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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

People think Africa is the doomed continent. They are wrong.

I am struggling to build up a good head of outrage. Everything I read seems unpleasantly familiar. Cops are crooked, tenders are rigged, men are shot, women are raped, the capitalists are winning, the Sharks are losing …

Perhaps I should pack it all in and begin a new life. Get a proper job, drink light beer, take up jogging, go out for family pizza night, recycle my rubbish, wear V-neck sweaters, take an interest in sport, vote for the DA and, most important of all, stop reading newspapers.

While trying to decide which would be less painful – changing my lifestyle or shooting myself in the face – a headline caught my attention: “Bong sale calms Dutch market.”

I imagined the market was in uproar because Israel’s nuclear weapons programme was making the oil-producing countries jumpy and driving up the price of fuel, which, in turn, drove up the price of cheese, eels and poffertjes, which can’t possibly be as gay as they sound.

The Dutch aren’t big on rampaging, so the market probably ground to a standstill as shoppers gathered in small, tidy groups to mutter darkly and shake their heads. In Holland, this is the equivalent of a full-blown riot.

Then, moments before a policeman arrived, a hemp-coated hippie set up a table and began selling bongs for 80% off. People crowded around, laughing and chatting and stocking up on hubbly-bubblies ahead of the cruel European winter.

Apparently I misread the headline: “Bond sale calms Dutch market.”

The story was full of weasel words like “budget limit” and “savings package” and “deficit target”.

The crisis was caused when Geert Wilders pulled his Freedom Party out of the government because he was no longer willing to be dictated to by Brussels, whatever the hell that means.

Wilders looks like the result of an experiment that went awry in one of Josef Mengele’s racial purification projects. He is over three metres tall, with platinum hair that is styled in a wind tunnel driven by solar power or, on overcast days, 28 Arab refugees on bicycles. In terms of Freedom Party policies, these are the only immigrants who should be allowed to live in Holland.

People think Africa is the doomed continent. They are wrong. Europe is the new title-holder. While the rich dig their moats, making sure the drawbridge man is on speed-dial, the wretched refuse are abandoning their teeming shores like the rats they are.


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The African Peer Review Mechanism might have more luck reviewing piers

The ANC says it is pleased with the appointment of its chairperson, Baleka Mbete, to the African Union’s African Peer Review Mechanism panel.

Spokesperson Token S’phamandla said Mbete planned to make several sweeping changes to the APRM.

“The original aim of the APRM was to ensure good economic and political governance on the continent. Things have changed since then. In these modern post-Mbeki times, the ANC feels it is unAfrican for one country to judge another. It is disrespectful to the ancestors,” she said.

S’phamandla said Mbete would push for the body to be renamed the African Pier Review Mechanism.

“There are many, many piers in Africa that are going unmonitored. Right now, countries can choose to join the APRM.


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Africa Could Do with Shrien Dewani’s Celebrity Publicist, Max Clifford

Dear Max, Congratulations on doing an excellent job of representing Shrien Dewani, the poor fellow unjustly accused of hiring gunmen to shoot his wife, Anni, in Guguletu last month.

As you said, the whole business stinks of a set-up. It is clearly a conspiracy between the South African government, the police, the prosecutors, the taxi driver, the killers and everyone who lives within 5km of the murder scene. I knew he was innocent the moment he hired you and a lawyer before he was even named as a suspect.

Your unremitting passion for justice has not gone unnoticed. This week, I was asked to find out if you would be interested in representing a gentleman from Uganda. His name is Joseph Kony and he heads a youth group called the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Mr Kony has been wrongfully accused of kidnapping, enslavement, murder, rape and the odd bit of pillaging over a period of 20 years. This is an absolute travesty. He is the nicest person you could hope to meet, a committed Christian who loves horses and long walks on the beach.

It would be a simple matter for a man of your talents to convince the world that the Lord’s Resistance Army is on a mission to spread goodwill throughout central Africa and would never dream of using blunt machetes to hack women and children to death.


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