Monday, February 1, 2010

President's 20* Children, 5 Wives, 1 Baby Mama

* = "about"

Different people, different cultures.

Well, that's one way to look at the president of South Africa, one Jacob Zuma, who has had five wives (only three currently), approximately 20 children and a mistress who just gave birth to a child he fathered.

Turns out it is a scandal, even for a Zulu (the tribe practices polygamy) because, clearly, the president was having unprotected sex in one of the world capitals of HIV/AIDS. Not exactly setting a good example for the nation, now is he.

The story was broken by my favorite South African newspaper, the Johannesburg Times, but this link will take you to a Bloomberg story that is a bit more accessible to those of you who haven't been keeping score of Zuma's wives/kids at home.

This isn't about the World Cup, exactly. Aside from the fact that Zuma will throw out the first ball, or something, when the tournament opens on June 11 in Jo-burg.

The fact that he is the Brigham Young of South Africa, well ... it might not be such a significant story except for that AIDS angle.

As the Bloomberg story notes, "In 2006, he was tired and acquitted of having raped an HIV-positive family friend half his age. He testified that his accuser had consented to having sex and he had not used a condom because he did not have one available. He said he took a shower after the act to minimize the chance of infection."

Um, yeah.

The story also notes that about 11 percent of the South African population of some 50 million is HIV-positive. Which makes it something close to the AIDS epicenter of the planet.

The government has, in the past, denied that the disease was transmitted sexually and did little or nothing to treat it on a national level. The previous president wasn't willing to concede it existed, so Pops Zuma being on board with the reality of the concept ... well, that's positive movement, right?

There's cultural differences, and then there is just wrong ... and I don't think you have to be a prudish Westerner to think the Prez is a bit indulgent and reckless when it comes to matters of the, uh, heart.

Ladies and gentlemen, the president of your 2010 World Cup hosts!

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of impropriety, did you know about the John Harkes/Eric Wynalda thing dating back to the '98 WC? Good stuff.