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Rubbing people the wrong way

   26 April 2018   l   Johnny Masilela    l   Views: 42   l   25 days ago  


We got into a heated exchange, the late Andrew Molefe and I, when he dared that he was the one who introduced me to controversial columnist, David Bullard.

I did not take kindly to that because I had been following Dave for quite a while, and dare I say, Andrew was trained by me as a piccanin wannabe reporter.

Now here we go again, if you are the type who is sensitive to race-based humour or satire, stop reading right here.

So you choose to read on? Fine with me.

Ladies and gentlemen, please rise to welcome the most controversial David Bullard, affectionately known to many of us black journalists as Bullyboy.

Shortly after he was sworn into office, President Nelson Mandela spoke with compassion about how our white compatriots should consider asking forgiveness from us blacks regarding Apartheid.

Bullyboy was among the first whiteys to apologise, sort of.

If memory serves me well, Bullard humbled himself and “apologised” for bringing civilization to the Dark Continent … for providing us with proper clothing in exchange of animal hides … for teaching us how to drive a motorised vehicle in exchange of mule-carts.

And guess what, while our whitey colleagues across newsrooms were left blushing and screaming “racist”, fellow “darkie” journalists related to the story in-between bursts of laughter.

In his response — of course between peals of laughter — seasoned journalist and author, Lucas Ledwaba, agreed Bullyboys’ writings bordered on racism, but applauded the man’s “effective” kind of narrative.

A giggling Andrew Molefe rushed down the stairs from the City Press to Sunday Sun to declare to me: “Hey you non-White, did you read Bullyboy’s column today?”

Surfing the internet recently, I stumbled onto a piece by an Indian fellow, Kanthan Pillay, titled “In defence of David Bullard.”

In the article Pillay rightfully dared that instead of firing Bullyboy, the Sunday Times should place him side by side with the controversial Jon Qwelane.

When some “whiteys” called African traditional rites “barbaric”, JQ was the columnist who rose to the ancestors’ defence.

“What about those who gather in a shrine every Sunday, burning incense? Is this not worse?” And so JQ triggered a fierce race-based debate.

Pillay further observed that Bullyboy knows how to rub people the wrong way, “and he does it well”. Of course that is his (Bullyboy) job!

Suffice to say many of us journalists still wish a brave newspaper editor could sign on our one and only Bullyboy.




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