way more than that to me. So much more. He is Madiba. He is the “father”…

Obama, don’t ever forget the burden of hope

Barack Obama. It gets people talking. Just mentioning his name creates debate. But we know where I stand. I know he is the right person at the right time for the right job. But the debate will continue on whether he is the right person and whether he as the experience and whether he is who he says he is. But let’s bring it back to basics. Let’s remind ourselves what this is all about. And to Barack – never ever forget what this is all about…

Obama is no Mandela

I know. I wrote before that Obama reminds me of Mandela. But after listening to him yesterday I have serious second thoughts. But I decided not to write about it at first. First let me calm down (and that is difficult as you know) and take some time out to reflect. And last night I read his speech. Without his voice to influence me. Just words – black on white. And I am sorry to say. But Obama is no Mandela. Obama is not the American Mandela…

Note to America: The world is watching…

I know. Many of you will tell me, as you have, that this election has nothing to do with us foreigners. That it is all about America. The American choice. The American future. And you are (mostly) right. This is your choice. This is about the American future. This is about America…

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Africa

I am from Africa. it defines who I am. So it is pretty obvious I’ll write about it.

Terror in South Africa and the end of a dream

I am ashamed. Ashamed of being a South African. Ashamed of the behaviour of my countrymen. Ashamed of South Africans. Ashamed of South Africa. And every South African should be. Be ashamed…

Was John Adams a terrorist?

You know me. Pretty much a patriotic South African. Proud of our history. And deeply affected by Madiba – Nelson Mandela. I think the guy did an incredible job starting us off on the right track. Oh, we had a few other great leaders as well. But Madiba was our big daddy. Our Patriot. The John Adams of South Africa. The man who fought so hard to bring freedom to our little country down South. Just like John Adams and the other Patriots did over here in the US…

How the ANC betrayed and failed us

Yes, South Africa is failing us. No wait. Not South Africa. The ANC. The ANC is failing us. Our government is failing us. Us – the people of South Africa. And it has nothing to do with Apartheid…

My beloved country called Africa

I just landed in La Guardia and got into a taxi heading off to Manhattan. I settled in and gave the driver the details of my hotel. I was surprised – he was one of the few taxi drivers in New York with a New York accent. Imagine that. An ex-firefighter he told me. He leaned back in that taxi driver way and half looking over his shoulder asked me where I am from (out the corner of his mouth the way taxi driver do). “South Africa”, I replied, not really thinking about it. He went quiet for a little bit – no small feat for a New York taxi driver. I could see him frowning at himself – thinking what to say in reply. He leaned back and said, “So where is that?” …

I just loooove your accent

Let’s just get something straight here okay? I do not have an accent. You do. In actual fact, South Africans have the most pure and perfect English accent you can think of. It is a little known fact that we speak with the most delightful English accent – and the purest of them all. I didn’t suck this from my thumb – it comes all the way from a very well known study of languages by Oxford University. Please do go and do a fact check. (And let me know if you find it because I couldn’t)…

Web 2.0 – Africa style

Give us a bit of water and some sand and we will build the Empire State building. It amazes me how innovative people in Africa can be. Natural born entrepreneurs. I know we have loads of issues and problems – and our own baggage to carry as well. But some of the things we do when we get our hands on something new is just “awesome”. (I have been in the US for too long! Picked that one up from my daughter…) The way people in Africa use mobile phones and the Internet in Africa is way beyond what any of us (or foreigners) predicted or dreamed of…

Solving the changing African climate – a Catch 22?

Yes, this whole week I was stuck in conferences telling me the world is going to burn in the next 50 to 100 years. And the rising oceans will act as a temporary cool-down – but then we will drown as they rise a bit too much. Bye-bye Manhattan. Bye-bye Cape Town. Bye-bye London. Depressing. Not really. As you all know I am a natural optimist. I know that we will find a solution. We’ll just first go through all the other bad options before we do the right thing. But I am still stuck on what we can do in Africa. And I can’t find a solution. I think we are stuck in a Catch 22 situation on dealing with climate change in Africa. We are stuck – each time we find a solution it forces us back to our starting point…

Africans live in hope, but Americans not?

 have been on the road for the last few days. One conference after the other. And it has been interesting. Okay, sometimes it was interesting. One of the conferences I attended was in DC and was hosted by the sustainability guru John Elkington. John founded… hum, SustainAbility. Catchy phrase nowadays. But it wasn’t when he started it back 20 years ago. John is a good guy. I know him a bit and went to DC to catch up with him and a few other people I knew I would meet up with at the meeting – the usual suspects. Jane Nelson works in the same city as me, but we only see each other at conferences. And, of course, we always promise to get together for a cuppa when back at work. But we never do – just share hugs and kisses when we meet up at the next conference. But us Africans need to stand together – even if it is at conferences. We are generally the only Africans in the room. She’s from Zim and I am from a little further south. Again, I digress. But I had to do a bit of name dropping first…

There are no tigers in Africa – Advertising 101

Really people, there are no tigers in Africa. And we don’t have lions walking in the streets of our towns in South Africa. And it doesn’t always rain in England. And Germans do have a sense of humor. And the baseball World Series really do include the best teams in the world. Okay, maybe the last three pushed it a bit too far. But I am really getting sick and tired of ad people getting it so very wrong when they try to paint a global picture. Or when they try to grab the ‘mysterious Africa’ in their ads. I don’t mind them trying to put an African face to it. Hey, I was born in Africa and appreciate it when people use the images of Africa to inspire others. But, really people, just get the basic facts right when you do include Africa or when you try to include an African story into your ad…

3 Responses to “Politics+Africa”


  1. Great Post! I love your take on politics and current events… Perfect!

  2. Janet Says:

    I stumbled across your blog recently, I must say I’m addicted. You approach difficult topic with open sincerity. As for this blog…I think you are right on the money. I had more hope in Obama when I read his first book about his father. I have less hope in American politics. While I was not born in Africa, I have an almost unexplainable connection and love for “her”.

    Please keep blogging (not that my opinion makes much of a difference) but it does remind us of our connectedness….

    PS I also very much enjoyed the Ubuntu blog.

  3. Michael Adolph Says:

    Nice to read you,

    Yaknow, Ive been all around the world in the military, and I eventually got out and lived in Malta. There I worked with Syrians, Indonesians, Etheopians, etc….
    I destinctley (sp) remember my buddy Effrem, I cant remember from where he was, but he was a refugee, and god the storys he told me about Africa, we were very good friends. His wife was a Muslim, but he (as he said) was nothing. He believed in life. I worked with this man, and he was a good man. I used to think to myself, this is no Black American, he worked hard and boy did he have a story to tell. He was in the military, and apparently he did some things to piss those above him off, and they were holding him for years, his buddies let him escape and he came to Malta. The man, seemed wise for his age, humble, and honest (which noone knows) but. I have to say, I grew up in an all black american school and im white. I have visited Africa, and while there is dissention of Whites, it is not to the degree that is present in white America. Its sad because I am a Swedish immigrant to this country after slavery, yet, if you are white, you are racist. I really miss People like you my friend, who see America from the point of view in which you speak. I think you shall do good for yourself here, and im really happy to hear an Angry African speak, you have much to love here. Good writing my friend. May peace be with you.

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