Eusebius McKaiser is a political and social analyst at the Wits Centre for Ethics. He is also a popular radio talk show host, a top international debate coach, a master of ceremonies and a public speaker of note. Available to book through Motivators
He loves nothing more than a good argument, having been both former National South African Debate Champion and the 2011 World Masters Debate Champion. His analytic articles and columns have been widely published in South African newspapers and the New York Times.
Eusebius has studied law and philosophy. He taught philosophy in South Africa and England. Follow Eusebius on Twitter
Eusebius McKaiser is not only a presenter on 702 and CapeTalk every weekday, but also a political analyst, broadcaster, lecturer and writer.
He has a background in moral philosophy, after studying and then going on to lecture in the philosophy department at Rhodes University.
He rose above it to study law and philosophy at Rhodes University and went on to become that rarefied creature, a Rhodes Scholar. It meant an Oxford University education, and among other things, joining that august body’s debating society.
Presidents and prime ministers have had to watch their Ps and Qs on its platform as they engaged in robust debate, yet McKaiser proved equal to the best.
He is passionate about ethics and philosophy, both of which he has taught here and in England.
The title of his book comes from a question that he poses in it: is it acceptable for you to stipulate the colour of someone to whom you would like to rent a room in your home?
The advertiser — this was for real — wanted a white person.
McKaiser rang her. He reflects on their discussion, and those that followed on his late-night radio show, in a chapter headed A Bantu in My Bathroom.
The arguments rage across several pages and flow into outbuildings, sex, morality, ethics and race. He concludes that nonracism and nonracialism — he explains the different terms — begin at home.
Other subjects McKaiser tackles range from why white people have medical aid for their animals but not for their domestic workers, to his only dating black men (“why not white?” he was asked), and his hatred of Cape Town (it treats coloured people like dirt).
He is extraordinarily explicit about his sexuality and how he revealed this to his father
The latter’s words — “Don’t you just wanna try, my son, with a woman?” — elicited the author’s response: “Don’t you just want to try with men?”
Fourteen years on, he writes he is proud of his father and glad that he did not condone his homophobia because “I love him too much.”
I cannot imagine a single friend or acquaintance of mine having the courage to write as McKaiser does. I don’t agree with many of his viewpoints, analyses and philosophies, particularly about polygamy, and he does tend to wander into labyrinthine discussions, yet he does so engagingly and cleverly.
This is in spite of a self-administered, huge put-down, in which he describes writing as one of the most self-indulgent activities. He suggests that anybody who has the audacity to even attempt to write a book is “either shamelessly arrogant or blissfully stupid”.
I applaud his decision to write a book that is intellectually argument-rich but which refuses, as he puts it, to “bow to academia’s techniques”. It makes his writing an easy joy to read.
We need to have the skeletons of our past and present, and I am speaking in the broader, national sense, aired and rattled in such vigorous conversation.
Eusebius has gone on to become a political analyst and writer. His first book, a collection of essays entitled ‘A Bantu In My Bathroom’ became a best-seller and went on to sell over 10 000 copies in under a year.
His second book, ‘Could I vote DA?’ was an evaluation of the Democratic Alliances’ chances at the elections.
Before securing the daytime slot on 702, Eusebius anchored Talk At Nine on the station but then went on to work at Power FM. He later re-joined 702 and CapeTalk and now hosts his own show.