Archive for November 19th, 2009


Death By Ayoba!

What I dig about South Africa is that every year when summer rolls around, the cell phone network providers all ramp up their advertising and bombard us from all sides with ‘Summer this’ and ‘Summer that’ and shots of mixed racial groups partying on beaches, having the time of their lives.

And all the while, I look at these ad campaigns and think to myself, How come I don’t hang out in mixed racial groups? Why do I only have whites for friends pretty much with the exception of some Indians and one or two peripheral blacks? What the hell is wrong with me? Christ, I’m a racist bastard!



Then to make matters worse, they choose some random word in a black language I don’t understand and shove it in my face every opportunity they get.

This year it’s ‘Ayoba’ (thanks MTN), I’ve probably read that word about 50 times in the last week alone and there’s still essentially two months of summer holiday advertising to go.

By the end of it all, the word will probably be burned into my retina. I’ll wake up, pouring sweat in the middle of the night, wide-eyed, screaming ‘AYOBA! AYOBA! AAAYYYOOOOOBBBBBAAAAA!’



I think what gets to me is the fact that they attach all this meaning to a word that they know non-black people won’t understand. Why do they do that? It doesn’t seem like the smartest way to encourage racial unity in SA.

‘Hey guys!’


‘I’ve got a GREAT idea for our new campaign!’

‘YOU’RE INCREDIBLE! Cutmeanotherlineofcocaineandtellusallaboutit!’

‘OK! Check it out! There are WAAAAAAAYYYYY more blacks than whites in this country right?’


‘Cool! Let’s make an advertising campaign that ONLY black people will understand!’



‘Yeah, we’ll create a sense of unity amongst the black community while ostracising the whites and making them feel completely unhip, uncool and sidelined!’



‘…umm guys…’


‘We’re white…’

‘Whatever! Shuttup! MORE COCAINE!’



To make things worse, you’ll probably find that the meaning of Ayoba is something completely arbitrary.

After I typed that last sentence I did a little Ugoogle-ising and found the following gem posted on the Jacaranda FM website:

“Ayoba – the word for 2010.

The word for excitement, cool,

fun… pride… joy… football… winning!!!”

Fuck, no wonder they chose that word for their campaign, it means EVERYTHING. Wait, it gets better:

“MTN is celebrating summer by adding ‘Ayoba-ness’ to everything it does”

Well that’s just fucking great. Expect to have this word screamed at you from billboards, TVs, newspapers, radios and magazines at FULL volume.

Ayoba! Ayoba! Ayoba!

And all over the country, whites, indians, coloureds, hell even the Chinese, will be scratching their heads in unison, all thinking exactly the same thing, ‘What the fuck does that mean?’

And as is the case with pretty much everything that gets regurgitated into mainstream media these days, the answer is simple.

It means nothing.

The more people that don’t know the meaning of it the better because it means nothing, it’s just a worm dangling off the hook of the happy holiday summer consumer spendasmuchmoneyasyoucan idea that they want you to swallow.

I’ve got a better idea. Here’s my fist. Let’s see you swallow that.