This Celebrity Quicky #Fail Could Have Been Prevented Had They Listened to Richard Poplak
“This sort of celebrity quickie union never works out well. Britney Spears and Jason Alexander: two days. Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman: nine days. Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine: four weeks. Zille and Ramphele? Five days,” Richard Poplak writes in the Daily Maverick. Last week the DA announced that Mamphela Ramphele has agreed to run as their presidential candidate but on Sunday they released a second statement saying the deal has fallen apart.
During last week, Poplak writes, South Africans have discovered that there are a multitude of pronunciations of Ramphele’s name: “Every morning, Ramphele apparently wakes up and tweaks her identity – renews herself, cleanses her chi – by changing how she pronounces her first and last names.” He calls the agreement an “excellent example of bad political strategy” that seems to have been to first merge and then ask questions. Sharing his five maxims for a mildly healthy marriage, he criticises DA party leader Helen Zille for gambling with her party’s credibility and insulting their intelligence and writes that it’s hard to think of any people in Ramphele’s circle “that she hasn’t screwed over in the last seven days”.
Last Tuesday, Helen Zille and Mamphela Ramphele kissed on television, and announced their marriage. This sort of celebrity quickie union never works out well. Britney Spears and Jason Alexander: two days. Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman: nine days. Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine: four weeks. Zille and Ramphele? Five days. South African politics goes Hollywood.
For the first time in my life, I woke up on Friday morning with no idea how to pronounce my own name. While there’s no trick to “Richard”, at least not as far as an English speaker is concerned, when it comes to my surname, all bets are off. This realisation set off one of those downward spirals that ends in a bout of Wittgenstein-ian gloom, and a loss of a sense of self that will not easily be regained.
- The Sheik’s Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World by Richard Poplak
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