Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jacob Zuma Superstar

This week's Time Magazine featured Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa. His photo appeared on the front cover. The caption read 'The Surprising Promise of Jacob Zuma'. The main article, by Alex Perry, went on to say that Jacob Zuma is being surprisingly upfront and honest in acknowledging South Africa's problems. And even more surprising, he is tackling them. Alex Perry writes: "In his new government, Zuma began by promoting the good and sacking the bad.... Pravin Gordhan became Finance Minister...Zuma fired Hogan's predecessor at health, Manto Tshabalala Msimang...and former police chief Jackie Selebi, who is charged with corruption".

South Africa is getting so much press coverage. So much positive press coverage

But, what has changed in the past year?

Has our leadership changed to one that is less corrupt? Have we found new, highly valuable, natural resources? Have we won major international sporting events?

Leading up to the elections, many (Tarot-card reading) South Africans (unsuccessfully) predicted the imminent collapse of our beloved country. We were facing a future of certain darkness, with our African sun being blocked by the evil giant, Jacob Zuma

Months before the certainty of a Zuma leadership and the certain darkness it would bring, the Tarot-card readers had predicted another certainty of darkness. That earlier prediction of a future of certain darkness was less metaphorical, and a lot more literal, and was thanks to Eskom's inadequacy

Alex Perry of Time Magazine must be metaphorically, as well as literally, blind. Why can't he see the Zuma and Eskom darkness we are living in?

Apart from my retrenchment from work, we South Africans have not only come through recent crises, mostly unscathed. We are actually thriving.

Jacob Zuma is being praised. The number of tourists to South Africa is at an all time high, currently at approximately 9 million. South Africa is being featured, on a daily basis, on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeerah.

In 2010, South Africa will be the focus of the sporting world's attention. And while many of us may not even be sports fans, the evidence is clear: South Africa's commercial, tourism and entertainment industries are benefitting from all the positive, and extensive, exposure that our country is experiencing, and will experience in the near term future. A day does not go by when I don't see a good-news story about South Africa on one or all of the international news channels.

At the end of this week, the draw for the 2010 World Cup takes place in Cape Town. All the world's media will be there. As will international business leaders, sportsmen and sportswomen and famous actors and actresses.

South Africa is on the pages of many newspapers, on the covers of international sports magazines, in the theatres of international movie-houses, on the lead stories of international business news

South Africa is the place to be. And if you are South African, you should be proud that you are

So, back to my question: What has changed over the past year?

I believe, it's the world's perception of South Africa.

And I believe, it's time for us South Africans to make that change too

No comments:

Post a Comment