I always thought the president of an African country was a busy person.
Obviously, if you become the most powerful man in the land, there is so much you have to do. Running a country cannot be easy. Everyone has an opinion on how things should be done.
Ultimately, a decision has to be made by one person who has to take into account all the opinions. Running a country means having to listen to everyone ranging from village buffoons to intellectuals.
The president is the agony aunt for every citizen. It cannot be an easy job. Our presidents can hardly sleep. They are kept awake by political opponents who want to take their turn at the table, and eat, together with the kinsmen from their village.
In some countries, presidents have to declare war on other countries, resulting in loss of life and having to tell the families of dead soldiers that their sons are missing in action. An African president is kept busy by having to keep his village kinsmen happy by making regular visits and reminding them that if he is toppled, then they will stop eating.
Having observed African presidents all my life, I have realized that the job always ends in tears. Some are voted out of power and spend the remainder of their days in the misery of exile, fantasizing about the day they return to power.
Yet others find themselves in jail because they were not smart enough to call on the Americans to send a helicopter when the regime was collapsing.
The ruthless types always get their comeuppance at the International Criminal Court or at the hands of a lynch mob, tortured and executed in public. And the mob always gets its revenge by looting the presidential palace and rewarding itself for a well job done by carrying out refrigerators and air conditioners to slums that have never tasted electricity.
I have often wondered why African presidents don’t behave themselves when they all know it is all liable to end in tears. But before the tears come, many African presidents actually have a jolly good time. They can choose to loot the treasury and buy themselves all sorts of bling such as luxury villas and aeroplanes that only fly to their home village because proper and well run countries are too ashamed to invite them for state visits.
That said, I am not too sure if we should blame presidents who dip into the kitty.
I mean I would be tempted do the same. I would eat the money. Just tell me why you put the picture of a man on the currency notes and turn around to say the money does not belong to him. For as long as Africans put the portrait of the president on the bank notes, they must come to terms with the fact that the man is entitled to eat the money.
After all, it is his money. If the money does not belong to him, what is his portrait doing on it?
I am a man who abhors looting, but for as long as Africans lack the common sense to remove the portrait from the money, then the money belongs to the big man and he can do as he pleases with it.
As an African, I have long dismissed our presidents as a bunch of thugs and looters. I think this continent needs a saviour.
Then along came Jacob Zuma!
Now, this is one fascinating president. He is so different from the rest of them.
I follow his life around the clock. For starters, I wonder where the man finds time to run the country because he seems to have a marriage ceremony every month.
I must, in compliment, say all his wives look corpulent and happy.
I think he is on wife number four now. I always look forward to President Zuma’s weddings. I like the part where the man, resplendent in leopard gear, gives us a rendition of a warrior dance, and then athletically falls on his back.
For a man pushing on seventy years, he is quite agile and energetic. With all those women, he needs the energy.
But the great mystery of Jacob Zuma is where he gets the time to court those women when he is supposed to be busy running the country.
I was looking forward to watching another marriage this year when the news reported that he had a four-month-old child, with a woman who is not one of the official wives.
I could not believe it.
Just where does the man get the time? But then I got a brainwave.
You see, the problem with Africa is tribal divisions and petty differences. We could all be black and poor, but we lack a common ancestor who can be a source of unity and common identity. If we could all point out to a common father then we would have no reason to fight one another.
The leaders would have no reason to kill us because we would be related to them. They would have no reason to loot because they would be stealing from their siblings.
In turn we won’t have to run them out of office because they would be on their best behaviour. If they misbehaved we would talk to them nicely to quit, just like family.
The more I think about it, the more I think I like Zuma. He is our saviour. He is the answer to the problem of African unity and the key to attainment of eternal peace and prosperity.
My idea is: Let Zuma be allowed to visit any African country at any time he wishes and beget children with as many local women as he wants.
Zuma is a prolific man and he is quite capable. I can tell you by the time Zuma is a hundred years old many African kids should be able to point to a common father. After a generation the whole of Africa should be solidly united because the majority of its inhabitants would point to a common ancestor called Zuma.
C’mon President Zuma, do your bit for African unity. Visit our countries!