Bheki Cele is a reporter’s dream.
There is nothing worse that a person who is boring, quiet, poised when they speak. It makes for boring quotes and boring copy. Think of the quiet math-nerd in Grade 8… It’s easy to see why nobody spoke to her.
Axed police commissioner Bheki Cele is the exact opposite. He’s the out-spoken Grade 8. You know, the loud, brash, likely-to-become-a-gangster guy that teachers loathe and classmates are drawn towards. He’s the love-him-or-hate-him dude. But, either way, everyone knows who he is.
Cele is a reporter’s dream. Because he is who he is, because he’s as outspoken as he is, because he’s as brash as he is, he makes for great copy. His quotes are fantastic. Remember these:
– Shoot to kill;
– Tutu is not “deputy Jesus Christ”;
– “Coffins on wheels” (SA Roadlink);
– “Cowboys never cry”;
– Stomach in, chests out?
No one else in SA (Julius Malema, the ANCYL & Co aside) regularly gives such epic soundbites. He’s great for headlines, great for sales and great for stirring the pot. As I said: a reporter’s dream.
Now that he’s out of there, so is the cracking soundbite. Who else do we go to for outrageous comment? Juju? Maybe. Zuma? Meh. Kgalema? Hell no! It’s like tennis in the post-JohnnyMac era: bland, boring, characterless.
We need The General. We need his quotes. We need is bizarre, outlandish, often oaf-ish statements. Life’s boring without them.
Goodbye Bheki, goodbye soundbite.