Monday, May 7, 2007

Shifting boundaries.

Have you ever wondered what might be going through the head of Jonathan Shapiro (nee Zapiro) every time he sits down and draw those tongue- in –cheek cartoons? The humour, by which he manages to make sensitive statements, is quite a craft on its own. He gets away with murder. That’s the media industry for you; it gives you the freedom to say anything (or almost anything). I am by the way I am anti- establishment. I hate things like bureaucratic red tape, waiting in queues at banks and governments department is not my idea of fun. Perhaps that is the reason why love the media. I also do not believe in the “rule –of- thumb, conventional wisdom” approach to life. I believe in fresh approaches to life. I don’t buy the argument that as an African my culture is static and cast in Stone as the Self –appointed custodians of African culture seem to claim. I believe that mine is forward looking and contemporary like any other. Otherwise how am I coping with this fast- paced life of the 21st century? I want to challenge the general assumptions made in the name of African culture by bunch of buffoons who claims to be speaking on our behalf. Hhm! This sounds tough, but maybe I was taught by ROY to speak in this manner.


Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Raising dust as always. I agree with you though that our so-called African'culture' is not static. It has certainly gone through various stages. And there indeed self-appointed custodians who do not even understand the implications of traditional practices, but want us to believe they have the capacity to interprete it. I wager that the so-called 'illiterate' persons who have lived and continue to live this 'traditional' life-style, have a better understanding of where culture fits into the society today.

Thomas Blaser said...

Wow! Strong and fun stuff! It reads great hearing your voice coming through. Very refreshing. I am not sure though if it is African tradionalists against the modernizers. Of course, politicians like Zuma prefer to make these distinctions for political gain. But somehow Africans have to make sense of their past in a meaningful way and relate to the present - to be able to live happily in the present.

Susan Arthur said...

Hi Themba
Who are the bunch of buffoons who are making comments about African culture? are you referring to someone specific?
Zapiro's cartoons are always good. I wouldn't agree with you completely that the media allows people to say whatever they want to say.. remember the debate about those cartoons last year? Freedom of expression is a right that needs to be exercised responsibly- so it is limited in our constitution (no hate speech, no inciting violence, and some other things.)

themba nyauza said...

Hi Susan,

I think your comment deserves a response. By buffoons I mean those Africans who do certain things in the name of our culture. If you ask me, those individual hide behind the facade of culture to do certain things that under any normal circumstances would not be accepted. For example, the botched circumscions that we read about on daily basis, the Swaziland case where culture is used to feed insatiable hunger for sex and women domination. And , to bring it closer to home when individuals who harbours Presidential ambitions was caught with his pants down he immediately resorted to culture to defend his misdemeanours.

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