South Africa's Jacob Zuma, Unzipped
Critics say an artist disrespected Zuma's presidency. But doesn't he do the same with his behavior?
The concept of one woman married to seven or even four husbands at the same time sounds like insanity. From any way you look at it, polygamy is a case of diminishing returns for the co-wives. One divided six ways is a far cry from one divided two ways and is completely counterintuitive: Who wants their portion minimized? Is this a system that is uplifting women or demeaning to them? Listen between the words when you are talking to women in a polygamous union. There is a lot of hidden pain there. And as for the children -- just how much individual attention can you get from Daddy?
When it comes to the president of a country, this is the question: Is it really fair to expect the treasury to pay for this ever-increasing family? Where does it stop? Should there not be some kind of limit? What message does it send to the populace, especially from a party that trumpets its concern for the poor and unemployed? Just marry as many as you like, no matter your income; we have welfare?
It is this open-ended situation, this "state of unzippedness," that is especially galling. There is always, it seems, a fiancée in waiting, with a child in tow. How on earth does he find the time?
It is untidy and irregular, looks ill-disciplined and provides an easy metaphor for the ANC's critics -- especially now, when the topics dominating the headlines in South Africa are corruption, poor service delivery, political corruption and embezzlement accompanied by even more poor service delivery.
This is a beautiful country of such talent and potential. Its leaders and its achievements are powerful symbols for the rest of the world and the African continent especially. Its president should do better.
Amma Ogan is a Johannesburg-based journalist.