Eat, Love, Shower, Pray and other self-help books on Zuma’s bedside table

A political analyst caused a storm by suggesting Jacob Zuma did not read enough. “Of course the president reads,” explained his spokesperson MacBook Maharaj, “and not just classics like Career Opportunities for Origami Majors.”
We go into Zuma’s bedroom for an exclusive peek at what’s on the president’s bedside table – and JZ explains how these books help him rule the country.


How to Win Friends & Influence People
I forget who wrote this book, but since reading it I have some impressive people on speed dial. I don’t want to mention any names, let’s just say one name starts with a G and ends with an Upta. The lessons in the book have also helped me influence influential people. I gave this book to a certain judge president for Christmas (I’d tell you who but as you know I’m no name dropper), and if he didn’t read it and influence some influential judges I’d probably be in jail now.

The Road Less Travelled
Is the road you take when you’re too stingy to buy an
e-toll tag. Lucky for me I use a private jet.

He’s Just Not That Into You
This teaches you to recognise the signs of relationships headed for Doomsville. Thanks to this book, when Juju changed his slogan from “I will kill for Zuma” to “I will kill Zuma” I had a fairly good idea that he was no longer that into me. Soon he will be into a lengthy prison stretch (heh, heh, heh).

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Presidents
Habit 1: Grin. Chuckle. Repeat: Everyone likes a happy leader.
Habit 2: Deny. Deny. Deny. Taxpayers’ money was used to build my R250 million compound? Why didn’t anyone tell me?
Habit 3: Nod, frown, shake head slowly: People will believe you’re taking them seriously.
Habit 4: When in doubt kick for touch: Order a commission of inquiry.
Habit 5: Think wink-wink: As president I am entitled to the perks of office.
Habit 6: Sharpen the saw: Especially helpful when you have an axe to grind.
Habit 7: Avoid going to jail: Everyone likes a free prez.

Eat, Pray, Love
I’ve mastered eating and loving (my wives will verify that), but the title is irresponsible. It should be Eat, Love, Shower, Pray.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
I wasn’t expecting this!

The Secret
I’m not allowed to tell you what this book is about. The Secret is classified – just like the so-called spy tapes that don’t implicate me in any wrongdoing whatsoever.

Who Moved My Cheese?
My guess is that it was the domestic worker. She moves everything, including my copy of Who Moved My Cheese? I’m going to go straight to the prequel: Who Cut the Cheese?

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
I finally understand why I can’t understand Zille – she’s an extraterrestrial. When I’m recalled I’m going to use my spare time to pen a book called: Juju is Behind Bars, Vavi Thinks with his Penis.

An Idiot’s Guide to Crosswords
I thought this book would help me with my temper, but it actually contained crossword clues like: Wild! A generic self-help author who remembers your name (8).*

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Come to think of it don’t sweat the big stuff either. Just don’t sweat. Ever. Sies.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
What was he thinking?

50 Shades of Grey
Oh, how did that book get there? It’s not mine. I think it belongs to the chief whip.

*CARNEGIE: An anagram of “a generic” (“wild” is the anagram indicator) reveals the name of the author who wrote that there is power in remembering names.


About Jonathan Ancer

I'm a journalist, cryptic crossword junkie, keen cyclist, Billy Bunter book collector and a Billy Bragg stalker. I love words and will post some of the columns I have written over the years on this blog. They include: View from the G-spot (my time as editor of a community newspaper in Grahamstown), Virgin Cyclist (the build up to my first Argus Cycle Tour), Pop psychology (my take on fatherhood) and Angry Utterances (10) (how crossword puzzles unlock the world's secrets and the meaning of life). Since leaving Independent Newspapers in September 2014 I have started freelancing and write a column for the Witness - The Diary of a Bumbling Hack. I've also become a podcast junkie and have produced a podcast biography series called Extraordinary Lives. Let me know what you think.
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3 Responses to Eat, Love, Shower, Pray and other self-help books on Zuma’s bedside table

  1. ruth says:


  2. Polly Jones suggested another self-help book: Feel the Fraud and Do It Anyway

  3. It seems that JZ (aka Number One) has read Robert J Ringer’s 1977 bestseller “Looking Out For No. 1” a number of times…

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