"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


Zuma picks his gal

Well, eager South African presidency-watchers: the Jacob Zuma era officially began today with his swearing-in ceremony in Pretoria. I've found no reports that anyone actually brought Zuma his machine gun, but in other exciting news, it looks like wife #1 won the "Who Gets to Be First Lady" battle in that polygamous marriage. All three women came to the ceremony, but Sizakele Khumalo got to go on stage with her husband and was introduced to the crowd afterwards. Plus she went to the big Zulu party at which many animals were slaughtered in Zuma's honor.

I think this was the right way for Zuma to go on what is obviously an important matter of state. Clearly you can't take some thirty-two-year-old dancing girl to state dinners in Paris and Beijing. Better to go with the voice of reason and experience. Khumalo is apparently quite reserved and uncomfortable in the spotlight, so she won't steal Zuma's thunder. Which is exactly how Zuma like it.

As for the presidency, well, among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Robert Mugabe and Muammar Qadaffi. (Mugabe got a standing ovation. Way to keep it classy, ANC.) Here's hoping their presence isn't a foretaste of bad governance to come.

(By the way, in researching links for this post, I came across a FOX News piece that says Zuma is possibly "the most controversial figure in African politics" due to his "skirt-chasing" and corruption. Puh-leeze. First, there's no such thing as "African politics" per se because AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY. But in terms of continental politics, Zuma isn't even close to being "the most controversial." You've got to do more than marrying five women, being acquitted of rape charges, and getting corruption charges against you dropped at a very convenient time to claim that title. Try starving your population to death, invading a neighboring country, or forever plotting to crown yourself king of Africa. Then you're controversial.)


Anonymous Andrew said...

My favorite headline for Zuma's swearing in ceremony is from the Mail & Guardian: Zuma's inauguration blessed by shower


I wonder if Ron Kirk and Johnnie Carson got a photo with Mugabe?

Sunday, May 10, 2009 3:32:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

That's outstanding.

Sunday, May 10, 2009 6:26:00 PM

Blogger Sarah K said...

Excellent point! There are many other African politicians who would beat Zuma out for that title.

Oh and you might enjoy this:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 10:21:00 PM

Blogger kifimbocheza said...

why are you so uncomfortable with his legitimate relationships?

Friday, May 15, 2009 7:37:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Well, I'm generally uncomfortable with Zuma because there's a clear pattern of corruption there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009 9:11:00 AM

Blogger kifimbocheza said...

i'm also uncomfortable with Zuma's corruption. But I didn't ask about that. I asked you why you were unconfortable about his legitimate relationships - his wives, you know, the subjects of your first two paragraphs!

Sunday, May 17, 2009 12:19:00 AM


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