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Tragically, black people now willingly portraying themselves as fools and idiots!

02 Sep 2022 at 06:44hrs | Views
Last night, it was most interesting, and even illuminating, watching a news clip on the Rhodesia period comic show, 'Tiki' - which featured a young black man engaged in several supposedly hilarious sketches, that were, however, widely perceived as demeaning, and seeking to portray Africans as fools and idiots.

I have never actually watched any of these 'Tiki' productions - although, my late father, who had a stint at the information ministry during the colonial era, used to tell me about them, and all other similar attempts at entrenching the belief of black people being irredeemably daft.

Of course, in order for such conceptions to be acceptable as truths, and ingrained in the minds of the targeted audiences - they were packaged as comedy shows - a common strategy even today, whereby laughter is cleverly employed to let people's guards down, whilst being brainwashed with usually contemptible ideas and propaganda.

However, as I was glued to my television last evening - and, pondering on these skits, as parts of his 'Tiki learns to drive' were being aired during an interview with the man who played the main character, now in his seventies - I found myself wondering if we were still not portraying ourselves as unmitigated laughable fools.

...only this time around, willingly!

What would we say, if an enterprising white filmmaker were to produce a comedy parody, in which an African national leader chartered an expensive private jet - all the way from the UAE (United Arab Emirates), and charged by the hour, running up a bill of a million dollars, solely for the purpose of flying from one city to another (only 400 kilometers away) - in the midst of extreme poverty and hunger facing nearly half his country's citizens?

In fact, it would have taken the leader less time driving to and fro the city, than waiting for the jet to arrive all the way from Dubai - a good 5,464 kilometers away!

Would that not cause an uproar, as the film producer is accused of being a racist, trying to paint black leaders as pathetic crazy dim-wits?

Yet, did we not witness, in utter shock and dismay, these scenes playing out - not as a scripted acting plot in some low-budget B-movie - but, right here in Zimbabwe, in real life?

What are we to make of a black ruling elite, who brazenly and unashamedly plunder and pillage their nation's vast resources - thereby, building immense mansions for themselves, and driving top-of-the-range vehicles - yet, driving them on potholed streets (neglected since attaining power from colonial rule), and their opulent homes reliant on borehole water (as service delivery virtually collapsed)?

Whilst, at the same time, the majority of the population - including professionals and civil servants - struggling to rent even just one or two rooms for accommodation with their families, due to paltry salaries, which are well below the poverty datum line.

We then have the same ruling elite flying (usually, in the same extravagant charted jets) to overseas countries for modern medical care - leaving behind a nation that cannot even access a simple paracetamol for pain relief, surgical theaters shutdown due to the shortage of anesthetic drugs, pregnant women having to sleep on the floor (for lack of beds in ramshackle public hospitals and clinics), and cancer patients waiting for death in excruciating agony (as desperately needed radiotherapy machines remain unavailable).

To cap it all - imagine a huge delegation of over a hundred people, accompanying the state president to a climate change conference overseas, who make global newspaper headlines for purchasing trolly-fulls of the most expensive whiskeys - yet, having left behind millions of poverty-stricken citizens surviving on food handouts, and teetering on the verge of starvation.

Would that not make good 'comedy' in a 'Tiki' sequel?

If only these were not real life events - causing untold suffering and pain upon ordinary people, resulting in needless deaths!

In all this, what would we have said about the white producer of such skits, fronted by these black African leaders?


Well, how different is this behavior by our black African leaders to what we watched, and found unacceptably degrading, in those 'Tiki' films?

Yet, this time around we appear to find absolutely nothing wrong with such demeaning and disgusting behavior - with some even regarding it as some sign of high status.

Or, can we say the objectives of the original 'Tiki' productions have been successfully accomplished - that of inculcating foolishness and idiocy in black people - since, we clearly have fully embraced and adopted the character as an essential component of black life?

‚óŹ Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email:

Source - Tendai Ruben Mbofana
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