Numsa members letters

Many people know Zimbabwe for its waters that thunder. Gone are the days when Harare and Gaborone in Botswana was an oasis of tranquility.

People came from all cardinal points of the world to visit these beautiful countries free from oppression.

From the beginning, favour was not Mugabe's subject. With an ego bigger than Lake Victoria he has become the “Idi Amin” of the south. He has forced the cliché of our inherent hopelessness and helplessness.

Like Abatcha, Mobuto, Mengistu, Verwoerd and Taylor he has become another pathetic historical fact note.

He is doing all this because of love for his country and hatred for America, Britain and Australia.

He also knows that Africa is not united and that what happened to Saddam Hussein might happen to him.

Let all African statesmen gather to resolve Zimbabwe's issues with Robert Mugabe. Mayibuye i-Afrika!
John Mpharam Chiloane, Scaw Metals, Johannesburg Central local


In an effort to help rebuild Africa's distorted image and highlight economic potential our culture could yield, our media houses must cease to be agents of foreign cultures but consider being the watchdog and custodians of the continent's cultures and heritage.

When delivering the inaugural lecture on “Perspective on and of Africa”, President Thabo Mbeki asked, “what past and present information is available on Africa? Who gathers and disseminates such information? Who interprets events and processes in Africa? From what point of view are these interpretations made? Whose views dominate the daily discourse in our country and in the rest of the continent?”

Other countries have over the years always taken advantage of the advent of the communication age to advance and promote their cultural products.

They too have used the media to paint Africa in an abstract way with bold and rough brush strokes.

So obsessed were they with shame and an inferiority complex that they chose to ignore the continent's successes that our forebears drew knowledge and became famous in fields such as astronomy, maths, engineering, science and architecture.

A classic example of the media's power to help sell one's cultural products is the US' “Voice of America”.

Founded in the 1950s it was designed to feed the world with its programmes. It is the envy of many in the world today.

For Africa to reach the status of the super powers it needs media outlets determined to rigorously market and promote our cultural products to the global audience.

It needs a media which will make certain that the continent's talent is valued and appreciated. It needs to create opportunities and support for the economically disadvantaged producers of cultural products.

It needs to invest in areas such as the production of quality products, project management, marketing, capacity building, promotion, cultural exchange programmes and distribution.

This could result in our home grown products standing a better chance of attracting foreign exchange.

Numsa News No 20