Mhambi has been redeployed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

De la Rey makes it to British shores

Mhambi was reading the Guardian on the tube this morning. It's difficult as the carriages were so full, it requires you to be a bit of a gymnast to keep standing and turn the pages simultaneously.

But I managed, and as I turned a page came a surprise: there, low and behold was a full page story dedicated to the De la Rey song controversy.

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sub Rosa said...

I published the story in the newspaper of Maariv a few weeks ago. I didn't learn about it from your blog, but I you certainly helped me out in understanding the whole issue. Thanks!

Mike said...

Hallo Wessel. I'm flabbergasted at the coverage this story is getting globally. After reading the above post I found the story on the 'front' page of the New York Times' online edition as well. I was simply getting my daily dose of NYT and there it was - DE LA REY... I then ranted about the surprising amount of coverage a bit on my own blog as well. I do refer and link to the above post but Blogger hasn't picked up on it in the 'links to this post' section on your blog - not yet anyway. I'm actually hoping that the hoolah about the song will die off and make place for a more sensible discussion of the underlying issues.

Wessel said...

Hi Mike, why is the coverage a bad thing?

Mike said...

In PR and journalism the maxim "There's no such thing as bad publicity" is well known. While it is related to an affected party's image (corporate or private) i.t.o. media coverage, I suppose it will apply equally to important issues / debates. In this case the position / identity of the Afrikaner / Afrikaans in present day South Africa. In that context I have to concede that the coverage is not a bad thing. I'm also relieved by the quality of insights shown in NYT and Guardian.

I think my discomfort has to do with the 'messenger' and his (their) medium. Bok van Blerk may have woken up, to a limited degree, to the complexities of identity and history but is mostly clueless -if his public persona is not a front. His extremely poor judgement in meeting with a Boeremag member on trial for sabotage (aimed against a democracy), one bomb claimed the lives of two Soweto residents, is strange to say the least. While I concede that Orania is free to host 'rock' concerts, rather surrealistic if you think about it, playing there in the context of the debate around the song smacks of stupidity. Having images from the Anglo-Boer war as center piece of a debate on the position of the contemporary Afrikaner is highly problematic. Surely our quest today should resolve around the position of all minorities, in a healthy thriving and diverse democracy? Not only the protection of minority cultures, languages, identities and rights but ALSO the constructive involvement in building our country.

At the moment the whole De la Rey 'saga', in my opinion, is hung up with 'fighting against' rather than 'fighting for'. Afrikaners should stake out 'n role and identity in the new South Africa. What we don't need is a laer-trek (drawing a lager) mentality. We need a positive approach. One where one can criticize from within the socio-political framework, not by turning our backs on it. Bla bla bla. I'll blog on this soon - my comment is way too long. Apologies...