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This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Clime and Colluption

Don't be fooled. Behind these snappy and moody shots taken in a seaside paradise called Kalk Bay in Cape Town, lies a land under siege. Whilst Kenya is burning and images of mayhem bedeck the news, South Africa is still a far more dangerous place to be for Joe Average. In Kenya you just gotta be aware of your ethnic status and don't venture near the badlands. If you are the poorest of the poor it is likely that you are now homeless, a refugee or at worst seriously hurt. All in the name of good sport politics. In good old SA, however, the hunters come from nowhere, disguised as nobody and kill and rape anybody for no reason at all. This week the respected ornithologist, Robin Guy, was the latest innocent victim of ruthless criminal men who simply popped over the garden wall while he was having dinner, shot him and stole a handbag. A national treasure is now lost to us. A family is without their father, grandfather and sage. The trash that took him from us dropped the handbag and escaped with a bunch of keys. When will the SA leadership get off their fat asses and do something about this.....or must we do it for ourselves?! So, to my dear buddy Don Guy, who has inspired my over the years with his passion for the Berg, our great national heritage and his inimitable ability to tell the tales of our natural and folk history....Sterkte, my maatjie! Your Dad's influence on this land will resound across our mountains and ripple in our streams for aeons after the last criminal has gone to a hapless oblivion.

2 faced Silly-Billys

2 weeks back, we took a day trip to Lake Naivasha. Even the silly road block we encountered (as described in my last entry) was mildly entertaining and somewhat intellectually inspiring as we clashed logic and charm with the local constabulary. Everyone was the Kenyan cliche...corrupt but friendly. This week all changed. Two ugly thugs, Mwai Kibaki and his antihero, Raila Odingo, clashed egos bigtime in the hotly contested elections, held, believe it or not on the 27th Dec. Luos (tribal folk who are lazy, like fishing and have a lot of sex) claim that this was designed to prevent them getting to the polling stations as the transport is run by Kikuyus who are all business people and own the buses and taxis and will simply stop running over the election period. Our personal and much loved taximan, who is a Kikuyu says that the real reason for them stopping is that the Luo will be stoning their buses in the runup to voting. Stalemate...and little wonder that after several polling stations showed up voting turnout exceeding 100% the bells started ringing. Wasn't long before road blocks became sinsterly like Rwand a decade or so ago with travellers being asked to produce ID and identify their tribe.

The question is - Will democracy ever work in Africa? Does it work in South Africa? Is South Africa actually a part of Africa. Personally I have no idea at all. Just hope that things calm down a bit and people stop hitting each other on the head in Kenya. It really has been a shining light of hope for a continent which has produced some of the most bizarre and despotic leaders....