HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsBeware of the craven sycophant!

Beware of the craven sycophant!


I once had a dog, Boki, whom I pampered so much and fed on all kinds of delicacies that are not ordinarily on the menu of canines. Resultantly, Boki became a real sycophant and went overboard like a real samurai soldier in my protection, often attacking even my family members or close friends, even for simply coming anywhere near me. Each time I came home Boki would jump all over me with his fancy acrobatics. There’s nothing like a dog’s true love! No wonder they call it a man’s best friend.
When Boki got old and I acquired a new puppy to ‘succeed’ him, he viciously maulded the poor thing to death. Boki became a real-love embarrassment!
Beware the sycophant!
The current pernicious jingles on ZBC and the nuanced and mocking lyrics thereof, depicting our mothers indecently gyrating – the Kamuzu Banda’s mbumba- style, and attempting to upstage Shakira, ostensibly, in support and love for the president are lugubrious and embarrassing- coming, as they do, at a time when our nation has come together to try and salvage and re- invent itself following a violent election that saw many lose life and limb.
I have my doubt as to the sincerity of the whole exercise. Africans have a penchant for insincere adulation. They will sing songs in your praise when they thoroughly hate you, unlike dogs.
Joseph Mobutu was the subject of many moving jingles. They even panned his picture in the clouds like the second coming of the Lord Jesus or some demi-god, right up to his apocalypse. When he fell from grace, the same people turned on him and hounded him vermin.
Kamuzu Banda had lyrics of church songs re-mastered in his praise till the hour of reconning.
Just over 30 or so years ago, Dzakutsaku – Huruyadzo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa who, not many months before flavour of the season in songs learnt with horror of how suddenly his polls fortunes had not been acquitted by the musical build-up.
It is a foolish politician who uses cheap music renditions as popularity polls.
The current cheap fandango is a regrettable naked and insane attempt to use public media to crow at, embarrass and pour scorn on the other inclusive government partners and insult viewers to the marrow. It is destitute of subtlety, finesse and adds zero value to the present detente psyche and national discourse. It is symptomatic of the sick brainwave of a pretentious fanatical sycophant with a maniac’s stubbornness for trying to appease the powers that be, lest the president is also mulling over reshuffling his team! It’s as sycophantic as the Idi Amin-syndrome of prefixing any mention of the president with titles like Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, when it is inherently normative that presidents are commanders in chief of their armies.
Contrary to popular belief, propaganda is a complex science. It not a field for the unskilled, sand-blind or dim-witted! It’s a profession that requires intellectual genius in order to activate the cognitive psychological processes. The moment one crosses the line of minimum levels of civility in brashness, as in the present case, one reaps revulsion, disapproval and the complete antithesis. Propaganda is not for green-horns who are wet behind the ears.
Even in nature, mvura yedutu haipinde pasi, inoerera, asi mubvumbi. (storm water does not soak into the ground, it runs off, but light drizzles ).
Given the cost of producing jingles – cast, props, transport, producers, directors, lighting, cameramen, airtime cost and associated logistics, without even considering the sheer bankruptcy of the message, someone clearly, has more money than brains! To think that someone can conceive of an idea to waste resources on such hare-brained initiatives at a time when just about every state institution is underfunded and scrapping the barrel, families going without food and some children failing to attend school for lack of funds, all in the name of patronage – it surely boggles the mind, to say the least! This is sycophancy over-load! It surely beats my late dog, Boki! If dogs have souls, may it rest in peace in the comfort that, it did not die in vain, as some humans have carried the torch!
What is the value in showing that kind of lunatic-asylum-rubbish on national television, at a this time when even South Africa which only had television decades after us is now showing world class quality -programming. Little wonder the general public resists paying for TV licences opting to install and watch satellite and cable TV from other jurisdictions – even in the rural areas.
National broadcasting is delicate prime- real estate and should never be vest in irresponsible, impressionable and excitable hands.
Nation building means that we have to pay a price. It requires robust leadership and hard choices. It needs everyone’s cooperation and bigotry simply has to give way to enlightenment.
For a country so richly endowed with all manner of resources, including human resources, let us focus our collective energy on things that benefit us. Let us not turn ourselves into the continental jester. We must learn to take a long view of where it is that we want to go, and keep our eyes firmly fixed on the distant goal.
There is no denying that we are to blame, for taking our trusting people and nation over the cliff! Let us not continue this audaciously falsehood of blaming everyone else but ourselves. Let’s take responsibility for what we have done wrong. We have been the culprits in many instances and we owe our people an apology, period! It is the acceptance of lowering ourselves to the level of having our purview circumscribed by such cheap and decadent nonsense like these jingles that diminishes our stature.
Those who have no idea how profound this moment is for Zimbabwe to rebrand itself, join the league of civilised, peaceful and developing nations should get out of the way and let us be. Let us carry that gift of freedom and the torch of liberty, peace and justice for all, and deliver it safely to future generations.
Zimbabwe should be in the leadership role of bringing stability to troubled nations and not be in this perennially invidious and precarious position where African leaders are here day in day out trying to help us do the right thing.
Let us now elevate our political discourse beyond, parochial, abstract, rhetorical notions. There is more that unites us as a nation, than what divides us.
Let us learn to concentrate on and build on that strength and turn our negative energy into a positive force. This is hardly the time for unsophisticated political theatre –the world is changing and we must change with it!
These jingles do not bode well for the current environment and they certainly merit the award for the worst snobbishness ever!

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