While trying to find a subject for this blog I considered writing about South African President Jacob Zuma‘s use of tax payers money to upgrade his private homestead at a cost in the region of ZAR214 million. Well for that price it’s more of an enclave or a compound really, which apparently includes bunkers, a helipad and a clinic. I suppose when you have five wives, 22 plus children with possibility of new wives, mistresses and illegitimate children too you really do have a village so even if we could rationalise the need based on numbers alone one has to wonder what could possibly be going on that we don’t know about to explain the need for bunkers! As far as using the tax payers money for personal use when miners, truck drivers, teachers, nurses, police and municipal workers are striking and earning barely enough to feed and clothe their children much less educate them the issue seems far too obvious to justify the need for further press than it has already received.
Then I thought about the recent surge in murders of Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) members over the last few weeks in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa which are gut wrenchingly horrific. In addition to this there are the political moves of the ANC, seemingly in an attempt to improve their public image in the lead up to the 2013 elections, by agreeing to stop singing Dubula iBhunu (Shoot the Boer) in an attempt to avoid racial tension with white farmers. Along with this came the surprise of Jacob Zuma’s decision, after nearly four years, to withdraw the charges he laid against political cartoonist Zapiro in 2008 suing him for R4-million in damages to his reputation and R1 million for injury to his dignity, in short, Zapiro was being sued for using his right to freedom of expression / speech because a cartoon depicting a certain someone in a certain compromising situation that was taken far too personally to not reveal that there is likely more truth to the matter than we shall ever know. Much like the over reaction and drama that surrounded the now infamous The Spear painting that was shown in the Goodman Gallery earlier this year. We all know that artists have painted naked or partially naked people for centuries yet this particular painting was somehow taken as a personal insult and diverted into a political issue flaring racial tensions through an already tressed population instead of simply ignoring it as it should have been.
The latest quick reads of the past week included allegations of police death squads being investigated in South Africa. Well surely it can’t get much worse than that, I despair.
The general public are so sick and tired of drama and political games that belie the severity of so many situations where people have been murdered, where poverty, corruption and nepotism are rampant and where misery and resultant crime is rife. The income earners and the folks in their daily comfort zones don’t feel nearly as exposed or vulnerable as those who really are living from day to day and have little chance of getting out of the social situations they find themselves in through circumstance. We didn’t have this drama when our Madiba was President, we miss him terribly and wish he was still our president.
So bottom line, giving the people behind all this drama more airtime by venting in a public forum is more attention than I feel any of them really deserve, and yes, I do realise the irony in saying this directly below what I have just said.
If it were all not so incredibly serious and disturbing one could almost compare it to a bunch of overgrown, prematurely aged kindergarteners playing games in a sandbox. Like a child who throws a tantrum to get attention because it really doesn’t care how it gets the attention as long as it gets it.
I detest politics almost as much as I detest the way politicians treat their people like morons with little or no respect and no real regard for their needs at all. Being bombarded with news of corruption, conflict, varying opinions and trauma from all sides is almost more than I can bare on most days and I am pretty sure that a lot of people feel the same way.
This is of course not just an African thing, it is global, politicians the world over are cut from the same cloth in my humble opinion. It is rare to find one or two individuals who stand out as truly honourable and good. So no, let’s not pursue any of those subjects further. Instead let’s focus on things that bring us joy, like friends and family and, in my case, sundowners…
As a tribute to one of my truly favourite people, a man of prominence who I have so much love and respect for because he remains true and honest no matter what. I created this cocktail, “Bishop’s Bliss” (I previously called it the” Amafrutu Cocktail” which is quite funky too) in honour of South Africa’s most beloved Desmond Tutu.
This recipe if for two drinks. You can easily double, triple or quadruple for numbers. Just take it easy – don’t overindulge. I’ve also tried to convert to universal measures for convenience 1 cup = approx. 250ml in this case.
Bishops Bliss Cocktail:
90ml Amarula Cream - abt. 1/3 cup 30ml Vodka (a fruit flavoured vodka is fine too) - abt. 1/8 cup 150ml Pineapple juice - a bit more than 1/2 cup 40ml Ruby Grapefruit Juice - abt. 1/6 cup Twists of Ruby Grapefruit peel and umbrellas for garnish, as you please.
Put all the ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Pop on the cap and shake vigorously. Then strain it into glasses and garnish.
Sit back and enjoy with good friends and conversation.
Try variations with different fruit juices and even cream and a fruit juice mix, put it in a long glass and top up with a fizzy lemon or lime soda to give it an extra dimension, let me know if you enjoy it.