Press "Enter" to skip to content

Silwane throws the bones for 2008

The world is littered with people who make money for jam. It is just the way of the capitalist system. The trick about the capitalist system is to discover what it is that one has (product, skill, talent) that people are willing to pay for that is meaningless and has no value. This is why Bill Gates has the sweetest gig in the world — he makes bucket loads of money doing what I suspect he’d be doing anyway even if he had to hold down a post office job to fund it.

In the last year or so I have also started staking a claim for a piece of the “easy money” pie. My strategy revolves around packaging my retarded opinions in such a manner as to be able to sell them off. That’s why I wrote a book full of half-baked opinions disguised as satire.

As I say in the book, my dream is to spend the rest of my life in an empty room and having people come in to ask me what I think about stuff. I think it’s the sweetest gig of all: peddling in opinions without the added burdens of rationality, veracity, usefulness or even credibility.

After all, these are just my opinions. No need to shake my hand now. Congratulate me when the stench from the sulphuric fumes of my opinions rises all the way up to heaven and chokes St Peter and the choir of seraphims.

The closest thing we have, in the current landscape, to the dream occupation I’m thinking about is the political/social-expert commentator/analyst scene. You know, the guys who get paid to tell us what is going to happen in future. I call these guys the crystal-ball gazers/palm readers/sangomas or (when I’m being kind) doomsday prophets. This occupation is not as easy as my dream profession because of the added pressure to be knowledgeable, well-read, smart-sounding and interesting at the same time.

    I have been studying the best analysts for a while and I think I know what their formula is:

  • If, in future, the probability that something good or something bad will happen has about a 50/50 split, predict that something bad will happen.
  • Find the wackiest, most unlikely event you can think of and predict that it will definitely happen.

These principles of prophecy are the most basic foundations of any analyst/prophet worth their salt, although growing a really long, grey beard is not such a bad thing to do either. [Refer to Nostradamus.]

Of course, the best feature of the prophecy business is that nobody ever comes back to you to ask you why you predicted that Cyril Ramaphosa would emerge victorious as the “compromise candidate” at the ANC conference and whether you had been inhaling dried-up cow dung when you made that prediction.

Having said all of that, here are my predictions for 2008:

  • 1. Dame Judi Dench will announce her retirement as “M” and the producers of the Bond movies will cast the net far and wide for a replacement. They will finally announce that they have signed a $5m contract with Cape Town’s Helen Zille based on her resemblance to Dench and her “excellent understanding of the complex intricacies of espionage”. Joe Seremane will be cast as Zille’s chauffer in the movie, which will be shot in Cape Town.
  • 2. The PAC will confound the pundits and actually hold a congress in Cape Town successfully. Of the 28 people who will attend, 13 will actually be gang-bangers from Mitchell’s Plain who will have mistaken the event for a 2PAC concert, three attendees will be a contingent from the Daily Sun following a lead about former deputy president Godi sending tikoloshes to current president Mphahlele and the rest will be former members of the Mandela football club bussed in by former president Motsoko Pheko in his latest bid to return to the helm.
  • 3. Bafana Bafana will score a goal at the African Cup of Nations. Orlando Pirates will amass an incredible two-game winning streak.
  • 4. President Thabo Mbeki will give in to pressure from the baying masses and resign. He will grow a long beard and dreadlocks, use his extensive connections to found the “21st Century Galileo University” where he’ll head up the Virology Department.
  • 5. Osama Bin Laden will finally be captured in the Vatican City where he has been skulking about in cognito as a speech writer for the pontiff.

There you have it. And unlike those other guys, I fully expect the Silwane Files readers to hold me accountable to these spot-on predictions.

[email protected]


  • Once upon a time, Ndumiso Ngcobo used to be an intelligent, relevant man with a respectable (read: boring-as-crap) job which funded his extensive beer habit. One day he woke up and discovered that he had lost his mind, quit his well-paying job, penned a collection of hallucinations. A bunch of racist white guys published the collection just to make him look more ridiculous and called it 'Some of my best friends are white'. (Two Dogs, ISBN 978-1-92013-718-2). Nowadays he spends his days wandering the earth like Kwai Chang Caine, munching locusts, mumbling to himself like John the Baptist and searching for the meaning of life at the bottom of beer mugs. The racist publishers have reared their ugly heads again and dangled money in his face to pen yet another collection of hallucinations entitled 'Is It Coz 'm Black'. He will take cash, major credit cards and will perform a strip tease for contributions to his beer fund.


  1. Khadija Sharife Khadija Sharife 1 January 2008

    I have a thing for Rastas…do you think Mbeki will take to me? Osama Bin Laden sells me freshly baked organic rolls every morning. You have the wrong guy Silwane – get a life. Stop making predictions that will have organic roll man arrested.

  2. Liansky Liansky 1 January 2008

    I disliked the mbeki comment. The rest is fine.

  3. Steve Steve 1 January 2008

    You´re deifinately onto something here with these predictions… But Bafana Bafana scoring a goal – now thats the type of speech that makes everyone think forutne tellers are a bit cooky!

  4. Liansky Liansky 1 January 2008

    Steve, you think black people cant excell?

  5. Vincent Maher Vincent Maher 1 January 2008

    Liansky, stop baiting people on this site. Either make a comment that has some value or we’re going to ban you for being a troll.

  6. sidakwa sidakwa 1 January 2008

    i bet you this year , you will begin to write meaningful articles .

    prove me wrong .


  7. Guy McLaren Guy McLaren 2 January 2008

    In Vince Maher trolling?

    You forgot to tell us how Jacob Zuma has a shower and removes the stench of alledged corruption.

  8. Ben Ben 2 January 2008

    Is that like prostituting thought Ndumiso or are your just playing around in a witty way?

  9. Mandrake Mandrake 2 January 2008

    love the 2PAC bit, absolutely hilarious.

    i think the PAC is like a oldmobile with tufts of grass poking out of its rusted rims, 2008 should be the year it finally finds a new home in a scrap yard.

  10. Owen Owen 2 January 2008

    Was it an own goal scored …..

  11. Liansky Liansky 2 January 2008

    You know us owen. Always burning our books.

  12. Steve Steve 2 January 2008

    Liansky … Where in my comment at any stage, did I write that black people can´t excel…

  13. Liansky Liansky 2 January 2008

    For the sake of having vince not spam my mail box, il respond., as soon as i get a viable 3g signal. Vodacom sucks… Sometimes…

  14. LG LG 2 January 2008

    at least this year you’ll learn not blog again on someone blogs, we are tired of reading three bloggings in one. rastas never die, big one for mbeki.

  15. ross ross 2 January 2008

    “nobody ever comes back to you to ask you why you predicted that Cyril Ramaphosa would emerge victorious…and whether you had been inhaling dried-up cow dung when you made that prediction.”

    Apprapo of nothing, a BBC crystal-ball gazer/palm reader/sangoma is actually predicting Ramaphosa “still has a chance”…

    Funny stuff hey? Proves just how misguided so much “political commentary” is.

    Most of those things is possible, even Dame Helen Zille has a good ring to it, but as Steve said Bafana Bafana scoring at AFCON is stretching things a bit far. I’m glad you stopped short of predicting an Excellent Walaza hat-trick, but perhaps that would have been lost on TL’s highbrow lot.

  16. daniel daniel 3 January 2008

    heading the virology department-good one!
    “two game winning streak”, haha!

  17. Merlin Merlin 7 January 2008

    Go easy on yourself, Ndumiso. I think your sulphuric fumes might just exorcize some of the ghosts that give St. Peter a hard time at the pearly gates… those who just can’t take “no… the other way!!!” for an answer.

  18. Misha & Mvulane Misha & Mvulane 9 January 2008

    Do the thought leader bloggers get paid or write in their own capacity? Do you get paid, hey Ndu?

  19. sbo sbo 9 January 2008

    hey i predict that this year is going to be great (like they said 2000and great) I have a good feeling that all great things are destined for all hardworkers…there is a lot of hot stuff to come especially from the political stuff…but nothing we do not really know!

Leave a Reply