Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch



Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library


Friday, August 13, 2010

CHEATING AFRICAN FIRST LADIES, THE MICHELLE OBAMA FACTOR, AND STATE HOUSES IN CRISIS

The Subersive Swazi Queen Dube
What is happening in African State Houses, and to their First Ladies? A few days ago, in Swaziland, Justice Minister Ndumiso Mamba, a child of the country’s richly polygamous King Mswati, resigned (and faces a worse fate) after it emerged that he had been involved in a love affair with Queen Nothando Dube – the king’s 12th wife.  In June it was reported that Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma, the second wife of South Africa President Jacob Zuma, had become pregnant after an affair with her bodyguard. The bodyguard, Phinda Thomo, committed suicide when the pregnancy became obvious (clever man).  
In 1992 the great man Nelson Mandela, announced that he was calling it quits with his troublesome wife, the feisty Winnie Mandela. They eventually divorced in 1996. Though Mandela never mentioned it publicly, one of the reasons was that Winnie was a philanderer, and was wont to make out with her lover in the back of the presidential jet as Madiba snoozed at the front.
The Revenging Calmly Ntuli Zuma
Then that nasty little man, Zambia’s then-President Frederick Chiluba divorced his Vera Chiluba in a very messy way. Chiluba accused Vera of having an affair with a prominent Zambian businessman, Archie Mactribouy. Later Mactribouy was detained on a robbery charge. Mactribouy however maintained that the case was a frame-up, and that Vera was his business partner, not lover (looking at photos of Vera, I am inclined to agree with Mactribouy).
So, what is going on here?   True, most these women have polygamous or unfaithful husbands, so theirs is the revenge of the neglected spouse.  But that is small beer. At a wider level, I think something very revolutionary is happening in African State Houses. First, the prestige of African presidencies – and therefore State Houses – is in steep decline.
The Wronged Vera
The Controversial Winnie Mandela
First Ladies cheat because they are no longer overwhelmed by the aura of State Houses and their husband Commanders-in-Chief. Cheating on the Big Man is, therefore, the equivalent of Russian peasants jumping on the silk-covered bed of the Russian czar during the Revolution of 1917.   However, I think it is also a new level of assertiveness among African (black) women that has been caused by the stature of Michelle Obama - call it the "Michelle Obama Factor". Though Michelle is the model of a loyal wife, her being the world’s most powerful First Lady seems to have emboldened “powerful” African/black women to realise that they were still living in a very narrow horizon. Dishing out the “presidential jewels” is therefore a protest against the limits imposed on a First Lady by the strictures of State Houses. A proudly democratic piece of indiscretion!
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