Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apparently, the article published earlier is in the media...

Have a look here for the full article...

Thanks to Fishman for bringing it to my attention...

If this article is true, the author is a fuckin' genius...

The underlying article was emailed to me and I have no way of checking its authenticity...

Sandile Memela is an author and chief director for marketing and public relations at the Department of Arts and Culture. He writes in his personal capacity:

For almost 30 years I have debated the subject of matric results with many different people from different walks of life. One thing that strikes those with eyes to see is that white students continue to dominate and outshine the ranks of matric super-achievers followed by so-called Indians.

There is a perception that African students are the worst performers. If you look at the faces of smiling and happy pupils who have obtained more than six distinctions in matric this year, they are mostly white.

Of course, that tells us something not about who has superior intelligence but who is willing to put their shoulder to the wheel.

After all, the greatest determinant of how many distinctions a student is going to get at the end of the year is the amount of work they are willing to put in.

One thing that has struck me over the last 15 years is that African students seem to be more interested in song, dance, fashion and booze than self-discipline, focus and hard work.

Of course this is a generalisation that makes the innocent suffer but one needs only visit festivals, night clubs and other places of entertainment to find out which direction African students channel their energies.

The reality of the situation is that white and Indian pupils are too few a minorities for them to dominate matric results.

It is time that we asked a hard question of African students: how long are they going to depend on affirmative action to make headway in life?

Of course, it is a justifiable government policy to demand that tertiary institutions make special provision for enrolling African students to be enrolled at universities. But who should be given special treatment between a super-performing white student and a time-wasting African student with low marks?

I would be wary to answer, without any reservation, and with the deepest conviction of my heart and soul that the opportunity should go to an African student.

It is time that special focus was put on matric results and the performance of African students at high school level and beyond.

Since 1994 African students have had the power to choose to be great super-achievers or mediocre talents. Their parents and government continue to make huge sacrifices huge amounts of money for them to attend the best former whites-only schools under the best conditions.

It is just an excuse for us to accept that African students face racism, victimisation and that we continue to blame white teachers and principals for their poor performance.

Fundamentally, African students are the product of what they choose to be.

Their matric results have very little to do with their genes or the upbringing and environment they live in.

Certainly, the issue of language, genes and culture, if you like, often influence how students learn but this does not predetermine their results. The excuse that African students are so-called Historically Disadvantaged Individuals has been bandied about for far too long, now.

The essence of the difference in matric results between White, Indian and African students is simply a matter of self-discipline, focus and hard work.

It is time more was demanded of African pupils rather than encourage them to continue to believe that they future is secured simply because of their skin colour.

This whole attitude of entitlement makes it easy for conservatives to say that affirmative action is reverse racism.

African pupils make choices based on the values they learn from their families and communities.

African leadership and management at family and institutional level is, largely, a product of a culture of entitlement. This misleads the youth. The ability of pupils to reinvent themselves and surpass all expectations in matric performance is what this country needs, especially from African youth.

The best gift that the white and Indian youth have given this country is the example of focused, disciplined and hard working young people. Let us not discriminate against them, later, to make way for African youth who are not a source of pride for this nation. It is time that merit and a willingness to work harder were the new criteria to decide who gets an opportunity in the New South Africa and who does not.

African pupils must choose whether they want to succeed or perish as fools.

If they choose the latter, they must face the consequences of their own choices. The future of Africa deserves better quality leadership than our youth are putting on the table.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things are going swimmingly...

or not, if you were the unfortunate Zimbabwean tourist who happened to get taken by what appears to be a great white shark, on Monday, in Fish Hoek just around the corner from us.

My Bruthafromanothamutha sent me this comment on a previous posting I'd made, obviously to get me to post something new or to let him know I'm still alive...

"I see you were busy the last 24 hrs........"

In reality, the only involvement from our NSRI base was when we were asked to launch our small boat in the surf zone to see if we could detect any remains of the poor bastard who got taken. That was on Tuesday evening.

Last night, Wednesday, we were supposed to have our monthly base meeting at which the StatCom gives us a run-down of what's happened in the last month, number of rescues, progress with our new base, who's screwing who at head office, etc.

This month, however, Ian was asked by the authorities to meet with the family of the victim, probably to describe what had been done to recover what's left (if anything) of the bloke. I don't envy him the task as it cannot be easy to explain this sort of thing to distraught family members, especially after something like this. "Oh, he was flailing around in the water, people saw him get launched out of the water by the force of the attack, the shark came for him twice, people could see the terror on his face........" know what I mean. Ian, though, is the ultimate diplomat and an experienced medical rescue professional and I'm sure, though he would have been choked with emotion, he would have handled it with total dignity and poise, leaving the family with the knowledge that everyone that could, tried their most to save the guy.

What happened was unfortunate and sad, as has been said a million times over on this and previous attacks. Humans, however, do not belong in the ocean and when they do, they become part of the foodchain to some big scary monsters, not just great whites. That's the bottom line and this time the guy was unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time...