President Jacob Zuma Wrong About Pets

I would like to delicately wade into the “Zuma pets” debate. I am sure you have read that the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has said that black Africans should not keep pets, specifically dogs as they are part of white culture. Zuma wants black people to behave like black people and to erase the memory and vestiges of white colonisation.

He is wrong, though. He is quite badly wrong, in fact, although I sympathize with his sentiments about European colonization.

Madagascar Cat
Madagascar Cat – a moggie cat living in Madagascar as a pet. Madagascar is not a part of Africa, I know but this is a fine photo by Franck Vervial. Madagascar is a blend of Southeast Asian and East African roots.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

On the issue of colonisation he would do better addressing what can only be described as Africa’s colonisation by China in the 21st century. It is everywhere in Africa. China is buying up African minerals, timber and oil so it can continue to expand its manufacturing base to supply the world with cheap goods and fuel Western consumerism. This helps put the West in more debt and we don’t need more debt and to be in hock to China via Africa. China is buying up African companies and creating new companies in Africa to export these vital resources to China.

A lot of Africans are disturbed by Chinese colonisation of Africa. But not Zuma it appears, probably because China makes sure that African leaders benefit financially by China’s presence. That is the first point I would like to make. In summary: check out modern day colonisation and move forward.

As to pets being part of white man’s culture, I would heavily dispute that. An interesting angle on this is to ask, “who where the first people to domesticate cats and dogs?” Who created the culture of pet animals?


Cats were first domesticated in the region just north of Saudi Arabia including Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Israel and Jordan etc. These people are not white people nor Europeans. If the very origins of the culture of keeping a pet cat was formulated by non-white people how can pets be exclusively a part of white culture?


The first domestication of the dog appears to be more widespread and complicated than the cat. It also happened about 30,000 years ago (at a maximum), it is believed. Cats were first domesticated about 9,500 years ago.

Some experts believe the first domestication of the wolf took place in southern East Asia. Early clear evidence of the first dog domestication is of a dog buried with a person 12,000 years ago in Palestine. Another place is in Germany dating back 14,000 years.

These are examples. Dogs are domesticated wolves and the first domestication took place over a wide area of the planet encompassing various peoples and cultures many of whom where non-white. Once again Mr Zuma should recognise the indisputable fact that the culture of keeping a pet dog is not exclusively about “white culture”.

Keeping a pet dog or cat is about people and animals finding mutual companionship. The color of the person is irrelevant.

Mr Zuma’s remarks are divisive. Are they racist? I am not going to say they are. A lot of black Africans love dogs. The dog serves the black African in numerous ways such as in the police force and border control.

Mr Zuma should focus on the positives of keeping a dog or cat companion and as I said keep a very keen eye on the colonisation of Africa by China because one day he’ll wake up to an Africa that is no longer owned by the Africans.

6 thoughts on “President Jacob Zuma Wrong About Pets”

  1. Completely agree with what you wrote! However I see some inaccurate information about the location of cat domestication.

    ”Cats were first domesticated in the region just north of Saudi Arabia”

    Saudi Arabia? Studies say us ”Fertile Crescent” and this does not include Saudi Arabia…

    Where you got this claim from, Michael?
    Syria, Israel etc.yes, but certainly Not Egypt. DNA data proves that the cats that came there were already domesticated… (You may find it useful: ”Cats of the pharaohs: genetic comparison of Egyptian cat mummies to their feline
    contemporaries”, Kurushima)

  2. Why should the colour of someone’s skin or their race stop them from having pets, I think that’s very wrong!
    Not everyone likes the same things in life and in my opinion every person of the whole world needs to learn to live and let live because we are all equally human.
    Animals need homes, many people need animal companions, it’s as simple as that to me.


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