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Marriage is a walk in the park, they say

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I have been pondering the election posters all over the city. To my mind, it looked like suitors trying to woo a beautiful damsel with promises of prosperity and fidelity.

THE ORIGINAL animated ‘Lion King’, I must admit, blew my mind with its detailed hand-drawn animation. The movie was made during the so-called ‘Disney Renaissance’, the period from 1989 to 1999 that mimicked the early success of Disney between the 1930s and 1960s.

At one point in the movie, there was a crossover of sorts during one scene where hand-drawn and computer-generated animation were married together seamlessly.

The stampede scene, where king Mufasa died – causing me to weep into my popcorn – had five specially trained animators and technicians collaborating for over two years creating the two-and-a-half-minute stampede scene.

That translates to almost a year of effort per minute of screen time! How dedicated do you have to be to put in that amount of effort for such a small amount of brag time? I mean, I don’t know about you, but by the time the warthog and meerkat pitched up, I had forgotten about the stampede.

Recently I was able to watch the new CGI version of the Lion King and I must say, it was very well done! Even though the animals in this new adaptation are very, very realistic, the Disney studios still managed, ever so subtly, to bring charming facial expressions to the faces.

There’s one scene where Zazu, the king’s advisor, lets Simba and Nala know that they are to be married one day. They are repulsed by the thought. Simba exclaims “Eeuwww! … I can’t marry her. She’s my friend.” to which Nala adds, “Yeah. It’d be too weird.”

The youthful Simba and Nala would probably approve of a quote I read recently. “Marriage is like a walk in the park … Jurassic Park.”

Henny Youngman, however, suggested how a marriage could work: “Some people ask the secret of our long marriage,” he said. “We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.”

But seriously, what if a marriage doesn’t work? What then? Divorce is such an ugly process. But what if the marriage can just be completely erased as if it never happened?

In South Africa, apparently, a marriage can be annulled if there had been fraud or misrepresentation. In other words, where one party claims to be something or someone that he or she is not, then the entire marriage could possibly be tossed out.

I am saying all this because I have been pondering the election posters all over the city. To my mind, it looked like suitors trying to woo a beautiful damsel with promises of prosperity and fidelity.

“Marry me and I will get things done,” says one suitor. “No, take me and I will stop things from declining,” counters another. “Pick me and I will fight your battles,” chirps a third suitor. And it goes on and on.

I was left wondering if those making these attractive promises had the attitude of Simba’s dad Mufasa or of a young man that I spoke to one day a few hours before his wedding.

“Are you up for this,” I asked. “Marriage is a major step.”

He took a casual sip of his energy drink and replied, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.”

Not even five years into his marriage, I learned from an old school friend of his that he turned out to be just a completely terrible husband. I suppose he could manage the glamour of the wedding day, but lacked the grit it would take to sustain a marriage.

Mufasa, on the other hand, seemed to be a better leader. Showing the young Simba the Pride lands early one morning, he told the young cub that he would one day rule everything he could see.

As they continue their chat, at one point Simba is told that even as king there are things that even he is not allowed to do. But the cub protests, “I thought a king can do whatever he wants!”

Mufasa answers ever so gently, “There’s a lot mоrе to being king than getting your way all the time.” He then adds, “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures – from the crawling ant, to the leaping antelope.”

I wondered … Do the people who had all these election posters put up all over our city have Mufasa’s attitude toward leadership, realising that everyone is important, and that those in positions of ‘power’ are only given power to serve, not rule? Or are they like a man who thinks that being a groom at a wedding automatically makes you a husband through a marriage?

No, like it took committed animators almost a year of effort per minute of screen time to create a stampede scene in the original Lion King movie, our country needs people dedicated enough to put in a huge amount of effort to get even the smallest things done, and there are a lot of small things that need to be done in this country.

Promises on posters are not going to be enough this time around.

I look at these posters and grin to myself sometimes thinking, wouldn’t it be hilarious if elections could also be annulled if the elected parties could be ejected for representing themselves fraudulently ahead of the elections?

That, I must admit, would blow my mind.

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