Samson the talking bull is back and in full swing. The Cold Storage Commission, which has been in constant trouble to try and meet the country’s beef needs in the face of stiff competition from private abattoirs, now has surplus beef and, once again, is trying to convince the public to buy its beef.
The talking bull advert was temporarily withdrawn from the television screens just prior to the 1985 general election and the CSC barred people from wearing clothing with a portrait of its bull simply because the then major opposition party, ZAPU, had adopted a charging bull as its party symbol.
In the 1980 general elections ZAPU had the portrait of a guerilla holding a baby as its symbol but five years later this had become unacceptable. After all, it was claimed, they were not the major victors in the armed struggle.
The CSC withdrew its advert because it feared that Samson might be misconstrued as part of the ZAPU campaign. This shows the extent which politicians viewed, and still view, the electorate. How they expected someone not to differentiate between a talking bull that was inviting you to eat it, and a charging bull that was either scaring you or its opponents away is totally absurd.
But thanks to the drought and the easing of government controls, the CSC now has more cattle on offer than it can take. It has even introduced a competition for butcheries to encourage them to buy more.