Is Jacob Zuma smart or dumb

The question of whether Jacob Zuma is smart or dumb is the one that most people, in South Africa, can  answer without hesitation. I can tell you now that an average middle class South African would say Jacob Zuma is dumb.

This is attributed to a lot of things least of which is Jacob Zuma’s actual intellectual capacity. Down the year he has been portrayed by the media as a brainless, traditionalist buffoon. Such portrayals have persisted for so long that very few have actually taken a moment to wonder whether or not Jacob Zuma is  smart person.

Among other things, Jacob Zuma struggle to deliver written speeches eloquently has compounded the educated public’s trust in his intellect. Not to mention the alleged failure to read out a sum of money during the State of the Nation Address.

It may be an interesting observation to suggest that if Jacob Zuma is really dumb it means the entire ANC leadership is dumb. He has led the ANC for 9 years. The ANC of the earlier, revered, leaders would have also been dumb as Jacob Zuma was among the central figures during the negotiations to end apartheid.

It is well documented that he had no formal education. Supposedly he taught himself to read and write Zulu in the bush. According to an official autobiography  Jacob Zuma also speaks French, Russian, Portuguese Swahili and Xhosa fluently.

Jacob Zuma has not made his time as President of South Africa easier. He has on several occasions expected the public and the media to be a little more forgiving than they should or could be but this is hardly an intellect yard stick. Not to mention than it is a very rare and unlikely occurrence for a dumb person to be a president of a country.

Honestly speaking a lot of Jacob Zuma critics would grudgingly admit that he has done rather well considering the state of affairs across the world. The economic struggles are not just real in South Africa but in many other countries and very few leaders could have done anything much differently. Make no mistake about it, a lot more could have been done in the past eight years but that has very little to do with Jacob Zuma’s intellect.

Is Jacob Zuma smart or dumb. The truth is Jacob Zuma is a very smart man who has navigated countless political landmines in a career spanning nearly six decades including the time he spent in Robben Island and in exile. Surviving the struggles of the recent years, hate or love the man, is nothing short of genius.


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