Avidity defined as: keen interest, enthusiasm or “a positive feeling of wanting to push ahead with something”.

Now that we’ve got that out the way I can focus on what it is that has conjured this feeling that I have. It is not just the freedom of a new keyboard, typing hasn’t been this comfortable for a long time, and its not just the lateness of the hour that has me inspired. I think its something else, something that has been troubling me for some time. A book. It’s here somewhere, I can feel it, it’s been here for a while, hiding — taunting me with its very existence, making me look for it in my writing and having me wondering what it is about.

I was asked today to write down five personal goals for the next three months. Instantly without thinking I shouted out, “I want to write a book”. My other goals were pedestrian by nature, but this one — this book — requires a delving into a part of my life that I haven’t tapped into for about 10 years. There was a time when I would sit down at my computer and produce 75 000 words of political critique without breaking a sweat. I wrote a book every time I had something to say.

Not surprisingly my books were never read by the public: I would email the document to whomever I had written the book for — and that was the end of it — no publisher, no hard cover versus soft cover debate — and no plaudits for having written a book. I look back on my loquaciousness with a sense of pride and achievement — and disappointment. Along the way I discovered a two thousand year old book that is hailed as religious text by some — but to me its just politics — written in poetry. I didn’t really think about it — I just learned to write my satire and my polemic in poetry. “Phansi long boring political speeches, phansi! Viva political beat poetry viva!” I shouted to anyone that would listen.

So about ten years ago, after about five years of the poetry, I stopped writing the books — and starting writing articles for Thoughtleader — and every now and then a poem would flow out the ends of my fingertips, as I typed out what was troubling me. But this is now, all these years later, and it is upon me – I feel a book lurking.

I don’t know what its about, I don’t know how it starts or ends and I don’t know to whom it is directed or addressed. What I do know is that one of these days in the very near future, I am going to sit down and start typing and it will flow out of me in a truly cathartic manner. Judging from my earlier books written in proximity to general elections — this one may be about the 2019 elections — in fact I’m going to say that it is likely to be a message to someone who has something to do with the 2019 elections.

The only problem with that is — who will it be? Will it be Cyril and a warning against the ANC’s complacency? Will it be Mmusi Maimane and a critique of the liberalism? Will it be Julius Malema and a directive to curb the invective? Or will it be Shenge and a demand for some traditional leadership? I don’t know. I have been going around telling people that I’m not voting (in the singular, plural and extensible senses) for the ANC, that the ANC needs to lose this election and spend five years in opposition rebuilding the ANC from the ground up, while a coalition government, of the current opposition parties, tries to solve the social, economic and political problems that South Africa has.

The problem is that the ANC is complacent and has been talking nonsense of late. The recent suggestion of the possible violation of property rights is a case in point. Everyone knows that violating property rights is the initial move down the road of economic basket-case, social pariah and political non-entity. Unfortunately for the opposition party coalition government —they will not be able to solve the problems of housing, healthcare, education, unemployment, poverty and inflation (collectively the stagflation I have been banging on about) in five years, thus proving that the reactionary opposition doesn’t have solutions, only complaints.

And then the ANC can return to power for another 25 years, replete with the bragging that the hyper-critical opposition wasn’t able to solve the problems when they had the opportunity. Shame. Then again the book may turn out to have nothing to do with the elections or with politics, in fact for all I know its about knitting, gardening and barbecuing. So all that remains is for me to push ahead with this feeling — to write, and to see where that writing takes me.

Regardless of what I write, I will still critique the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) election manifesto on Thoughtleader and explain why I am voting (in the singular, plural and extensible senses) for the DA. Given that the DA is South Africa’s liberal party, and given that I am a liberal — it only stands to reason that I will vote for what I believe, and for those who share my beliefs. Nonetheless, my forthcoming book will be written soon — and then we will see where the economy, society and polity is directed at that time.


Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender is the Chief Political Officer of MicroGene.

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