Day­dream­ing while wait­ing for ANC’s Su­per

CityPress - - Voices - Paddy Harper voices@city­ Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Pad­dyHarper1

Wed­nes­day morn­ing. My head’s throb­bing like Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers leader Julius Malema’s nuts af­ter the pound­ing the party took last week.

Dur­ban is its usual fur­nace. The air hasn’t moved since about Satur­day. The sweat’s form­ing a liq­uid cur­tain across my eye­brows as it pours off my bald dome. I’ve got shoes, jeans and a shirt on be­cause I’m meet­ing lah­nees to­day, so my ther­mo­stat has blown and I’m drown­ing in my own liq­uid emis­sions.

The air-con­di­tion­ing in the sec­ond­floor board­room in the ANC of­fice feels like cold wa­ter on my skin as I wan­der in for an 11am brief­ing with the party’s KwaZulu-Natal sec­re­tary, Su­per Zuma, to talk about the week­end’s lek­gotla, unity and other im­por­tant stuff.

I’ve al­ways won­dered how he got the name Su­per. I’ve never had the guts to ask him. Maybe one day I will. Maybe I should do it soon. Su­per has only been in his po­si­tion since the end of 2015 and, if the ANC branches that are chal­leng­ing the out­come of that con­fer­ence in the high court have their way, the com­rades may not be call­ing Su­per nob­hala for that much longer.

Su­per’s not a chatty kind of cat when it comes to the me­dia. Nxa­m­alala’s not once an­swered a call or SMS from me since he took up of­fice. Or maybe it’s me he doesn’t dig talk­ing to. It is what it is, so maybe to­day’s the day to pop the big ques­tion.

I’m early, but I need time to dry off be­fore the presser starts. These gigs work on khon­golose time, so 11am is re­ally 11.45am, or maybe even mid­day, or when­ever the SABC ar­rives, so my shirt should be dry by kick­off.

A col­league sit­ting next to me starts snor­ing. My mind starts wan­der­ing. I’m kinda pre­oc­cu­pied by The An­ces­tors. Not mine, or Msholozi’s, but Shabaka and The An­ces­tors. I saw them a cou­ple of weeks ago. The An­ces­tors are for real – they may be the most im­por­tant band I’ve so far heard.

Shabaka Hutch­ings, Siyanda Mthembu, Tumi Mo­gorosi, Nduduzo Makhathini and the rest of their eight­man mu­si­cal rev­o­lu­tion have ham­mered out a raw, gen­tle, an­gry sound­track to the com­ple­tion of South Africa’s un­fin­ished rev­o­lu­tion.

Hutching’s sax­o­phone is a call to arms. Mthembu’s voice is the Drak­ens­berg Boys Choir with demons. Mo­gorosi’s drum­ming makes you want to throw a con­crete block through a cop van’s wind­screen. Makhathini’s piano makes you wanna cry.

These young men are the an­them of the #FeesMustFall move­ment and more.

I look up. It’s time to start.

The sweat’s form­ing a liq­uid cur­tain across my eye­brows as it pours off my bald dome

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