SA: Best place for kids to grow up

I’ve met many people who have left South Africa or are planning to leave because of their kids. I think it’s a lousy reason. It’s seldom about the children and even if it was, it’s a mistake. Our children get more out of growing up in South Africa than they would in some safe little town in Australia.

Having two beautiful young children I can understand the dilemma. We have to balance keeping ourselves safe while not being paranoid and paralysed by fear. It’s not always easy. Despite the dilemma, South Africa offers one of the best opportunities for children to learn about the world and grow into better people.

This view only works if you can start by wondering whether life is about more than just being comfortable and safe.

The usual reasons in favour of South Africa are the warmth of our people, our lifestyle and opportunity. Brenda Weis, an American sales executive, discovered this when she visited the country in 2007 and again in 2008. She fell in love with South Africa and its people. Based on her brief visits, she has made the decision to retire here rather than in the United States. As she says, “It is a good country with great potential … and I look forward to calling it home.”

On the other side, there are of course a number of arguments why you should get on the phone to Stuttafords and start planning your emigration. That’s the usual debate though and not the point of this article.

Make me stronger
A unique aspect of our country is that, unlike other countries where you might not have to think about some of the big issues in life, South Africa forces you to take a view. More than just a view, you are often forced to look at yourself and challenge your beliefs.

Isn’t it possible that the problems we have in South Africa make us stronger? It was the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who in 1888 said, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Could this be the attraction to our country for people like Brenda Weis?

A world in one country
The nature of South Africa with it’s complex history can be seen as a microcosm for the world, with all it’s beauty and troubles. I don’t know who came up with “South Africa — A world in one country” — it is a perfect description of our land.

There are many issues which South Africa has dealt with or is dealing with which have yet to be resolved by the world at large. In many cases the world looks to South Africa for solutions and our four Nobel Peace Prize laureates are proof of the value placed on our leadership.

Race
While race as an issue is hardly resolved (see “On being a recovering racist”) we have certainly dealt with issues in a more open and engaging manor than elsewhere in the world.

South Africa under apartheid was the cauldron of race relations for the world and while countries such as America abolished their own form of apartheid many years before, the issue is far from resolved.

There have been at least two racist right-wing plots to kill Barack Obama, simply because he is black and the president. Clearly all is not well in the land of the free and the home of the brave, the country which first coined the term race riot and where Los Angeles erupted in 1992 as South Africa was negotiating its transition to a non-racial democracy. Europe has similar issues with a growing right-wing movement.

Race in South Africa is real. We haven’t stopped talking about it, which is healthy. We don’t all agree and that’s fine. It’s explicit, it’s messy, it’s in our faces and we have to deal with it. And we will. And the world can learn from our experiences while we will be better prepared for a world facing similar issues.

Shifting Power
China is growing faster than America. At some point, it’s likely China will be a bigger and more powerful country than America. This is likely to cause some tension. There are other shifts in power around energy, nuclear capability, food and even water, which are likely to affect who has the biggest voice at the table.

In South Africa we’ve recently shifted power quite significantly and quickly. In the late 1980’s the National Party saw that their model was flawed and effectively negotiated themselves out of power, avoiding a meltdown and providing an opportunity of a more peaceful and prosperous future.

The ANC was founded in 1912 as a collective of Africans resisting initially colonisation and later Afrikaner nationalism. In 1990 they suddenly found their cause removed and they were thrust into power and have been reinventing themselves ever since.

This shift takes some adjusting on all fronts. It’s not just about politicians and leaders. Living in South Africa, you and I have faced issues as a result of this change in power that the rest of the world hasn’t since World War II.

Dealing with the bad guys
Fifteen years before terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Centre and shocked America to its core, we were already dealing with the reality of armoured vehicles cruising our neighbourhoods and bombs exploding in restaurants as people fought for their causes.

You may remember the bombing of the Wimpy in Benoni in 1988. That year there were more than 100 incidents of attack and counter-attack scattered across our country while the nationalist army and Umkhonto we Sizwe fought their war. As civilians we learned to live in this environment.

Without being paranoid, there will always be bad guys. It’s not doom and gloom, it is just reality. People fight and people get hurt, they always have. Better to have strategies for dealing with it than looking for a place to put your head in the sand.

South Africans have moved beyond being paralysed by the actions of the bad guys. From neighbourhood watches to private security, we have organised ourselves to live despite the threat.

Life would be better if we didn’t have to look over our shoulders, but we do. The New York, London, Madrid and Mumbai attacks illustrate that nowhere is safe and our only error is to believe that somehow, we can insulate ourselves from “the bad guys”.

The great deciders
The shifting of power and global terrorism are big macro issues, and while interesting, they are not as real as the conversations and interactions we have on a daily basis. We are the people on the ground, living our lives in our neighbourhoods and offices. We are the citizens who live and work, raise families, have friends and find meaning in our everyday existence.

This existence in South Africa, is at a different intensity level to other countries. Irrespective of who you are and who I am, we have been challenged since 1990 to review, perhaps change, but at least look at our beliefs around some big issues.

Race, crime, community, citizenship, religion, politics, education and health are some of the topics that we have had to examine. Even if we haven’t changed our minds, we are forced to make decisions.

Many of us have had to look life and death situations squarely in the face, either ourselves or among our family and friends. We have to decide how we let it affect us.

Politically, it doesn’t matter whether we supported the Communists or the AWB, or somewhere in between, we have had to examine our position as things around us have changed.

What feels normal to us is certainly not normal for much of the world. While the daily papers in Helsinki are scratching around for a motor accident to put on the front page, journalists in South Africa seldom have a slow news day.

Contrasts
In South Africa we live in rich contrasts. There is not much that is just average. Life is mostly on the ends of continuum rather than the middle.

We have to think, reflect and grapple with life. As anyone who has bungi jumped, rock climbed, skydived or done something putting their lives in danger will attest, there is nothing that makes us feel as alive as facing death. In South Africa we get to think about this more often than most.

Admittedly, we may be a little far on the “wild west” side of the continuum and I don’t believe we should be fighting for our lives every day. I do however appreciate having to deal with sometimes complex — but always real — issues. I feel richer, stronger and more ready for the issues that we are faced with in the wider world.

Australia
When visiting Australia I’ve seen the apparent idyllic lifestyle so often talked about. Gas barbecues, which are never vandalised, are available in the parks for free. Everyone drives at the speed limit. Rules are obeyed and everyone lives happily ever after.

In Sydney I was apprehended by a local who stopped me from jay walking, a term I was vaguely familiar with. I was confused. We stood staring at a red man on a pole without a car in site.

My friend Neil had a similar but much more hilarious experience at the WACA after a cricket game. You can read his column entitled “One foot in, one foot out” (and look at the photo).

So would I rather my children grew up in Australia where rules are strict and govern just about every aspect of my life? It’s safe, but we might just die of boredom (suicide rates are up). Or live in South Africa where life is definitely more dangerous but I feel challenged and alive every day?

The issues we grapple with are deep and meaningful and matter in the world. They are seldom petty. I feel eternally grateful for the challenges and mind changing experiences that have influenced me.

Working in a very international environment in my mid twenties, South Africans were always revered for their resourcefulness and ability to engage in a broad range of issues. South African business people are revered for similar qualities today. Could it be as a result of the issues we face at home that make the rest of the world look tame by comparison.

Life is difficult
Talking about this with my friend Rob over breakfast the other day, I thought of the opening paragraph of M Scott Peck’s best selling book, The Road Less Travelled, which states;

“Life is difficult

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it — then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

South Africa offers some of the best opportunities to deal with difficulty and transcend it. It’s not for sissy’s, but the rewards are high.

For my kids, I believe I would be doing them a disservice to take them away from this rich and rewarding life that we lead.

Either you are looking for what is good about the country and you will find more than ample evidence, or you are looking for what is wrong with the country and again you will discover enough to fuel dinner party conversation with doom and gloom stories. Either way, what you look for you will see.

I’m off to Australia for a holiday in a few weeks and while looking forward to the trip and seeing family and friends, I’m not looking forward to the feeling of pulling on a straight jacket as I walk out of the airport.

It leaves me longing to be cut off by a taxi. Just to feel alive.

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Coaching South Africa

I spend some of my time coaching executives in South Africa and across Europe. I got thinking the other day what South Africa could need from a coach. I mean the whole country. Not the president — not any individual — all of us who live on this southern slab of Africa. All together — melted down into one, put on a chair and ready for an executive coaching session with me.

Let’s start with what I mean by executive coaching. A definition of coaching is problematic because everyone is a coach these days and definitions are all over the place. I’ll define it based on what I have been doing for the past seven years.*

Executive coaching involves a coach, who has both executive experience and training in the art of coaching, working with a person, a client (mostly executives, entrepreneurs etc) on a shared concern.

The shared concern is something brought to the relationship by the person being coached. Being a shared concern means something that we can both get motivated to work on, and resolve.

In this case the client is South Africa. Armed with the above definition, and a shared concern of creating a country that can grow, prosper and develop to its full potential, we start our process.

There we are, South Africa and I sitting in a room, having our first conversation about how we are going to achieve our objective. At first it’s hard. We haven’t yet built rapport and the conversation is exploratory.

I’d start by assessing the current situation and understanding the strengths and talents of my client followed by successes to date. Let me tell you why.

My philosophy is that as humans we are uniquely talented and that our challenge is to uncover and use these talents. I’ve been trained by Gallup (the research people) on this approach and amongst all the tools, models and techniques I have come across, their research has stuck with me. I agree with their findings that we do much better playing to our strengths, than fixing our weaknesses.

Gallup originally got interested in this topic when they came across research by psychologist Elizabeth Hurlock. In 1925 she studied school children in a maths class and discovered that when she divided them into two groups, and gave the one group critical feedback, they improved by 19%. Critical feedback is the type we are all aware of — pointing out mistakes and suggesting how to correct them.

Nineteen percent is not bad, but the second group got an improvement of 71%. How did that happen? What she did with them was to skip the critical feedback and only reinforce the positive aspects of their performance.

By ignoring their faults and focusing alone on what they were doing right, the school children produced a 71% improvement vs the 19% achieved by giving critical feedback. Since 1925 there have been reams of scientific study that back up this approach. Gallup has been at the forefront of this research examining more than 3 million people and thousands of companies around the globe.

The original research has given birth to a whole movement called positive psychology. While positive psychology is gaining a foothold, there are still many people and organisations that spend a huge amount of energy focusing on fixing weaknesses rather than building strengths. Besides the deficiency of results using this approach, it also takes a lot more effort.

I often start workshops on the topic of positive psychology, by asking participants what they would say if their child came home from school with a 5 As and a C? The answer, almost all the time, is how to get the C to an A. Wrong answer. It is much better to focus on the As as there is, somewhat counter-intuitively, more room for improvement with the 5 As than there is with the C.

So with South Africa across the desk I focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. Armed with the experience of Hurlock and her more modern peers, I know that I have more chance of addressing our shared concern talking about success.

My first series of questions would look at what is working, why it’s working and how do we make the talents and strengths of South Africa explicit and more visible so that we can spend time building and entrenching success thinking.

Would I just ignore the negatives? No, that would be naive. What is important is the ratio of positive to negative in our conversation. Dr Marcial Losada found when examining teams that the ideal ratio of positive to negative was between 3:1 and 8:1. Higher than 8:1 and less than 3:1 teams became less effective. The negative aspects have to be covered, but, and this is imperative, they have to be examined in a context of overall positivity, if we are to produce significantly better results.

Next it would be interesting to understand the context within which South Africa operates. I can often, without jumping to superficial conclusions, make some simple assumptions about a person depending on whether they are in their 20s, their 40s or closing in on their 60s.

Erik Erikson, the psychologist, broke down our lives into eight developmental stages and described the nature of each stage. More specifically, he describes the series of crises that we face. This is our rite of passage into the next stage. Each crisis has a positive or negative outcome.

To illustrate this, Erikson describes the crises faced in the first year of our lives as being about trust vs mistrust. Children who are consistently cared for build a sense of trust with parents, the world and themselves. Those who don’t make it through this initial hurdle, emerge with a sense of distrust which affects all later stages.

For South Africa — thinking about 1994 as birth — certainly of a new age in our history, I’d probably find myself sitting opposite the equivalent of a pimply teenager faced with Erikson’s stage five or adolescence crises.

The adolescence crisis is about identity vs role confusion. It is a time when we need to ask “Who am I?”. To successfully answer this we need to have integrated the positive outcomes from the earlier crises.

Did we develop a basic sense of trust? Do we have a strong sense of independence, competence, and feel in control of our lives? Once the easier crises’ have been resolved, adolescents can face the “Identity Crisis”, which Erikson considers the most significant.

Solved positively South Africa emerges with a strong identity, and ready to take on the challenges of the future. However, without a positive outcome, we sink into confusion and are unable to make important decisions.

At this point, and this would probably be after a good couple of sessions, I would draw on the work I did in my thesis which covers the use of scenario planning for coaching. This is particularly apt for South Africa as scenario planning has had a deep impact on our country. Most prominent is the Anglo American work, better known as Clem Sunter’s “High Road” and ‘Low Road” scenarios. Back in 1988, who would have thought that we could avoid going down the “Low Road”?

In addition, The Mont Fleur Scenarios in 1992, looked at what South Africa would be like ten years down the road. I have to take an aside here to ask you to imagine what it must have been like in 1992 trying to map out possible futures for South Africa. Violence was widespread, we had no idea how negotiations would turn out and the country was effectively bankrupt as result of sanctions and wars fought on our borders.

Perhaps it was as a result of the difficulty of the exercise that it had the impact that it did on the participants, most notably Tito Mboweni and Trevor Manuel. Both participated in the exercise and later took significant leadership roles in the country.

Together with my client, we would jointly create scenarios for 2014 which would describe plausible futures for South Africa. These would likely emerge as follows.

1: Labelled and limited

This scenario describes a South Africa which follows on its current path of division. We compare ourselves to other “First World” countries and label our shortcomings loudly and destructively.

There is little tolerance and labels such as “democracy” are used as a stick to beat ourselves up and show how we are not up to the level of other countries who proclaim to have “better democracies”, despite their obvious shortcomings.

We constantly highlight our non-achievement, ignoring significant steps we have taken. To the rest of the world this further illustrates how little we have achieved since 1994. “I told you so” becomes our mantra. As with the person who compares themselves to others and always finds someone better, we dwell on our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

We are indignant and divided into smaller and smaller pockets of angry, frustrated losers. Like the sports team that isn’t getting results and enters the downward spiral of turning on themselves, we illustrate this to the world through the law of diminishing returns, as we squander the numerous opportunities that were once available to us. Blame is a cornerstone of our culture and we use our energy and resources to push responsibility onto anyone but ourselves.

2: Strength in diversity

The second scenario plays to our strength in diversity. South Africa creates its own identity which is a unique democracy not modelled on that of any other nation. We stop comparing ourselves to others in a way which limits our imagination and always show us up for being deficient. Instead we learn from others while creating our own positive future.

Our diversity, which currently divides us, is reframed to be a strength. As in the world of agriculture where scientists are finding monoculture is limited and susceptible to disease, we create a new culture for South Africa which is formed from the melting pot of our varied and diverse backgrounds.

Like Brazil, where there is no typical Brazilian, South Africans are no longer classified by the obvious and limiting labels such as black, white, Xhosa or English. Rather we focus on much more meaningful descriptions of ourselves. “Ubuntu”, “a boer maak a plan” and “the friendliest people in the world” will be some of our own labels, describing unique South Africanisms, which the rest of the world will look to with envy.

Brand experts know that in the busy, noisy and cluttered world that we live in, success requires standing for something unique and leading as opposed to following others while trying to be better. South Africa will be unique in this way — a shining light for the world to see what is possible.

Our strength will come from striving for our own ideals rather than those that others have created before us. Our people will be more tolerant of each other and while dialogue will be robust, it will be within an overarching framework of positivity and success. As individuals and as a country, we take responsibility for our future rather than casting blame.

Choices

With these two scenarios before us as possibilities for the future, I’d leave my client, as all good executive coaches would, to reflect and make their own decision as to which future they would like to create. It’s never easy and there are of course things outside of our control which need to navigated.

There are, however, always facets very firmly in our control. The scenarios become a roadmap for us to hold up our individual and collective behaviour, attitude and actions. We see what we look for, and if we want to look for different things, the scenarios provide a textured background against which we are able to make our choices.

* If you are interested in a more completed definition of executive coaching then let me know. This one is intended to give a taste of the most important elements and purposely omits detail.

Zille’s decision contrary to research

Harvard Business Review have just emailed me the story that is being run by most major French publications about how women on management teams have fared better than men in the current financial crisis.

Elle, Le Monde and many other publications have presented CERAM Professor Michel Ferrary’s research, which shows that companies with more women on their management teams have done better. I thought it particularly interesting in light of the debate about Helen Zille’s decision to pick an all-male team for her provincial cabinet.

Professor Ferrary’s research paper “When Gender Diversity Protects Stock Prices from the Crash” examines the relationship between women in leadership positions and the drop in share price since the beginning of the year.

Put simply, less women equals a greater drop in share price and likewise the more men the greater the drop in value. Professor Ferrary examined companies in the CAC40 and found that “firms with a highly feminised management like LVMH (56% female managers), Sanofi (44.8%) have gone down less than the CAC40. While stocks of more male-managed firms like Alcatel-Lucent (8.68% women), Renault (21.77% women) have fallen more than the CAC40”.

Contrary to the research, Zille believes her team can deliver. In her letter to the Argus she has chosen to attack the ANC only in areas where the DA is strong, women at party leadership level. She has not as yet addressed the diversity issue in her team.

Ferrary’s research says: “Several gender studies have pointed out that women behave and manage in a different way to men. They tend to avoid risk and to focus more on a long-term perspective. A larger proportion of female managers balances the risk-taking behaviour of their male colleagues.”

This points to diversity being the key to managing risk. The only question which remains in my mind is whether public service delivery is somehow different to managing a business.

Dead wrong about Zuma

Update February 2014: Seems I was dead wrong. Original article published below. 

It is a few days before president-elect Jacob Zuma is sworn into office. His journey thus far has been colourful to say the least and whatever criticism he may attract, you have to give him 10 out of 10 for tenacity and dogged determination.

Much has been written about how the country is on an irretrievable descent into darkness and oblivion. Similarities have been drawn between Zuma and Robert Mugabe implying South Africa, with Zuma at the helm, is on track for a Zimbabwe scenario.

Judging by the number of international movers packing containers in the leafy suburbs of Cape Town, it seems a lot of white people believe the talk of our imminent demise spoken so persuasively around the braai on a Saturday afternoon.

Helen Zille’s hysteria around stopping our new president, the incessant SMS messages urging me to sign up on websites and follow her on Twitter got me thinking that I’ve seen all of this madness before.

It seems some South African white people are sceptics and cynical by nature and hate the thought of change.

David Bullard wrote in a recent column that these people “wake each morning snarling with anger, fire off a few spiteful comments on internet sites from behind the safety of a pseudonym and go about their miserable lives consumed by envy and hatred”.

I think they will change their minds.

Change, according to Kurt Lewin, takes place in three stages. Unfreezing, moving to a new state and refreezing. Unfreezing is a particularly traumatic experience for some. There is resistance to embrace the new as it implies that current beliefs need to be given up as invalid. Often this brings on defensiveness, anger, hostility and struggle.

But we’ve been through all this before.

Cast your mind back to 1985. State of emergency. PW’s wagging finger telling us to “adapt or die”. Thousands of civilian soldiers in army camps. Unrest at university campuses. Troops in the townships. Sanctions. A country divided in every way on race.

Tutu

Then picture a little black man who in a Ghandi-like way used to walk in front of throngs of toyi-toying protestors. Giving speeches and handing over demands for change. Using his position as the Archbishop of Cape Town to lead and advocate the end of apartheid.

Those who spent any time around whites will remember the venom and hatred poured onto this “monkey”, who was leading the defiance campaign to the then “whites only” beaches. To intimidate him somebody hung an ape foetus in the garden of his Bishopscourt home which was also the target of a graffiti attack stating “I was an Anglican until I put Tu+Tu together”. Imagine how strongly somebody felt about him that they would invest time and energy in doing these things.

Reconcile that with the love many of these same white South Africans now pour on “The Arch” as he is affectionately called. The cynical whites changed.

Mandela

I remember the front page of the Cape Times splashing the headline that Nelson Mandela was going to nationalise the mines and other major industries. Talk amongst whites was that the country would go like every other African country, it was just a matter of time. If he even got into power. Word around the white dinner tables was that Mandela would be killed by tribal factions vying for power.

As Mandela became president and the country generally prospered, the cynical whites changed once again. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone in the country who doesn’t have a kind word to say about Madiba as he is affectionately referred to today. In fact, so much so, that there are no critics. We all loved Madiba and what he stood for. Always. Didn’t we?

The Flag, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika and Sport

When initially unveiled our new flag was hardly embraced. Rugby stadiums were still filled with the old flag while the new took years to be accepted. Stadiums would bellow out the Afrikaans “Uit die blou…” while the same supporters mumbled their way through Nkosi. This is now changing as white school children learn Nkosi Sikelel’ and their white parents feel proud to sing along. Eventually change happens despite the resistance.

Elections 1994

OK own up, did you buy candles and tinned food for your pantry in case the whole country fell apart around our first democratic elections? Did you think you should have? Did you at least talk about it? Remember the hysteria, the predictions about doom and gloom and how it was the beginning of the end.

And then all of a sudden, nothing happened. Except the political violence subsided and we moved into our mostly peaceful new era where the economy took off, we won the world cup and the country generally prospered. Certainly more peaceful and prosperous than the pre-1994 years. Certainly a better outlook than 10 years earlier.

So why is it that some whites are so paranoid and cynical about our new president? I wonder what could belie the anger and the hatred?

I’ve heard people who I regard as very intelligent and very worldly wise declare that they will leave the country if Zuma becomes president. Such decisiveness based on what? “He’s corrupt and he’s a rapist,” they say.

Makhaya Ntini and Zuma — both accused of rape. Ntini was convicted, appealed and then acquitted. Zuma wasn’t even convicted. Why do we hate the one and love the other, holding him up as a national hero, or at least when he gets wickets.

In 2008 the world’s economic system hit the wall and there is ample evidence to show that some of the people who have benefited the most were at best corrupt and in many cases were outright criminals.

While the collapse has actually affected investments in this country and directly impacted individuals’ pockets, there is relatively little abuse for the masterminds behind the collapse. Even Arthur Brown, infamous for his Fidentia scandal, doesn’t attract anywhere near the level of negative attention rained down on Zuma.

When you place Zuma’s corruption allegations, and the fact that he hasn’t ever been found guilty, against this picture, they pale into insignificance. Do you have friends who get away with not paying all of their taxes? Do we get as emotional about the unfairness of that?

“But he has to have a high moral ethic to be the leader of our land,” you say.

Really? Since when did we hold politicians to those standards. Certainly not in the South African governments pre 1994. Hennie van Vuuren’s report in May 2006 entitled Apartheid Grand Corruption details in its more than 90 pages just how corrupt the government was.

Internationally, George Bush — jobs for friends — Dick Cheney — Halliburton. Bill Clinton lying to the country about his sexual affairs. Colin Powell and Tony Blair lying about weapons of mass destruction so as to have a reason to kill soldiers and civilians in Iraq and control their oil. The leaders of the free world? Certainly not moral leaders.

In considering my own view of Zuma, I look at two sources of information. The first is the reported view in our media, which is the loudest and occupies the most mindshare.

The second, is first-hand accounts of interacting directly with the man, which, although I haven’t myself had the experience, I have only heard positive accounts from those that have.

Of the two, I trust the second a lot more than the first for the simple reason that individuals are more motivated to tell the truth when recounting an experience than a media organisation, which has shareholders, headlines, sales and subscriptions sitting higher on the list of priorities than telling a story accurately or thoroughly.

When we look at Mandela, Tutu, the flag, the 1994 elections we as whites mostly predicted things dead wrong. And I think we’ve got Zuma dead wrong too.

My predication is that JZ will far exceed our expectations, which for some are admittedly low. We’ll come to love his machine gun song Umshini Wami, which will become a signature South Africanism like the All Blacks have the Haka. His engagement with people and real issues will warm our hearts.

The story of his life, from herd boy to president, will become a symbol of hope for the people who to date have not had role models they could follow. Instead of defending the current status quo we will defend his Africanism, his costumes and his traditions — showing instead our finger to the world saying — this is the way we do it in South Africa — it’s different not wrong.

I have great faith in our ability as a nation to adapt. Unlike PW Botha who proposed that the only other option was to die, I believe we will just adapt some more. We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.

What you look for you will see. I believe that we have been influenced to look only at what is wrong with Zuma. Once he is in power and serving as our president, we will be able to judge him on what he achieves. This is much more tangible than how he has been judged to date. I’m hopeful and confident that we will be surprised. Like previous change, which we have first feared and then accepted, JZ too will eventually be loved by the cynical whites.