Let’s face it: the sad state of our nation cannot possibly be put down to the inappropriate behaviour, action or lack of it, of just one individual. Likewise, the economy of an entire country is far too complicated to blame only on the president.
However, watching the ‘excellently executed’, mesmerising State of the Nation event this evening (excuse my sarcasm), and listening to the evocative national anthem (this time I mean it), one cannot help but ask: Mr President, why, why, oh why could you not have been on the same page as every suffering citizen when you spoke to tonight? Why did you not sincerely apologise for childishly improving puerile doll-houses in Zululand? Why did you not explain your most sudden decision to replace Minister Nene? Why do you continue your allegedly nefarious relationship with the Chinese and the Guptas?
I ask you this for one reason. And I assure you – it’s not because I believe that had you addressed the above issues – you would have kick-started the dying economy, or alleviated structural poverty, or raised our education standards, or gifted us jobs, or, or, or…
Your sudden change of heart, regret, remorse tonight would certainly not have fixed any of that. I know. We all know.
Our appeal would have had just one intent, to emphasise just one point: we are all together neck-deep in the quicksand of a country that is sinking fast.
Can you, at least, at long-last, begin to start identifying with the rest of us just so we can fully emphathise with your own struggle to save our land?
Ebrahim Essa is an educator currently completing his first book.