Monday, December 21, 2009

The meaning of words in Africa…….

After discovering Alex’s blog, I started to read it at regular basis just to see his take on South Africa.

It was with great interest that I read his very factual reporting on Manto’s death.

Seeing that he also reports in French, I was intrigued by his use of the word “charlatan” in his heading, and thought that it will be instructive to see what the connection of this word is with French, and try to understand why he used this word.

Below is the meaning of the word, and the post.

So, I can say that he refers to Manto as a quack, meaning she professes knowledge or expertise in medicine, but does not have it.

[French, from Italian ciarlatano, probably alteration (influenced by ciarlare, to prattle) of cerretano, inhabitant of Cerreto, a city of Italy once famous for its quacks.]

charlatan [ˈʃɑːlətən]
someone who professes knowledge or expertise, esp in medicine, that he does not have; quack
[from French, from Italian ciarlatano, from ciarlare to chatter]
charlatanism , charlatanry n
charlatanistic adj

Death of A Charlatan (South Africa):

Former South African Health Minister, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang “died from complications related to her first liver transplant” Wednesday December 16 at the medical center of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

She was given the moniker “Dr Beetroot” after repeating this outlandish claim: “Shall I repeat garlic, shall I talk about beetroot, shall I talk about lemon… these delay the development of HIV to Aids-defining conditions, and that’s the truth.”

She and former President Thabo Mbeki are accused of causing thousands of deaths in South Africa for not taking the HIV/AIDS crisis seriously and for denying anti-retroviral drugs to those needing them. And recently some have even called for Mbeki to be held criminally accountable for these actions and for failing “to provide sound political guidance to a nation in distress.”

3 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, and I'll repeat this again: Manto Tshabalala-Misimang did not have a medical degree.

I have this from a very reliable source who worked in human resources for the department of health, specifically the primary health care section, then based in Braamfontein.

My friend had to verify everyone's credentials as, in typical ANC fashion, this hadn't been done when staff were initially hired.

Manto told her not to bother her with such silly questions and that she should go and ask Thabo Mbeki for her credentials.

Viking said...

You'll be able to buy medical degree at ATMs soon enough, don't worry.

Anonymous said...

One of these days they'll issue matric passes and medical degrees with birth certificates.