Our new finance minister, Tito Mboweni, is likely to be a big hit with the press for one simple but important reason: his first name is so easy to pronounce, spell, remember and print in headlines.
Nhlanhla Nene’s name was equally accommodating, but several of our political leaders have names that are a challenge to remember.
Not so Tito Titus Mboweni (born March 16 1959) who from August 1999 for 10 years was the eighth governor of the South African Reserve Bank. Thereafter he was in big business.
Our Tito shares the same name with at least two other famous Titos. The Italian operatic baritone Tito Gobbi, who died in 1984, and Josip Broz, commonly known as Tito, who organised and led the partisan resistance in Yugoslavia during World War II.
In 1945, he became Prime Minister of Yugoslavia and in 1974 was named president for life, a position he held until his death in 1980. He was a popular figure although some criticised his authoritarian regime and repression of his political opponents.
The name Tito crops up in a number of different products. Such as Tito’s famous Handcrafted Vodka produced in Austin Texas by Tito Beveridge’s company founded in 1997. Using yellow corn rather than potatoes or wheat, it is brewed in old-fashioned pot stills and every batch is taste tested. It has grown from being a micro-distillery to a craft distillery producing 40 000 cases a year.
The company also makes Tito’s handmade Tequila.
Two famous American Titos include Jacob Christopher “Tito” Ortiz, a mixed martial artist and Ernest Antonio “Tito” Puente who was a musician, songwriter and record producer.
He is best known for dance-orientated mambo and Latin jazz compositions that endured over his 50-year career.
There are loads of Tito’s restaurants around the world, but the only one I could find in South Africa is Tito’s takeaway in Durban.
However, our finance minister is becoming famous for tweeting post-curry pictures, which have been eagerly shared across social media.
The one I saw shows the sweat pouring down his face with the caption “Be careful of East African chillies at official functions! Too hot and you will sweat badly!! Not good for you…But tasty.”
A smile that brightened your day
The value of a smile can never be underestimated. Eighty–six people who appreciated the smile of Andrew, who manned the entrance gate to Silvermine, have raised R33 398 for his widow, Sandra, “as a gift from us for the legacy he left behind”. In her initial letter, Bronwyn Evans was trying to raise R20 000 to help Andrew get back on his feet after a poisonous spider bite left him very ill. He was the sole breadwinner.
She wrote: “For anyone that cycles, has picnics, swims, trail runs or hikes up in Silvermine, the one face you probably remember is the smiling face of Andrew, one of the gate keepers who checks your activity card or takes the payment.
“Rain or shine, he offers everyone the biggest of smiles, and seems to encourage the gift of joy as you enter this beautiful part of Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town.”
It was very moving to read the messages from the contributors, three of whom gave donations of R1 000, while others paid in
dollars. After his death, several wrote how he had touched the lives of many “with that smile and genuine love for people”.
Another described how helpful and sympathetic he had been when they had lost their dog.
The mostly likely spider responsible for Andrew’s death was the black button spider with the indistinct button holes (Latrodectus indistinctus) as opposed to the brown button spider with the geometrical buttonholes (Latrodectus geometricus).
Both have neurotoxic venom, acting on nerve endings but the black one is more toxic.
Celebrate your garden
Gardens around here are looking pretty good at the moment, which bodes well for those taking part on Sunday October 21 in the third annual Garden Day.
The joy is you don’t have to go anywhere. You simply down tools, invite neighbours, friends and family round and celebrate your garden together over a glass of wine and a light lunch or easy snacks.
The idea of Garden Day is to get more people gardening. Studies have shown that gardening can make a significant contribution to our health and well-being, not only mentally but it is also the world’s best kept exercise secret.
Whether you spend five minutes or a whole day gardening, all the stretching, pulling out weeds and dead plants, digging a hole for a new shrub, or pushing the lawn mower around, help you keep in shape and increase your physical health by an average of 33% with knock-on benefits for rates of heart disease and diabetes.
Help an animal
If you want to be inspired by a beautiful garden and help a good cause, head on Sunday October 28 for 72 Starke Road, Bergvliet, for tea in the garden (10.30am to noon) followed by a fun auction in aid of the Karoo Animal Protection Society (KAPS). Entry is R50. KAPS is the only organisation providing a mobile service for animals in the deprived areas of the Little Karoo working among poor communities where people who can barely feed their children, keep a dog, chain it up, and feed it potato peelings.
Animals are dipped, de-wormed, fed, taken for treatment, sterilised, rescued and re-homed and their owners educated.
Why is it that the moment you find a product that really works for you, the manufacturers take it off the market?