Saturday, May 30, 2020

The nation needs to move past Kang; and fast

It’s Kang or nothing, we are being told.

The question though is what’s next after Kang?

Kang, a tiny, dusty and sleepy village in the southern tip of the Kgalagadi has become synonymous to an albatross hanging around the neck of a nation.

In the overall scheme of things, except for its overly proud people, Kang as a place really has no claim to fame.

The people of Kang have played no role in the unashamed public interest they helplessly watch playing around themselves and the place they call home.

Yet their village, through no deliberate designs of its own finds itself in the cusp of both fame and notoriety.

Fame because it has become the battleground for national political power; notorious because the village has become a weaponised reason for the current gridlock consuming the nation.

Since an announcement was made late last year that Pelonomi Venson would be challenging for the ruling party presidency, the nation has found itself at a standstill while all attention is etched on Kang.

Like prisoners, citizens have watched with consummate interest an animated political game the rules of which they neither fully comprehend nor have been allowed a role in their formulation.

As of now the Venson campaign might really be dead in the water, but the effects of having gone through that campaign to start with will for a long time to come be with us as a nation.

Kang and all that will culminate there this week have made us a deflated nation.

In a very big way the United Kingdom has become the world’s laughing stock because of the joke that has become Brexit.

But we too are in a way like the United Kingdom.

No matter how much we may try to put on a strong face and say its democracy at work, the truth is that we are a laughing stock.

Kang has become the embodiment of both division and polarity.

Our national discourse has been soiled ÔÇô most likely irreparably so.

Take for example the government business.

Reports coming from the Government enclave indicate that all government has for months been put on the backburner, as politicians are in endless preparations for Kang.

For too long at a standstill and unable to change the narrative beyond this phony contest, the whole government machinery is now at the brink of being crippled.

Kang, where it will all happen has hogged all the national focus, sapping away all the attention and adrenaline of even grown up men and women who are supposed to run the government business.

Until Kang is done the nation will have to wait because nobody is as of now able to see the path ahead.

Which is why it has become absolutely crucial that we get over with Kang, this usurper of both reason and sense.

We are being made to accept that Kang might actually be the end of the world as we have come to know it.

The fear mongering coming from all sides has been palpable.

The whole nation is being made to believe that after Kang the world might come down crashing on us.

From the look of things Kang will either be a blissful climax or a damp squib.

However way it ends, it will with time become apparent that after-all Kang was not worth all the pain, all the attention, certainly not worth all the cost that it has been to the country.

We will all wake up the morning after and start looking at each before asking each other the same question ÔÇô what was it really all  about?

Even the winner when they are announced might in the end decide not to take a victory lap, but instead resort to asking themselves if the prize was really ever worth all of the pain and hassle that they went through pre-Kang.

But then democracy is by its nature an expensive and often distractive undertaking.

Not a single soul has been able to escape the sordid curse that is the Kang madness.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi, a key player is perhaps the only one among us who since the announcement of Kang has tried, without much success, to live in a world that resembles normalcy – from time to time shutting himself out of the scary reality that his presidency might be short-lived, brought to an abrupt end by events in Kang that could very easily have been avoided.

Masisi has for months been living inside a burning house.

To maintain sanity he has had to live a compartmentalized life that swings between real fear and virtual hope.

The more I have watched him prepare for Kang the more I was reminded of Bill Clinton who spent months with one eye fixed on trying to run a country as complicated as the United States while the other eye was fixed on events he had no influence on at the Monica Lewinsky enquiry.

The sooner we put Kang behind us, the better it will be for all of us.


Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.