And the winner is . . . you

muzi kuzwayo e1373721531240 And the winner is . . . you

I intend to let other voices speak and garner many opinions

Dear Readers,
Last week I asked you to suggest a name for this column. Well, thank you so much for the overwhelming response I received from all of you – several hundred suggestions in total.

I wish I could publish them all, but on average this column is 550 words. I am supposed to say “I am humbled by your response”, but far from it. Instead, your suggestions make me want to say I am proud of the fact that I come from a nation of such creative people.

Also, the entries suggest that the readers of this newspaper are doing their best to make the country succeed, and it will.

“Nation in Motion” suggests it all. “Brick by Brick” puts across the same sentiment and so does “Ray of Light”.

I couldn’t help but smile when I read the name “Facts and Friction”. A witty name like that, whether for a brand or a column, enhances any experience. It is what makes people remember the product long after the initial encounter. Needless to say, I like “Blackman’s Medicine” too, but that’s already taken.

The one-word “SwitchedOn” says more about the columnist than the story.

Less is more – people who use a lot of words often say nothing, or worse still, what they say is often forgotten. Think about it. One word, “Amandla” mobilised millions of people around the world to fight against years and years of oppression

It is not the length of the speech that makes a good speaker, but the power of the words, and the shorter the better. Martin Luther King Jr’s famous I Have a Dream speech was only 17 minutes long. So for every minute you add to that, your speech better reverberate around the world.

Granted, we are not as talented as Dr King, so we are allowed to fluff and show our inadequacies. While on the subject of short speeches, it’s a good habit to make your presentations short – 20 minutes should be your absolute maximum.

The boardroom is not the place to appreciate the sound of your own voice. It is all about the audience. Many readers suggested a personalised name like “Muzi’s Corner”, “Straight Talk with Muzi” and even “Muzi’s Tonic”.

A newspaper column, as Errol Louis wrote in his book, Deadline Artists, is a personal perspective combining observation with opinion, but I intend to let other voices speak.

For instance, I intend to publish an email I received from a Syrian friend who recently went back home to fetch his aging parents to start a new life – the life of refugees.

“Fragments of Freedom” is so lyrical and seductive. Our country is filled with bad news and many people still feel the shackles of bondage. Many of us find great consolation in Letta Mbulu’s song Not Yet Uhuru.

So, in a way, we are looking for our own liberated zones where we can appreciate the pieces of our dream.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities,” said Nelson Mandela in the dock.

“It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Someone suggested the name “Freedom to Hope”.

» Kuzwayo is chairman of Project Literacy, promoting literacy in SA

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