By Dele Animasuan
‘Everything has an end’. There is an end to everything, to good things as well.-Chaucer
All things must end sometime. This was the case of would he or would he not. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma for a long time was the Teflon Don- nothing stuck to this man; he was able to come out of any scandal, corruption, fraud and other scraps with hardly any political damage until now. Like a cat with nine lives, he very well used up all nine lives and more.
Zuma dug his heels in and was refusing to go despite mounting pressure from his own party, the African National Congress (ANC). Despite the party’s constitutional direction that the head of the party, becomes the nation’s president Cyril Ramaphosa was duly elected, thereby unseating Zuma as the party head. The writing was on wall but Zuma ignored it. Zuma was defiant and his determination not to concede was the defining moment that galvanized South Africans that,this time, Zuma must go.
Despite having some support within the top echelons of the party, it was not enough this time to save his political life. This was a monumental fall from grace and they told him in no certain terms that,he had over stayed his welcome; he had lost their confidence to lead them. Like many leaders in Africa in particular, he had abused and over stayed his position as a leader. And repeatedly the people spoke, protested and told him in every way possible. They wanted him out. They were ready for change.
He finally stepped down on Wednesday as President of South Africa and in his resignation speech, he tried to salvage some dignity from his tattered and bruised ego. He said: “No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the republic with immediate effect.”
And after his resignation announcement, Zuma said he ‘disagreed with the decision of his political party and that he had always been a “disciplined member of the ANC. As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organization I have served all of my life.”
Of course, he would say that, wouldn’t he? But the rest of the nation disagreed with him. He has no legacy of note and he did not serve his country well as much as he served himself and his pockets. And I do not think they would miss him, in fact they are celebrating.
Zuma, is a fallen hero and he lost the respect of his people over the years. He became an embarrassment . He may have had some respect way back but he lost it a long time ago. He miscalculated and he took for granted the level of support he had within the ANC, hoping that only that could see him through. He was wrong this time.
In Nigeria, the politicos should take note and this should serve as a lesson, that power of the people carries weight. Politicians should know that the interests of the people are ultimate and should matter most.
There is a limit to how much charisma will take a leader and no matter the loyalty of the people, they would rather have a leader who can lead effectively and affect positive change in their lives.
Crucially, to be in power and leadership is not a lifelong ambition, it is definitely not the end goal. For those who hold on to power in spite of their ineptitude and corruption ways, they should know that there is an end to everything and that no one lasts forever
Running out of water
South Africa’s Cape Town could run out of water by April due to the city’s worst drought in a century. It is now a common sight to see its residents queuing for emergency water rations.
They are preparing for “Day Zero” – the date taps they fear that the taps are due to run dry – estimated to be on April 22. The city is hard though at work building desalination plants and drilling underground boreholes to avert disaster.
The city has numerous campaigns, educating its residents on how to ration water and to avoid wasting the precious liquid. Despite, the dire situation, there is calm and order and everyone is playing their part. We cannot take water for granted; it is essential for life and living. Cape Town knows this more.
And as a prosperous tourist destination, they can ill afford, an enforced drought. It could cripple their economy. Cape Town receives close to 2 million tourists a year. It’s travel and tourism accounted for an estimated 9 per cent or 412 billion rand ($33 billion) of South Africa’s economic output last year, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Cape Town will take this in their stride and they are determined to find a solution to the water shortage before Day Zero. I have no doubt that they will.
Bobsled: Nigerian Spirit
We are rooting for the national ladies bobsled team, who, against all odds, are participating in the winter Olympics in South Korea. Their story and journey are characteristic of the true Nigerian spirit of determination and tenacity. They are a source of national pride. It took a determined athlete with an idea and hard work, and sharing her dreams with like-minded people and they made this impossible dream come alive.
When they started out, there were no means of funding, but it did not stop these ladies, they crowd funded and inspired millions of people at home and abroad and they finally got the funding, international publicity and enforcement from Visa! Who tells you dreams don’t come true! Well, they definitely had not met these impressive and determined Nigerian ladies.
Now for those, who are afraid to dream big, they should know this; you either dream big and graft until you make it happen or not at all. Fortune favours the brave, they say!
And for those who do believe in their dreams, I hope the Nigerian bobsled ladies serve as an inspiration to you to follow your dreams.
Whatever their success in South Korea, they have the support of the nation and they have singularly lifted the positive image of Nigerian by their sheer dedication, charm and commitment.
The snake swallowed the money!
When would Nigerians stop pulling a fast one!? No matter the age, there is always a hustler trying to pull a fast one over the eyes of others with tall stories and it does not get more bizarre and incredulous than this.
The account saleswoman working for the Nigerian exam board claimed that a snake swallowed the missing 36 million naira ($100,000; £72,000) when auditors raised the alarm of the missing money. She also tried to point accusing finger at her house help and one of her colleagues but this failed to convince the investigation officials from Nigeria’s examination body, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), who have suspended the story teller. Only in Nigeria!