A recent common complaint in my social circles has been the creeping colonization of our country by the Chinese – all sorts of people are complaining about finding Chinese shops, from big malls in the cities to small shops/cafes in the smaller towns and dorps. Why, I’ve even seen Chinese pedestrians walking back from the shops (presumably, because they’re carrying the ubiquitious plastic bags) in my own neighbourhood, and this is a first for me.
My son travels on a monthly basis on business to three African countries : Angola, Nigeria and Ghana and he says he sees growing evidence of Chinese business enterprises in all three countries. Apparently the Chinese are heavily into big construction projects all over Africa, and sadly, they insist on importing their own Chinese labourers to work on these schemes. How they get away with this beats me – actually, I know how they get away with it – the word is ‘corruption’ which is endemic all over Africa. But it’s a crying shame, given the vast, unemployed, unskilled pool of labour readily available in Africa. They’re hungry for jobs, education and (often) food. And yet African government ignore their own citizens and permit the import of foreign labour. Makes no sense at all. On a recent flight to Luanda, Angola, my son said there were so many Chinese passengers on board that the flight attendant gave the safety spiel in Mandarin! That should tell us all something!
Given the high level of rhino poaching in South Africa – and it has reached epidemic proportions - forecasters are saying that within 30 years there will be no rhinos left. And this to feed the Asian trade in traditional medicine. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that many Asians regard powdered rhino horn as an aphrodisiac? Which – scientifically speaking – it is not. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the greedy traders and poachers. Public opinion and sentiment says it does the trick to revive a wilting willy. One of the cruel ironies of this situation is that in China, if anybody is caught poaching the Chinese National Animal, to whit, the Giant Panda, they automatically receive the death sentence. Finish and klaar. No messing around. That’s it – bang, you’re dead.
What a pity that African countries don’t adopt the same strategy – poach our rhinos and elephants for the horns and ivory and you get the chop. Again – corruption is the answer. Greedy politicians are making way too much money out of the trade to stop it.
A recent joke doing the rounds on the internet showed a sign proclaiming : Dried testicles from rhino poachers – best natural Viagra! Now there’s a brilliant thought, don’t you think so?