I begin this week’s article with a quote from Winston Churchill who said, “never in the field of South African politics, were so many apologies owed by so many to so few for saying so much about one man’s penis.” Okay, so Churchill didn’t actually say that but anyway.
In the past couple of months Jacob Zuma (President of South Africa), or his penis which I have nicknamed ‘UMkhonto we sizwe’ (meaning spear of the nation) has been the subject of many debates on press freedom.
First, it was the Leninesque portrait of him with his fly open (and UMkhonto we sizwe in all its glory) displayed at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Then, more recently it is the ‘penis cartoon’ that Jonathan Zapiro (cartoonist) did for the Mail and Guardian newspaper.
The cartoon shows Jacob in the shape of an erect penis with a shower head hanging above him looking at his reflection in a mirror at an art gallery.
For any guy, having your equipment made fun off feels a bit like farting in an elevator just before a group of beautiful girls get in on the next floor, it is not particularly nice. I can understand why Jacob Zuma and the ANC (African National Congress) would be offended at the president’s penis being the subject of not one but two works of art in such a short space of time.
I liked Brett Murray’s aptly named ‘the spear’ painting, because I felt that in the context of Zuma’s…*cough* tendencies when it comes to sexual relations with women Murray managed to capture how Zuma is one of the few presidents who has a sex life that any hippie in the 60s would have been proud of.
I am a big fan of Zapiro but my first reaction when I saw his cartoon was that it lacked any form of lateral thinking. Unlike his previous work, this lacked creativity. It reminded me off two schoolboys teasing each other during break at the playground. Worst of all it wasn’t that funny. I was disappointed in Zapiro but we all make mistakes. I’m not going to stop liking his cartoons just because of this particular one.
I was more disappointed in how the ANC handled the whole situation. Obviously, Jacob has never heard of me otherwise he would have hired me to head up his PR team and not the guys who have managed to cock up (pun intended) his public persona along with any chances of him being re-elected, not that he hadn’t done that himself.
My solution for Zuma would be this.
Firstly, Commission your own nude painting. Your junk is already out there, the least you could do is give everyone the real MaKoya (local slang for the real McCoy). That way whoever does anything after that will be reinventing the wheel.
Remember Jacob, size matters so at least you would have control over how big your junk looks in these pictures. People don’t think you are that intelligent so in this way you could show (as you have done by your 5 wives and many children) that you have talents in other areas. *cough cough*
Secondly, stop using African culture as a reason why people shouldn’t paint pictures of your phallus. African culture is such a broad term. That word means a lot of different things to a lot of different people in different parts of South Africa and the rest of the continent. Don’t talk about it like there’s some manual that has a troubleshooting section titled ‘when people paint your penis’.
Thirdly, speaking of ‘UMkhonto we sizwe’ it might benefit you to keep that thing in your pants Jacob. You have 5 wives what else do you want? You are just being plain selfish when, on top of this, you start siring children with daughters of friends.
When crime rates go up people are going to talk about guns, unemployment and police corruption. When you have 5 wives, various girlfriends and a truckload of children don’t get angry when people start talking about your penis.
Finally, if this becomes an issue again (which I doubt it will if you follow my first piece of advice), I have prepared a ready-made answer which is short and you don’t have to read. Take a page from Bill Clinton and say, “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I do not have relations with that penis. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the South African people. Thank you.”