People Who Made 2013 Worth Living

The year marked as 2013 on our calenders came and went like an unlucky number carved on the dolos bones of a superstitious sangoma, never to return. It’s a year we’d want to forget, but it’s a year we’d remember forever.  Banana Newsline remembers those who made this year memorable.

The prophet Thamsanqa.

Thamsanqa Jantjie

When Nelson Rolithathla Mandela passed away the great rainbow of our nation was set to desaturate into several shades of grey while we were to be the solemn reality TV show for the whole world to indulge in.  It didn’t quite pan out like that. In fact, it became so much more.

This dark procession was processed into a farcical extravaganza by the improv comedy routine of the sign language champion and hero of the revolution Thamsanqa Jantjie. With the deft skill of a circus clown impersonator, Thamsanqa impersonated a sign language interpreter and communicated with the angels to bring us a message that in 2014 we will all be okay, as long as we remember that all is not okay.

When the ivory tower that is ANC privilege finally crumbles under the weight of its own incompetence, the unsung hero, the visionary who will be forgotten by history will be the man who had visions of angels swooping down around him while he tried to remain calm on a stage surrounded by policemen in front of billions of people while he listened to what the heavenly beings had to say.

“Thamsanqa,” said the angel. “You are the chosen one. Today, the world will see. There will be no complaints of misrepresentation, of a bias media obfuscating the truth, no accusations of distorting reality for an undermining agenda, or any spin cycles to sidestep the reality that stares everyone straight in the eye. You will show them.”

Thamsanqa translated the celestial message perfectly. As he stood there flailing his arms about, his mere presence on that stage with the leaders of the world showed billions of viewers all over the planet everything they needed to know about government in this wonderful country of ours. Now there is no place to hide.

Selected by Radebe G Radebe.

The bullet in the chamber.

Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius is a man who showed us that we are all equal, no matter what our differences are.

When he took to the track to run in the 400m finals at the London Olympics despite having no feet he proved that every obstacle can be overcome and that people with disabilities are people too, just like the rest of us.

When Pistorius murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on that fateful night in February despite being white, he proved that every obstacle can be overcome and that pale skinned people can kill people too, just like the rest of us.

Oscar Pistorius reminded us that white people are every bit as capable as black people to commit senseless violent crime.

Before Pistorius, it was thought that only black people were savage beasts who would take the life of another human without any rhyme or reason, but we now know that the need to kill can infect anyone.

Pistorius is a tragic reminder that murder knows no boundaries. It can cross racial lines without discrimination, and strike when you least expect it.

Oscar Pistorius is a great reconciler. His gruesome act taught us that savagery is a human act, not limited to any race or physical capability. Knowing that we aren’t different from each other despite knowing that we are different from each other is the most unifying force know to man, unifying the nation with a force last seen when Bafana Bafana beat Botswana.

That fateful day in February Oscar Pistorius used a cricket bat to bludgeon into our thick sculls the brutal truth that black people don’t kill people. People kill people.

Selected by Barend Strijdom.

The loxion laxative.

Andile Lili

Life in the Western Cape is rather crap if you’re an ANC politician. There’s so much suffering. While their colleagues in the other provinces get to enjoy the privilege of political power and the reward of relationships with over-eager tenderpreneurs, ANC officials in the fairest capes of them all – the only province not being exploited by the ANC elite – have to live off the scraps from the constipated Democratic Alliance table.

This oppression makes the ANC politicians very angry. They too want to live the highlife, but the hard-headed DA is standing head-on in their way. This will not do. So they fling poo.

Andile Lili woke up one morning and decided that today is the day that the shit was going to hit the fan belt. He made his bed, ate his breakfast, grabbed his bucket, grabbed his number two, Loyiso Nkohla, and a few friends, and made his way to the Cape Town train station to take fecal matters into his own hands.

The shit-stirrer with a penchant for civil disturbance had been dropped by his beloved ANC even before the infamous poopery, yet he remains on the political scene like a bowel movement in a Khayelitsha bucket toilet. “I am the laxative that will clean out the city,” he remarked.

Lili reminded us that we should spare a thought for politicians without power. Those who represent a party that is treated as refugees in a country they rule, as well as those who have been kicked out of the party for disciplinary reasons.

Selected by Boston Masilela.

The newly-wedded whistle blowers.

Vega Gupta

We’ve long suspected that there’s undue influence from Indian pretend-royalty on our innocent, hard-working government, but despite our suspicions we never had any proof.

That is until Vega Gupta showed us the dark truth. This fair-skinned princess of the Gupta family endured much hardship to make us aware of the untoward bamboozling our trusting leaders have to endure.

It wasn’t easy. First she had to find a suitable fiancé. Aakash Jahajgarhia, a young man from New Delhi, volunteered himself for the cause.

Then she had to arrange the most fabulous, high class kitsch wedding ever seen outside the Republic of Durban and arrange for lots of low level dignitaries as well as b-list Bollywood celebrities to fly in from the land of silk, spice and Sachin Tendulkar.

Lastly, she got her uncles to abuse their privileged relationship with the family man, Jacob Zuma himself, in order to bypass every protocol so she could get her guestlist of psuedo-VIP’s to her Sun City wedding.

All her hard work was not in vein. We sat up and took notice. We understood that Zuma was being bewildered by a sinister swami, and we demanded that he be saved. The persuasive Guptas were forced underground to manipulate poor Zuma in secret, like they were doing way back, long before she made us aware of it.

If not for Vega Gupta, Jacob Zuma would never have known that devious sub-continental plotters were taking advantage of his good will.

Selected by Miriam Mokoena

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