Dit my groot lekkerkry gee om hierdie hondeskou oop to verklaar, Meneer Zuma. You’ll be of a certain age and have an elephantine memory to match if you can place the first 80% of that line. It was, I believe, a running gag in a Springbok Radio comedy show in the sixties called Next Stop Makouvlei and uttered by an English-speaking South African character trying desperately to impress with a little Afrikaans but failing somewhat embarrassingly.

The line strikes me as being as good a start as any in my attempt, starting this momentous day for our new leader in waiting, to try to make myself more Afrikaans, less English, and consequently less marginalised and more of a proper South African in the eyes of he who must now be obeyed at all times. Unfortunately, I will still be white, even if I were suddenly to start sprouting Zulu, but I’m an old hand at inhabiting a minority skin colour, so I shall remain as thick-skinned as ever about that unfortunate accident of birth.

So ja, hartlik welkom by hierdie blog wat gededikeer is aan daardie outjie met die stort op sy kop. Ou stortkop. Or Jacob Stort, as he may have been called had he lived in parts of the Karoo, where Afrikaans-speaking white okes are often called after a personal characteristic. I once met an oke called Jan Snôr, after his impressive Hitlerian moustache, and another called Jan Pens, after his sizeable boep (I think — it may have been Spens, after the pantry that fed the boep).

Zuma, in that small-town milieu, would have all sorts of names to choose from. And if he wishes to pursue his newfound fondness for white Afrikaners, perhaps he should adapt his moniker to suit that part of his electoral base. First up, he needs to lose the “b” and become known to platteland folk as Jaco. He could be Jaco Skiet for his penchant for machineguns, or Jaco Donner for his ability to make mincemeat of his opponents. We (fledgling) Afrikaners know on which side our roosterbrood is gebotter.

As for the surname, “Zuma” doesn’t really have much of an Afrikaans ring to it, nor would it resonate all that well in such conservative climes. In Arabic, Zuma is a girl’s name meaning “Peace” and a derivative of Zulema, which somehow doesn’t seem to fit. Whatever you might say about our fearless leader to be, a girl he is not.

Wikiname.com says Zuma means Peace, Healthy, New Day or Running Horse. Now that’s looking much more like it. New day seems superbly apt, especially today (as I write) being the day all those nasty charges are being withdrawn. But Running Horse, now could anything be more perfect for Zuma as he breaks out of the starting gate on his easy lope to the finish line on April 22? He’s a cert.

But none of the above translates aptly into Afrikaans, as surnames go, so I guess he’ll have to settle for Zoema, which sounds suitably zesty and rhymes with voema, so there’s an election rallying song in the making there. But I shall hold out for the Afrikaans version.

In the meantime I have burnt my old Johnny Clegg and Juluka/Savuka CDs and bought some Afrikaans CDs and am playing them in my car, winding the windows down and turning the volume up so that everyone will know I am a proper South African and not one of those two-passport uitlanders.

I have become particularly fond of Ray Dylan’s Stoppie Lorrie (The Zumacade’s Coming Through), but just so that nobody thinks I’m a woes I’m also playing Fokofpolisiekar (The Zumacade’s Coming Through). Gotta cover all my bases, boet. I’m eating lots of steak, medium rare and sometimes even well done, washed down with Klippies and Coke, and I am delighted to report that my boep is coming along very nicely.

I am finding Helen Zille very attractive, I must say, and would vote for her party were it not such a sadly English thing to do. Since I am not yet quite Afrikaans enough to actually vote for Zuma’s party, however, I have decided to vote for the ACDP, which has as much chance of getting any noteworthy foothold in Parliament as the old Nats, which makes me feel perfectly at home in my new Afrikaner skin.



  • Tony Jackman is a journalist, budding playwright and sometime chef. He's written two plays, An Influence of Ghosts and Blue Train Coming, and back in the day wrote loads of songs. He paints a bit in watercolours when he remembers to, and apart from that he massages words and pushes grammar for a nice little magazine called myweek. Follow me on Twitter


Tony Jackman

Tony Jackman is a journalist, budding playwright and sometime chef. He's written two plays, An Influence of Ghosts and Blue Train Coming, and back in the day wrote loads of songs. He paints a bit in watercolours...

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