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South Africa 2010. What an extraordinary place to be right now. I am finding myself caught up, sucked in and fighting my own preconceptions all day, every day. And SA is in the international press for all the wrong reasons. Last week’s revelations that President Zuma has fathered yet another love child, and his attitude to unprotected sex in a country with a population riddled with AIDS is enough to beggar belief. Come on South Africa get a grip. There is far too much at stake and it stretches way beyond the immediate rapid accumulation of new wealth for the few, and the fast march towards FIFA 2010.
And on Sunday I was very thankfully reminded of all that Africa is. I was driven an hour out of Johannesburg to a private estate in the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site. I believe Sir Richard Branson and family popped in over the Christmas hols to see it all first hand. Quite simply, breathtakingly beautiful and if this is where it all began, it makes perfect sense.
Back to business, the business of personal brands and the supposedly ‘sorry’ Zuma is inspirational, if only in the possibilities to be found in change. In reality, unless Zuma himself realises the simple law of cause and effect, change is extremely unlikely. South African’s are furious, disgusted and fed up. Thursday’s state of the nation speech at the opening of parliament for the year will be interesting to observe. It coincides with this weeks’ commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison 20 years ago and delivers an unavoidable, stark comparison between leadership styles. At a time like this, the rainbow nation is in need of a President who displays presidential qualities.