From The Basement with The Gimp


The Basement is usually quite cold especially during winter evenings. So I would have been trying to nurse myself to sleep, but The Master decided to feed me with some ‘plastic coffee’ for whatever meal it was; (I am accustomed to at most a single meal a day, without any assurances what kind of meal it would be – it was a mere cup of coffee.)

So, there I was flicking through the channels and you were on all of them, ready to deliver your celebratory speech on behalf of the ANC. I don’t pay much attention to speeches by politicians, but when I didn’t see you clutching speech cards, I relaxed knowing you would speak from the heart. I know those armchair experts have dissected, ingested and provided various interpretations of it, so I won’t go there, after all what would The Gimp know?

Mr. President, twice in just under a month, you touched on a subject that is close to The Basement - Press Freedom. For The Gimp, it’s more than press freedom; it’s the freedom of everyone to express themselves. The freedom as was provided in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights or Chapter II of the republic’s supreme law, the Constitution. That includes yours, Mr. President.

I know you promised to create jobs every single day for the next five years, but there are some jobs that I want to ask you to de-create. Mr. President, fire your speechwriters. You don’t need them. All they do is gag you, infringe on your right to free expression. Those gatekeepers must go, Mr. President. Do not listen to their whispers or read their work anymore. Like all of us, your right to free expression is important.

I know they would tell you The Gimp ‘doesn’t know nothing’. That would be for their self-preservations - they want to safeguard their income. Send them packing. After all I was told that two negatives turn into positive, ‘doesn’t know nothing’ would mean I know something. If you don’t believe me, ask the IEC, due to their experience, to conduct a referendum on whether the ‘speechwriters should go or stay’. The results would be they should all go. I am not a clairvoyant, but this one I can predict.

With the speechwriters gone, something else Mr. President. In the coming days, you will receive calls from various leaders and rulers. Having watched and listened to you deliver that ungagged speech, I am confident that you shall find appropriate words to convey requests from The Basement

When you get that call from the not-so-Goodluck Jonathan from ‘Africa’, please find some words to compel him to sit down with the abductors of those schoolgirls. They are our sisters and daughters, kidnapped by our brothers and fathers.

Mr. President, I know you are also a father. I will offer The Basement for such a sit-down, if the venue would be a problem. Those girls deserve to be with their parents and siblings. They deserve to be at school. I won’t attempt to go Shakespearean as you just outdid us at that, but I will try JF Kennedy; “Freedom is indivisible, and when man is enslaved, all are not free.” How then can we celebrate freedom when our sisters and daughters are made to disappear? When our parents are left hopeless.

Mr. President, please find a free way of reminding the not-so-Goodluck that no amount of money can buy freedom. Offering thousands of dollars for the safe return of the girls is placing monetary value on them. He should talk with the Boko Haram or whatever they call themselves. The problem with most rulers is that they never want to listen. They hear, but don’t listen. Those girls aren’t for sale and deserve to be free. And should not be used as a bargaining tool.

Further remind him that bringing western experts to help find the girls is a waste of time. Experts! Experts for what! On what! About what! Should they find the location of the missing girls then what? Will they send drones to neutralize everything and everyone in the vicinity? Aren’t these the same experts that have failed to locate a planeload of passengers? Or have we forgotten the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370. Those girls could have fitted into such planes and just vanished. Please Mr. President, find means to meet with the not-so-Goodluck.

Mr. President, when you receive a call from those power grabbers from the North Africa, please find words to compel them to release the Al-Jazeera journalists they are holding on various charges. Would I be charged for covering your political opponents? I don’t think so. Those journalists are our brothers and they deserve to enjoy the freedom that all of us enjoy.

Al-Jazeera Journalists; Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, Baher Mohammed, Abdullah El-Shamy should be freed to travel here to cover and report on your inauguration.

Finally, the conversation that I would really want to listen to Mr. President, is that between yourself and our immediate neighbour across the Limpopo River.

Mr. President, I have watched you over the years. You can dance, and every other political leader that has tried to ‘out-dance’ you has been left red-cheeked. I also know that you can sing.

Mr. President, when Uncle Bob makes that call, I would rather you just don’t say ‘ngiyabonga kakhulu’. Sing for him the song ‘Let the Children Sing’ by ‘Thandeka’ a.k.a PJ Powers or Penelope J. Dunlop.

I know you were preoccupied with electioneering, Mr. President, when Uncle Bob’s gatekeepers barred some of our children, the music band Freshlyground, from expressing themselves in Harare. Supposing Bob didn’t know about this forced return (deportation) of the members of the bandto South Africa? Please urge him to cut loose the gatekeepers. Freshlyground‘s members would not hurt a fly. Most of them were born after Zimbabwe came to be. Besides, we still remember Waka Waka, the official 2010 FIFA World Cup song.

And that’s all from The Basement with The Gimp.