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Fear, Fish and Chips

by Andy Davis / 29.11.2012

In another example of the South African ruling elite’s growing intolerance of anything vaguely resembling free speech and critical thinking, the SABC has chosen to ban a very tame animation advertising the Fish and Chip Co, simply because it features Jacob Zuma, our number one citizen, feeding his large family at Nkandla on their cost effective offering. It seems that when it comes to speaking truth to power, even in the most benign of circumstances, the public broadcaster simply, and of their own accord, roll onto their backs, expose their soft yellow bellies and hope for a pat or perhaps a bone from the master’s table. It’s a culture best described as managing upwards sycophancy. We thought it’d be a good time to catch up with the animator, Mdu Ntuli (he of Izikhokho fame), to get his opinion on the unfolding brouhaha.

Mahala: You did the banned Zuma ad, right?

Mdu Ntuli: I animated it yes. but did not write the script. The concept was written by the creatives at Metropolitan Republic.

To us it seemed rather innocuous, like it didn’t even dig too hard. In fact we thought it was quite endearing. Were you surprised when the SABC banned it?

Actually I was surprised. It is a really soft cartoon and not offensive at all. Or maybe I am just an insensitive bum. Who knows?

Have you had any feedback from either the brand, the agency or the SABC in this regard. If so what did they say?

Nothing yet.

Do you still get paid?

My job is done, so yes I am getting paid… I hope.

Have you been put on an NIA watch list. I mean first Jesus of the ANC and now this… there must be a file on your somewhere (you bloody agent!)

I don’t think so, I’m a victim too. I have my “Previously Disadvantaged Individual ” card and I’m not afraid to use it.

Will we see a reaction to this on Izikhokho? If so what are you scheming?

No, Izikhokho will not respond to this.

Is there any positive way to spin this, or is it just another example of a paranoid and corrupt ruling elite getting increasingly over-sensitive to criticism.

Thinking is hard… thank you SABC for doing it for us.

What else has been happening at Mdu’s Comics?

Mdu Comics is busy doing private jobs (paying jobs like The Fish and Chip Co ad). Hopefully we raise enough funds to expand and transfer the skills to others.

And in conclusion?

I think the banning of the video is people inside SABC who are just protecting their jobs. They are not sure if this ad will be offensive to the president, so they decided to play it safe.

As if the thought of eating relatively inexpensive fast food is such an insult to our president’s status and dignity.

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