Pricey Physician Dlamini-Zuma – The Mail & Guardian


First, I wish to begin off by saying ngiyabonga ngako konke osuke wakwenza ukulwela inkululeko. Imisebenzi yakho nabanye iyabonakala. 

This have to be a aggravating time for you and your colleagues. We admire the work that you just do. We admire your service. I see you as a formidable pressure, and it’s on this spirit that I pen this letter, MaDlamini: I’m angered in your behalf; completely infuriated, as I’ve been for a very long time.

There was a continuing narrative that goals to cut back you to an ex-wife of a former head of state. That is factual, however in mainstream media there appears to be no different description of you.  

How have they forgotten the different facets of your existence: your life in exile; your untainted political profession;  your former place as chair of the African Union Fee; the well being minister who took the tobacco business to courtroom and gained; who stood tall towards pharmaceutical firms and triggered them to cower and withdraw? These usually are not the achievements of an ex-wife, they’re these of a warrior. 

One way or the other the one story of your life within the mainstream media is that of former president Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife who doesn’t need the nation to be pleased. Clear proof that what’s repeated turns into the one story.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks of this in her Ted speech: the danger of a single story

It jogs my memory of a time you had been campaigning, Mama, and the narrative was the identical. It appears like the one approach they will discredit you is to throw your ex-husband into the combination. I dare any journalist price their salt to put in writing an article about you and never point out him. The truth is, I triple dare them. It appears to be passable for the world to dwell previously, even within the midst of a pandemic.

Your nature have to be that of peace, Ma, as a result of you may have seen this and let it reign when you do your job, the job the president himself has trusted you with. 

The decision to ban cigarettes was taken by you who, earlier than the rest, are a educated doctor. Any resolution you make has to uphold the Hippocratic Oath, which these journalists and media influencers usually are not sure to. The distinction in your outlook and theirs is separated by one defining issue, qualification. I’m most indignant as a result of none of them has a leg to face on. Your duty is to not particular person South Africans however to South Africans as a collective. 

Keyboard activists cite nervousness as the primary purpose they wish to smoke, and understandably all of us have our crutches. One can most likely additionally perceive the plight of the smoking South Africans of suburbia who will most likely smoke responsibly, although they danger compromising their lungs to a respiratory illness. The argument is consistently centered round smoking already being a well being hazard and the way adults ought to make their very own choices. 

A middle-class smoker, nonetheless, can most likely pay for medical therapy at a non-public hospital.They may recognise the earliest signs as a result of they’re hyper-aware of Covid-19 from a number of sources on their smartphones and high-speed web. 

One other smoker on the opposite aspect of suburbia, in a extremely populated space the place the lots of South Africans dwell, doesn’t essentially have the identical sources. If their lungs are compromised by smoking, they most likely gained’t pay attention to the signs posted and shared a number of occasions on social media. The folks uncovered to them between the time of an infection and eventual analysis and isolation might have weakened immune methods. 

If that is the state of the lots, can we not run the chance of collapsing the general public well being system? Or is it a matter of not having to consider the collective that makes folks intoxicated with their very own wishes on the expense of others? 

real well being concern for tens of millions of individuals on an already strained public well being system might be attributed to low-cost politics is astounding. 

I watched your campaign speech, Ma. Contemplating myself apolitical, I watched it out of pure curiosity. I wished to know your politics. I didn’t even know you had been working for workplace on the time. Individuals solely perceive the tagline of your marketing campaign “radical financial transformation”, however no person took the time to know what you actually meant. 

You spoke of good cities and fast transportation methods. You spoke of the perfect cadre of the ANC, who’s a lightweight of their neighborhood and morally upright as a result of you don’t want burglars and thieves as a part of a South African society. You spoke of a non-sexist society and the emancipation of girls, you quoted analysis about how 70% of a lady’s revenue is spent on the house in comparison with the 30% of a person’s revenue globally. You spoke of a need for a abilities revolution to drive the nation’s economic system to prosperity. You spoke of free and obligatory schooling. I’m wondering if anybody was listening to you? 

I point out this particularly as a result of throughout your marketing campaign, all people I ever heard was talking about your affiliation to the previous president. Everybody who spoke towards your marketing campaign didn’t have any details towards it apart from this looming concern of your defending the costs towards him. The truth is, I’ve by no means even heard you converse of those prices, I don’t know your stance, but all people appeared to turn into choose and jury about the way you meant to take care of this example. How might anyone, not to mention mainstream media, know your intentions?

It’s not unusual for society to suppose on behalf of girls, to conclude our actions with out realizing something, to turn into our voice and converse to our sympathies earlier than we now have even expressed them. What can any journalist reference to agree with these sympathies apart from their very own assumptions that grew to become reality after sufficient repetition? 

Does this occur to white ladies? No. Who’s the closest male affiliate of Helen Zille? I’ll wait… 

That mentioned, I’ve nothing towards Zille, I respect her politics even when I don’t at all times agree with them. I simply use this as probably the most hanging instance. Mainstream media doesn’t at all times agree along with her, however her opinions stay her personal, launched because the opinions of Zille, a person. There isn’t a man lurking in her shadows, she is allowed to be a lady in her personal proper.

Is it that mainstream media would reasonably paint you a puppet of a person who has the sword of Damocles over his head than acknowledge your reasoning abilities as a well being skilled? 

It jogs my memory of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and different ladies vilified as if nothing good had ever come from their existence apart from being wives. The mainstream media of South Africa has little regard for feminine leaders normally; a scarcity of respect lingers of their tone. Learn an article about Mama Winnie and you’ll nearly style their disapproval. 

As a younger black girl, that is painful. I grew up being informed to turn into an ideal girl first and a spouse later, if ever. To scale back the greatness of a lady to her marital standing principally removes all that she has labored for and replaces it with the closest man they will affiliate her with. Her price is tied intrinsically to a person.

The submissive black girl narrative is a lie. A tragic one at that. A lie that I refuse to be silent about. A lie none of us needs to be silent about. 

The primary concern in all of that is the smearing of your title. 

You’re greatness in your individual proper, and I hope folks come to understand that when you are alive, reasonably than sing praises at your funeral. I would like assurance that my nieces will know you as a warrior girl. To know that nothing stops a black girl’s energy. That we recognise your energy, Mbokodo. Anybody who tries to decrease your title to that of spouse — or ex-wife —  is very mistaken and fairly blind to you and your achievements.

Aluta continua. Victoria acerta.