The company’s directors shuffled into the glass and aluminium meeting room. The chairman (she didn’t believe in gender-correct nonsense) strode in, her folder tucked under the arm of her glittering, sequinned emerald costume.
Her wings folded gently behind her and she said, in a tone which made it plain who was the boss: “Sit. Let’s get down to business.”
Tinkerbelle still recalled the long days when she had been in the field years ago: the long missions, when she had flitted here and there in a gauzy haze sprinkled with moonbeams, taking dreams to unhappy and lonely children. She felt she was helping to make the world a better place.
But, expansion and diversification turned the Dream Factory into a multinational giant. Tinkerbelle had resisted listing on the New York Stock Exchange because of her aversion to liars and thieves.
“Before we start, I would like to thank the managers of the Inspiration and Vision section. It has been our biggest growth area and, even though I was reluctant to move away from what we founded Dream Factory to do, I concede that there is a market for it. Not that it always turns out the way we thought. Who would have thought that Donald Trump would have turned our ‘Make America Great Again’ fantasy into reality?
“I am still a bit worried about Boris Johnson. Our dream of a once-Great Britain was never true in reality… but none of the Brexiteers appeared to care about that. Perhaps they do want to return to a time of union strife, low living standards and poor manufacturing quality. And it won’t bring back the Empire. I suppose everyone has to learn the hard way.”
She looked around the table.
“Which brings me to the reason for this emergency meeting – the South African subsidiary.”
A voice from the end of the table muttered: “That wasn’t such a good move…”
Tinkerbelle shook her head sadly. “I agree. But it seemed like such a good idea back in 1994 to form that partnership with Nelson Mandela and use Desmond Tutu as a consultant. Madiba definitely contributed massively in terms of intellectual property and the archbishop’s ‘rainbow nation’ dream was first-class.”
In the beginning, operating out of Union Buildings, the South African operations turned dreams into visions and then into reality. But today…
“Madam,” said the director responsible for South Africa, “they are not following the original ideas. And we hear that they have been tapping into the Ridiculous servers in our Absurd section, not for inspiration but to actually put those fantasies out to their public, which was done this week at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address.”
He went on: “Now, South Africans think that they are getting a magic ‘mega tech city’ at Lanseria, to go with the Johannesburg-Polokwane bullet train he promised them last time. And that their kids will be computer geniuses because they will be taught to code from Grade R, even when their reading standards are terrible.
“And there will be a sovereign wealth fund and state bank, even though most government money is in Switzerland or Dubai.”
He stopped: “And they think they can make a profit from Eskom!”
Tinkerbelle slapped her hand down on the table: “This cannot continue. Too much fantasy will kill a country. Stop them!”
There was a short silence.
“It’s too late. They’re the ANC and they’ve already looted our archives. They also crashed our system, but that wasn’t deliberate – they were using Panyaza Lesufi’s IT team.”
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.
BACK TO CITIZEN
BACK TO PREMIUM
The Citizen. All rights