Wednesday 2021-04-14

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20 YEARS OF WRITING, STILL GOING STRONG

By Macford Sibandze | 2021-04-07

Its true years do fly, fly, fly like a bird in the sky! Can you believe it that today I celebrate 20 years since I wrote my first article in this very newspaper! Do women forget the day they lost their virginity? Whether they do or don’t, I won’t forget my first article in the column Broadcast Police under Mphilo Dlamini. It was entitled ‘The Media Is Not A True Reflection Of Society!’ I received positive feedback, even from seasoned intellectually rich columnists such as Dr. Ben Dlamini, Vusi Ginindza, Thulani Thwala and Dr. Joshua Mzizi. Unfortunately, all these stalwarts are gone from the face of the earth! My article was about how, out of 100 stories that happen in a day only a few see the light of day because of ‘gatekeepers’, editorial policy, ideology, ownership and control, etc. SPACE It was easy for me to make the debate about the media as I was in an academic space in a prestigious college in South Africa. For more than five years I was making commentary about issues relating to media, communication and the arts. But I did not limit myself to such topics and would discuss SA politics; the shift of power from Mbeki to Zuma, ANC Youth League under Julius Malema, etc. Unknowing to me was that some years later I would not only pose for pictures with the gurus of SA but will sit, talk and engage with them as equals. Fate! REBRANDING After more than 10 years as a columnist I had to rebrand myself in a new column that proved to be more popular as it premised on motivational subjects. I called it the ‘Direct Descendant Of Abraham!’ What influenced such a title? Just like Abraham I have stubborn faith! Looking at the journey of my life I would have given up long time ago or even commit suicide and close the chapter of tribulations. But I always believe in light even in the dungeon of hopelessness. Remember I had endured the most brutality in politics but I stood calm. My column editor was the late Thulani Thwala. My first article was ‘Don’t Listen To The Voice Of The Devil!’ The article touched so many people because our lives are just chained to people. They control our lives and tell us what to do and we listen to them. A beautiful person can just be told by an ugly person that she is ugly and believe her. A person with no car can just spoil your day by mocking your Honda Fit! EXPERIENCE A failure can call you a failure with authentic precision in such a way that you see yourself as a failure like him! I argued that we are an island surrounded by these devilish voices that scream in our eardrums daily that we are nothing! That we won’t make it! And gosh we believe them! I was writing from experience that people said I was finished-down and out-in the dustbin of history! But I refused to listen to their evil voices because I knew they are not God and kwahlelwa ngami! All I had to do was to remain cool, calm and collected! Because I know I am a phoenix. A phoenix is a mythical bird that when burnt to ashes comes back to life! That’s the concept I sold through my article to people who were in pain; incarcerated, in jail, depressed, oppressed, rejected, fired from work, living in abject poverty, ripped apart by prime evil elements, etc. My then editor told me he got positive feedback. ARTICLES In ‘Direct Descendant Of Abraham’ I wrote fascinating articles like Kulungile Baba…..Nakuyintando Yakho! Sifiso Ncwane, SA top gospel artist had died and the following day was the publishing of my article. I shelved my initial article and wrote on the trending issue of the passing of the mega star! Instead of taking the beasty stance of facebook where the artist was bashed for witless reasons I celebrated him as a hero whose talent fished him out of the dark hole of poverty to make him a champion of the world. In politics the buzzword is timing. My timing was precise and the editor was impressed with the feedback. One other article which shocked, even the wit in me, with its popularity was ‘Tupac Shakur….Still King Of Hip hop!’ I believe the then editor had a personal interest on that one as he added his voice as the best article I ever wrote! He told me that it received good reviews from a diverse audience, including those he never thought cared about this genre and icon who seemingly had ghetto behaviour. My personal best article was ….’And The Winner Is……Donald Trump!’ In this one the editor called me and said, “Ye Goje are you sure about this one. Don’t you think itakulahlela ema customer.” (Gigling) I understood him very well as everyone, including popular prophet TB Joshua, had put their money on Hillary! I boldly said, “ride on brother.” It was a risk I had to take. It is history that Donald Trump won. SECOND COMING After winning elections in 2018 I had to change the name of my column to ‘SECOND COMING!’ I had bounced back to politics with a landslide. It is definitely MY SECOND COMING to parliament. Alec Lushaba is my editor. My first article was SHO MAJOZI! SA musician SHO MADJOZI was topping the charts so had I had to contextualise it to our shores. It was in reference to central bank governor Majozi Sithole’s end of year financial focus speech! Again it was well received and my greatest fan, my big brother, Dumsani, at EPTC, called me to say he was impressed about my research and writing schools. My favourite is THE STORY OF MY LIFE: 7 YEARS SHARING ROOM WITH CHICKENS! Wow! I received so many calls! It was a story about being born in abject poverty! It was followed by TO ALL THE GIRLS I’VE LOVED BEFORE. A story about three important women in my life; my grandmother, mother and aunt! All gone! WOMEN I also wrote about Peter Tosh as an uncompromising iconoclast and Bob Marley as an undisputed King of Reggae! My other popular one was WHY EVERY 5 YEARS 80% MPs LOSE ELECTIONS! In this one I looked at Mps since 1993 that only a few make a come back! I have written about US president in THE CLOCK TICKING FOR TRUMP. My debate was that three issues would hinder his re-elections bid; Racism, Covid -19 and Pre-Voting. It came to pass as he lost. I made a follow up debate with THE EMINEM SHOW: SONG ‘WHITE SUPREMACY’ A SCATHING ATTACK ON WHITE PRIVILEDGED AMERICA! The article received review from both young and old as it catalogued US systematic racism. I was shocked when young students from tertiaries called me to tell me they read all my articles. They reminded me one by one. What tickled my fancy was when young women students said they read my articles because I can’t imagine young women torturing themselves to 1 500 words! I enjoyed KANYE WORSE about Kanye West’s elections bid. How can I forget Ugandan elections where I argued that Bob Wine would be ‘contaminated’ by perilous old Whisky from M7. (Yoweri Museveni) NKANDLA TEA In the SECOND COMING I have also written about the ‘Nkandla Tea’ which my lawyer friends felt I was condoning the flouting of the constitution by SA ex-president, Jacob Zuma. I reasoned that I don’t but I see ‘tea’ spilling all over SA. I wish I will be wrong in the end. With the division at ANC, from NEC to cabinet and the Zuma-Malema alliance gives Zuma a deserved PR on the public domain. With EFF in the offensive it weakened him but with Malema on his side it strengthens him. That’s was my point! To share your opinion in public is not easy but I will keep pushing until God says NO! In the Rastafari language, I will say until JAH SEI NO!

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