Onkgopotse Tiro

THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA COVERAGE PRE AND POST 1990

As the sixteenth year of ‘freedom’ ushered in, one sadly observed the evolution of media/press reportage over the years and concur that indeed the media is free only to those who own it. The media also shapes national culture and sets the limits of national discourse and reflects the interests of the ruling class.

The SABC as an institution is pathetic. It is partisan and animated by ideology. With corporate-controlled media consolidating its foothold on media ownership as well as spreading its tentacles globally, news content altered dramatically. We are continuously being fed a steady diet of rehashed intellectual pap. Almost invariably issues are perfunctorily dealt with and treated peremptorily coupled with un-insightful political debates.

ZUMA‘S STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS WAS A DISAPPOINTING REMIX OF THE SAME OLD SONG

Since South Africa’s inception as a “democracy” in 1994, there has always been a tinkering on the edges of the country’s socio-economic problems. There is a lot of playing around with words and repeating the same themes in all the state of the nation addresses without any substance or walking the talk. And there is this sycophantic cheering cohort some of whom are awakened by the clapping of hands and join in, while at the same time wiping off the drool on the sides of their mouths because they had been driveling. One wonders what they would be applauding. No head of state has ever tried to grab the bull by the horns. In his 11th February 2010 ‘state of the nation’ speech, President Jacob Zuma said the economy was turning the corner. I disagree. The appropriate phrase Zuma should have used is ‘cutting corners’. The reason why Zuma and all his predecessors failed is that “the discovery of general laws in the field of economics is made difficult by the circumstances that observed economic phenomena are often affected by many factors which are very hard to evaluate separately. In addition, the experience which has accumulated since the beginning of the so-called civilized period of human history has been largely influenced and limited by causes which are by no means exclusively economic by nature”. For example, we were conquered and owe our existence to conquest. Those who conquered us, some of whom Zuma praised in his speech, established themselves legally and economically as the privileged class of our conquered country.

TIRO CONFRONT APARTHEID SETTLER COLONIALISM!

Mr. Chancellor, Mr. Vice Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to start off by borrowing language from our former Prime Minister, Mr. Vorster. Addressing an Afrikaner Student Bond (A.S.B) Congress in June last year, Mr. Vorster said: “No Black man has landed in trouble for fighting for what is legally his”. Although I don’t know how far true this is, I make this statement my launch pad.

R.D. Briensmead, an American lay preacher says “he who withholds the truth or debars men from motives of its expediency, is either a coward, a criminal or both”. Therefore Mr. Chancellor, I will try as much as possible to say nothing else but the truth. And to me “truth” means “practical reality”.

REMEMBERING ONKGOPOTSE TIRO 36 YEARS AFTER HIS BRUTAL MURDER

Writing about heroic leaders in the African Valhalla, the late Professor Ivan Van Sertima wrote that when a star dies it does not vanish from the firmament. Its light keeps streaming across the fields of time and space so that centuries later we may be touched by a vision of the fire and brilliancy of its former life. The lives of the truly great are just like that. Death does not diminish them in the firmament of our consciousness, where their words and deeds still twinkle like the lights of long-dead stars. But we are touched by these lights in different ways in different times and it is not always easy for the observer to distinguish the startling flash of a transitory meteor from the paler, ghostly light of a grander and greater star.

BOTSWANA’S 43RD ANNIVESSARY

Botswana is currently celebrating its 43rd anniversary of independence from British colonial rule. Like any developing country, Botswana has its share of problems – poverty, unemployment, skewed distribution of resources and their attendant vices. There are intra and inter party battles. The ruling party is marred by divisions so is the former official opposition the Botswana National Front (BNF). Moreover, the opposition parties in Botswana apparently find it difficult to unite against the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

%d bloggers like this: