Like the author of the article correctly articulated I was also puzzled a month ago to learn that there's a section of our community who have made it a habit to build a new ossewas everytime their comfort zones are invaded, especially as a result of government transformation policy or pure co-existence needs. The SA Blog Awards are a case in point. I'm not saying white people should include blacks in everthing they do but if they are going to use a name like 'South Africa' they better make sure whatever they do is inclusive.
I actually wanted to intiate the start of these awards a few months ago at noticing that quite a number of people are into blogging and that only American bloggers get all the media attention at the expense of local bloggers, but to my surprise I discovered that 'the franchise' if I may call it already exists in the hands of a crowd whose commitment to moving the blogging sub-culture beyond its current level is questionable. I was not stressing since I figured in the line of the Canadian, Irish and British Blog Awards every blogger will be kept up to date about developments in this new sub-culture.
My first observation at visiting the SA Blog Awards website is that the current organisers seem not to be serious about creating a contest worthy of entering but simply out to trademark the brand so that suppose a serious entertainment or media entity wants to pursue them as an entertainment calendar contender like the South African Music Awards, Blue Cranes, Vunas, Sithengi etc, or any of the many awards and events on our social calendar they in the future can sell the name and brand at a price. What I saw on their website was a bunch of clowns out to patronize whoever had good intentions about blogging. I mean I reckon this 'thing' must move beyond a fad to a serious media tool like it's the case in other countries whereby freelance writers and columnists no longer send directly to editors but post on personal blogs where their rants get picked by newspapers as good content.
When United States of America Presidential hopeful Senator Barrack Obama's second name was accidentally misspelt by Cable News Network as 'Osama' recently it was bloggers who picked the mistake first and alerted the powers that be in Atlanta. South Africa should reach that level whereby the presidential imbizo in Soweto can be monitored from a blog belonging to a Sowetan and the 19h00 news can be found fresh on blogs from bloggers as far as Bisho, Cape Town, Khutsong and Timbaktu. I can easily believe a story about what's happenig in Khutsong from a blogger in the area than a journalist who was parachuted in with a list of sources. We can't wait for national newspapers that answer to shareholders to expose musical talents when locals can do that on their blogs which is where the newspapers can pick a good story and publish it - of course acknowledging the source and paying for the find.
The story in the newspaper was on point about something wrong with the racial make-up of the bloggers who met for the awards. I was not there but I reckon 13 years into democracy you can't have Broederbond mentality while you brand yourself using 'South African. There are hundreds of blogs by darkies which either by design or coincidence didn't make it to the ill-fated SA Blog Awards irrespective of the national South African Broadcasting Corporation having given the organisers a stint on Morning Live. And that exclusivity conduct has to stop. I personally have sent my link to many media entities and editors for reviews and possible syndication of material and all I got was a cold shoulder while every week I read about some 60- year blogger in Baghdad or some teen in New York. Our local journalists always have something to write about some American or European blogger and even pick stories from overseas while locals generate equal quality content which continues to bypass the editor's sight.
I can really be vocal because I am a freelance journalist blogger myself. I started Kasiekulture in December to fill a void that was there. Barely four months later it has more than 100 entries about anything, from politics, analysis, news, sports, entertainment, book, music and film reviews, humour, opinions, profiles and hundreds of good pictures. It's an arts and culture blog.
I can also cite blogs by ordinary professional darkies such as yodemo and lekgema (by journalist Tshwarelo eseng Mogakane), kgaitsedi (by PR practitioner Karabo Kgoleng), afrosliqdiva (by Events Co-ordinator Khensani Mathetha), kwaki (by Marketing Manager Lihwa Kwela) and scores by deejays and artists which I can not fill in this space but find interesting. These are blogs by South Africans for South Africans. And how the hell we'll have a laager community in South Africa honouring themselves without us begs for an investigation. Our media should expose hypocrisy where it raises its head. And the SA Blog Awards are one big ossewa that should be dismantled!