Month: Apr 2010

TRIBUTE TO IMAM ABDULLAH HARON – A TRUE PATRIOTIC HERO

The valour and good deeds of patriotic heroes of the national liberation struggle often serves to provide inspiration to new generations of leaders. Patriots are a beacon of light for new pathfinders. Those who may be groping in the dark will only have themselves to blame if they are later found to have been lazy to search further for exemplary roles, and are themselves one dimensional and blinkered in the way they handle social issues, imbibing only from the official list of what is termed national, patriotic and heroic.

The group in power will always shine the light on its own version of heroes, in a biased and sectarian manner, and they will deliberately exclude social movements and great personalities they are embarrassed to acknowledge or give official recognition to. The dominant perspective of history at any given time is often that of the ruling party, and it is that of the newly-rich class in power. The post apartheid South African government is no exception to this trend.

THE SABC HAS SHIRKED ITS ROLE AS A PUBLIC BROADCASTER

If one looks at public broadcasters in other countries, one realizes that as brands they are synonymous with quality local content and enable their audiences to find local content across all platforms and content genres, creating and building the national identity and connecting creative nationals with audiences and each other. They project their countries’ values and perspectives to neighboring countries and do not become cultural imperialists. They are available to all citizens regardless of geographical or economic circumstances and present on all delivery platforms. They are critical sources of information. They are trusted sources of news and information backed by the highest editorial standards. Can this be said about the SABC radio and television programmes? The unfortunate answer is NO.

However I would like to single out a Motsweding Radio programme hosted by Goitsemodimo Seleka as an exception. It is unbiased. Seleka doesn’t have an axe to grind and a chip on his shoulder. He is a watchdog and not a lapdog or a poodle of the ANC. Is the SABC a critical source of information? Is it a trusted source of information and backed by the highest editorial standards? Me thinks not.

THE WEST IS PLUNDERING AFRICA’S MINERAL RESOURCES AND BREEDING GRINDING POVERTY

It is very easy to curse African Leaders as being corrupt and also blame African poverty on corrupt practices by African leaders. This is a cliché and a stereotype that has been created around African leaders. There is some semblance of truth in it but the statement has been ‘very economic’ on the real truth of the situation. In other words, there is an element of misinformation or disinformation.

Before explaining my view points the following should be realized: Firstly, going to the Arab Sheikh, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and former President of The Arab Emirates, is a Feudal ruler of Abu Dhabi which is part of the Emirates (A Federation of Feudal Sultanates in the Persian Gulf).

Secondly, that as Absolute Feudal rulers, the Sheikhs, has personal ownership of all wealth that emanates from their sheikhdom or Sultanate and as such, the lavish life style which basically is nothing else but corrupt or rather extreme debauchery. The Sheikh, is corrupt as he has the legal and constitutional right to the wealth and no one questions it not even the Western Governments nor the Western based NGO or the Western Oil Companies, in fact the Sheiks are Darlings of the Western World.

WHAT OF GADDAFI’S THEORY OF A NIGERIA PARTITIONED ALONG RELIGIOUS LINES?

Gaddafi, the Libyan leader and current head of African Union (AU) recently called on Nigeria to split on religious lines, Christians and Muslims, in order to address the endemic clashes that have claimed many lives. This call has engendered mixed reactions from many Africans, Nigerians in particular. While many think it is a welcoming panacea to the Nigerian crisis, others, including myself, think otherwise.

A religion-inspired division of Nigeria (a federal government) would never resolve the cause of the recurring clashes; neither would it miraculously heal the symptoms. It looks appealing and easy to suggest division and to presume that it holds the prospect for peace. Divide Nigerian on no grounds other than Islamic and Christian ones and you invite xenophobic attacks, deepen blatant hatred and intolerance and set a bad precedent for Nigeria in particular and Africa as a whole. If Islam and Christianity, which are imported religious belief systems, are formidable forces, potent enough to split Nigeria, anything else, be it political dissent, ethnic differences can equally split any African state or justify further balkanization of Africa.

It is important to note that, Nigeria’s oil, which contributes about 90% of its GDP, is mined in the South, where Christians predominate. Enugu, Lagos, Onitsa and other prominent cities in Nigeria with huge public infrastructure, all built from Federal coffers, from both the North and the South, are all located in the South.

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