20. Januar 2018

Big Five, Six, Seven

No doubt, the Big Five are one of the foremost assets of South Africa: Lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo. What may sound like a counting rhyme for children ...

Edward, the leopard, and Brian, the lion,
met, you know, a rhino and a buffalo.
But in their blighty nighty´s jive
they scarcely looked like mighty five.

.. used to be a hunters´ denomination, meaning the wild animals most dangerous to hunt in Africa. In the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St. Lucia, Natal, they even boast the Big Seven, including hippo and crocodile...

And then arrived by omnibus
erstwhile from the isle
a dripping hippopotamus
accompanied by crocodile.
“Now we are, thanks heaven,
a giant squad of seven!”

Then, however, we keep looking for the Big Six to fill the gap. But no need to worry. We´ve found them. They have in fact been here all the time, but no one seems to have noticed them: Only recently we have been reminded that the most powerful day-to-day body of the ruling ANC are indeed the Top Six headed by Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected party president. There they are the Big Six, the most important animals of all responsible of the majority political party that has been running the country and endeavors to do so for the years to come in spite of the immense harm its representatives have done or allowed to be done to this country. How they will fare is still written in the stars, all the more as most of them have had their share in the disastrous last years. So meanwhile we can resort to another children´s counting rhyme:
David raided as medusa
some unity for him, Mabuza,
while Gwede blows tirades,
as erstwhile he evades.

Still stressy Jessy à la carte
plays a messyful Duarte
and Mashatile Paul
does not agree at all.

In any case do not forget
Ace Magashule as a threat
and one who also could
serve as a link to Saxonwold.

Freshly awakened as tribune
and with his past not quite in tune
now Cyril girds them all,
a herder until overhaul. 

These are the biggest animals
dwelling in Luthuli House
who do the land in eyewash douse
pretending they are radicals.

Guest commentary by Klaus Stadtmuller