‘When I joined the ANC, I never thought I would be anything. In no way, did I say, “One day I could be the president. I think I am good material for the presidency.” Not at all.’ – Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.
Yet there you are Jake – president of the Republic of South Africa. The numero-uno citizen. The Big Chief. No doubt you’d prefer to be called King or even Inkosi. But unfortunately, the constitution doesn’t allow for such titles. Pesky thing, that constitution, isn’t it? Always fucking up your plans and holding you back. Imagine the things you could achieve if you didn’t have to worry about your responsibility to the South African people!
What are they always complaining about, anyway? Inequality, corruption, crime… blah-blah-fucking-blah! And then there’s that goody-two-shoes know-it-all Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela. Who the hell hired her? Jesus Christ, what a pain in the ass having to put up with that nosey bitch and her team of clipboard truth-seekers, traipsing through your house. Sure, you probably didn’t have to see them much, owing to the fact that Nkandla is just that big, but still – as our esteemed president, you shouldn’t have to suffer such blatant intrusions of your privacy.
After all, you’re a member of the public too, right? Who’s meant to protect you? The media can’t seem to understand that you didn’t ask for those multi-million rand upgrades. ‘But then who did?’, they ask. The ANC did, of course! Truth be told, with the economy going down the shitter, they couldn’t really afford it but the ANC had the whole Nkandla thing arranged and paid for anyway. No doubt you protested at such an insensitive display of overindulgence in one of the country’s poorest areas but they were beyond reasoning. They simply love you that much. Duh! Yet the media continue to blame you, as if the ANC answers to you or something. Hardly fair.
It’s about time someone gave you a break. In fact, it’s about time you gave yourself a break. All this ‘trying to do be a good leader’ bullshit is wearing you out. You’re starting to look less like a happy-go-lucky ninja turtle and more like a dried-up old tortoise. Where’s the dancing, the laughing, the singing? Shoot the Boer, Bring me my machine gun – those are great lyrics to great songs. They made you happy. But you can’t sing them anymore without offending certain people. Fuck them. Who are they to shower on your parade? You didn’t make it all the way to the top just to be criticised and ridiculed. So here’s a simple five-step plan of action to get you smiling again.
Step 1: Become a dictator.
This should be easy because you’re already half way there. Don’t take offense but come on – The Protection of State Information Bill? All the corruption? Ousting Thabo? Shutting up Julius? The signs are there, Jake. Stop ignoring them. Democracy just isn’t your thing and that’s OK. But there’s nothing worse than denying your true nature. Frankly, it’s become tiresome. For you and for the rest of us. It’s as if you’re caught in political limbo – sometimes playing by the rules but ultimately looking out for your best interests. Enough is enough. It’s time to let go of this fairness and equality thing for good. Be the despot you want to be. Commit to your new role as overlord, Inkosi. Embrace it and never let it go. Once you do that, completing the other steps should be easy.
Step 2: Do away with big numbers.
You can’t afford to take any chances with this one. There are an estimated seven billion, one-hundred-and-fifty-four million, three thousand and sixty thousand people in the world. And once you become a dictator, more and more of them will be interested in what you’re saying. So instead of setting yourself up for potential embarrassment, simply ban all complicated numbers from government writings.
To begin with, you could put a law in place that rounds everything off. 3 256 becomes 3 000. 5 345 789 becomes 5 000 000, and so on. In addition to preventing more public slip-ups, this will go a long way to helping with some of the state’s creative accounting. Eventually, even that won’t matter but remember: you’ll want to ease the public through their transition from citizens to subjects. As time goes on, you can begin to replace all numerical values with simple words and phrases like ‘more’, ‘less’, ‘not so much’, and ‘quite a lot’.
Step 3. Take over Nigeria.
Who do those Nigerians think they are? They’ve gone and rubbed their progress in your face by eclipsing SA as the biggest economy in Africa – the cheek! It simply won’t do. Now you could try and out do them by improving education, creating jobs, sorting out the mining debacle and cutting corruption but Christ – what a mission!
A better option would be to simply expand your empire, starting with Nigeria. I’m not sure what the state of the army is but you could begin with conscription immediately. Perhaps you could kill two birds with one stone and force some of our less desirable Nigerians in to the ranks. Nigerians marching on Nigeria – ha! That’d show ’em.
Step 4: Expand your empire
By now, you’ll be on a roll so why stop at Nigeria? In fact, you can’t really afford to stop. As an all-powerful overlord with more parties to throw and more wives to please, you won’t have time for trivial things like running the country (you won’t even have time to run it badly). As long as you keep expanding, however, you can just milk your new provinces for everything they have and move on – kind of like what you’re doing to South Africa now but on an international scale.
Your empire is going to need a proper name. The Romans were simply able to use Rome for their newly won territories but you can’t have an area called South Africa in West Africa. That’s just silly. It wasn’t a very original name to begin with so I’m sure the people will welcome a change. And if they don’t, you don’t have to give a fuck (see Step 1). You’ll probably want to name it yourself but you could go with The RFU (The Republic of Fuck You). This name works especially well because it reminds the people that this is all about you, not them. As was mentioned before, being true to yourself is important. As long as you tell people like it is, no one has to be disappointed.
Step 5: Go on a diet
This is serious. Longevity is going to be an issue if you don’t look after your health. No more sneaky chocolate runs to the Nkandla tuck shop; pap is out; and you’ll have to swap beer for whiskey but only in moderation. Smoking is a big no-no and you can’t depend on a shower to protect you from HIV/AIDS. This is going to be one hell of a ride – one you don’t want ending prematurely just because you couldn’t show a little restraint. Has Robert Mugabe ever let himself go? No. Fault the man as much as you like but he keeps his weight down and that’s why he’s reveling in his 34th year as Emperor of Zimbabwe.
Don’t worry; you’ll still be a fat cat, but only in the figurative sense. Also, you might want to hire a personal trainer to help keep you keep in shape. After all, you may not be fit for office but there’s no reason why you can’t be fit.
It’s as simple as that, Mr President, or should I say: Your Highness (lol). You don’t have to worry anymore. It’s no secret that you’ve been extra stressed out lately. The opposition is upping its game. Helen may have made a balls-up of attempting to sway your voters the DA’s way with the Ramphela business but it’s a worrying sign nonetheless.
At least everyone considers Julius a joke. Well, everyone except the hordes that shout, march and vandalise under the banner of the EFF. How many former ANC voters are there amongst those hordes? Too many for your liking, I’m sure. Perhaps the people are starting to cry out for a great leader, rather than getting caught up in political propaganda. Perhaps they’re just sick of your shit.
Thankfully, none of that matters because now you have your five-step plan and it’s absolutely free! You’re welcome. Consider it my humble contribution to The Empire. Of course, you’ll have to iron out the details but I suggest you start before it’s too late – before you reach the time limit that democracy has set you.
And, Jacob, if you’re ever doubting yourself, just remember: not everyone can be a leader but just about any idiot out there can be a ruler.