Our vanishing democracy and the encroaching dictatorship of South Africa was strongly evident in the recent hoo-ha between FNB and the ANC over FNB’s You Can Help ad campaign.
The ironic role that “caring” banks have played in South Africa’s history will be skipped in lieu of the current, pertinent issue which is ANC bigwigs totally ignoring the needs of the country they are suppose to serve. Instead of substantiating their promises to fight corruption, they instead chose to reinforce the public’s perception of them as the mafia of our country. The ANC came across as a petulant child caught with honeycomb stuck in its teeth saying, “I never stole the honey.”
Our turbulent country is accustomed to DA for Big Business, the ANC for it’s Heavyweights and their big businesses, and Big Business for…well…Big Business.
Even if the public repeatedly fail themselves by taking sides according to the colour of their skins, rather than right or wrong, we’re getting to the point of no return where it will be impossible to hide fears in our deepest selves and zip it up with apathy. Our country continues to slide down world safety rankings, our economy gets rated lower and unrest has reached new heights (what’s happening in the winelands may be minuscule compared to the effects of the silicosis class action suite that’s been brought against the gold mines).
What was slightly different about this scenario (at least, post-Malema), was that the ANCYL called FNB cowards for withdrawing the ad campaign. The SACP, predictably, sided with the ANC. Although i question their reasoning, my opinion sides with the ANCYL. FNB may have been in this for themselves (it was a clever ad campaign) but i’m prepared to accept by “hook or by crook” if it means that the real state of our country is broadcast. And i’m particularly partial to kids wanting a better future.
Kelly Baloyi, is the 17 year old at the heart of the first advert. She addresses an audience at Naledi High School in Soweto. She not only wants that better future but aspires to help it through future studies in law and politics. She is an active citizen wanting to improve South Africa so i hope that that fact is not disregarded by the other fact which is that she read from a script (which FNB claims was composed from the responses of 1300 children). Since the backlash, her profile has been removed from FNB’s website.
Was the advert good? Certainly. It jangled my heart strings.
Was FNB treasonous? Definitely not. The ad reflects the truth of South Africa.
Was FNB patriotic? Unlikely. If anything, this ad will become as popular as banned Nando’s ads.
PS: Please tell me if the video gets removed from Youtube.