Skip to main content

Reserve Bank


If you live in South Africa, you might have some R10, R20, R50, R100 or R200 banknotes in your wallet.  If you visited that country recently, you know that they come in five colours. 

Two have images of cats you cannot stroke and say ‘kitty kitty’ because they see you as lunch or dinner.  The other animals have horns that have nothing to do with jazz, the trumpet or saxophone.

What I didn’t know is that banknotes have themes.  A flyer published by the South African Reserve Bank explains it. 

It says the green R10 note with the rhinoceros represents agriculture, the brown R20 note with the elephant mining, the red R50 note with the lion manufacturing, the blue R100 note tourism, and the orange R200 note with the leopard transport and communication. Turn the banknotes around and you’ll see the themes.

I’m not the consultant that suggested this concept to the Bank, so I’m going to doctor them a little bit.  I’m trying to figure out how useful the rhino is to agriculture because when it sees you it estimates where you are and rushes like a computer virus to harvest you with its horn.  Where would that leave farmers? 

The elephant and mining don’t mix because it is too big to go underground and mine gold or platinum.  Miners are taken underground in lifts so, mining bosses will have to install a lift every day because elephants would crush it.

The Bank says the king of the jungle represents manufacturing.  I don’t know about that because the lion is an animal of mass destruction.  It doesn’t manufacture anything, maybe bones, your bones and bones of all jungle residents. 

I don’t know why the buffalo represents tourism because most visitors come to South Africa for the naughty cats and the elephant, Mr. High Rise Condominium himself.  The buffalo looks like a good old ox to me.

The leopard and transport and communication are like oil and water.  Yes it is fast, but it’s because it wants to pounce on you or some other prey.  Climbing a tree as a means of escape is useless because it will nimbly climb up to say hello and goodbye.

If I were to move things around, I’ll recommend the elephant for transport and communications, because I’ve seen it transporting things and people in countries like India. 
The elephant cannot scratch itself.  That is why it has little birds that love its back, giving it a perky massage.  We can honestly say that they use it as a means of transport.  Pure genius!

I’ll give the mining theme to the rhino so that it can use its horn to blast rocks for coal and diamonds. 

The lion will have the tourism theme because it cannot believe that people come as far as Asia and Europe to see it.  That is why it doesn’t smile.  It is still perplexed by the whole thing.  “How can anyone who knows that I love human T-bone steak travel so far to see me?”

How about assigning agriculture to the buffalo?  We can domesticate it and send it to the fields.  Iqbal, directed by Nagesh Kukunoor is one of many Indian films about the buffalo in agriculture.  You also saw buffalos in the classic film Mother India. 

I would give manufacturing to bees, because a beehive is a honey factory.  The problem is that a bee is not part of the ‘big five’ South African animals.  The leopard doesn’t have any portfolio from where I stand.  Call it down-sizing, rationalising, maximising resources and other deceptive terms for laying off workers.

P.S.  Why was the giraffe not included in the ‘big five’?  I think it is inferiority complex from the big cats, because they don’t want anybody looking down upon them.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black Panther Africa Here and There

Black Panther is about Wakanda a fictionalized country in Africa, but it has delightful snippets of the real Africa.

The movie has tall people, like Kenya’s and Sudan’s sons and daughters. Dora Milaje, the royal guard supervised by Okoye (Danai Gurira) is composed of tall women.Okoye is a common surname or family name in Nigeria, as in Oge Okoye, the actress. There are also scenes where men on horseback are wearing colourful blankets, a common sight in Lesotho, the country surrounded by South Africa.Locals, the Basotho, call these blankets seana marena.The country’s beauty sinks in as one drives from Maseru the capital, up to Leribe and further up the mountains.Great roads too.

Costume design.That’s another snippet about Africa. There is Angela Bassett’s character looking regal, in what is called isicholo in Zulu.Well! it looks like isicholo, a married woman’s headdress. You probably saw the re-mixed version of isicholo in what Beyonce is wearing in the Sorry video. They also speak isiXh…

Black Panther Casting

Chadwick Boseman sure looks like a younger John Kani in Black Panther.That is why the movie won the Best Casting category in my little awards.  Envelope please!

Kani plays King T’Chaka.Boseman is T’Challa, his son.What a striking resemblance.It reminds me of my arrival in New York City some years ago.I used to stare at African Americans because they looked like a cousin, uncle, neighbour, teacher, friend, doctor or someone on the bus. Sure, we learnt about slavery at school, how slave traders stole Africans and how internal wars between chiefs also led to humans being taken to another continent in chains. But being in America, seeing people who look like your world, in Africa, was painful.

“Death is better than bondage.” That is what one character said in Black Panther.Was it Erik Killmonger?I’m not sure but I will double check when I go back.Yes, again.The movie is a cinematic buffet.Don’t talk with your mouth full, as mama would say. We gave the film the Best Casting category for other…

Riyadh and The Hollywood Screenplay

Black Panther is going to be part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s entertainment history on the 18th of April 2018, when Saudis go back to school.Delete that, make it go back to movie theatres.

It will be the first film, adult Saudis will see after 35 years without popcorn.Public cinema was banned because the country believed that it corrupted the mind. No doubt Black Panther’s gala opening in Riyadh will be attended by the rich and religious, but women will not be wearing gowns that show top and bottom flesh.It’s haram (forbidden). They will be wearing the abaya khalijia and make-up will be picture perfect under the head cover known as the shayla.

It is back to the cinema for Saudi Arabia, but it is also a wake-up call for producers.It is not business as usual in terms of the screenplay.Hollywood and Netflix should throw out the tired dialogue and come up with something original that will be enjoyed by the whole world, across racial, cultural and religious lines. Black Panther, directed…