Nkandla Crooner should wait for Fokof­polisiekar

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - OPINION - KEVIN RITCHIE Ritchie is a me­dia con­sul­tant. He is a for­mer jour­nal­ist and news­pa­per editor.

THE Nkandla Crooner is about to be­come a record­ing artist. The story might have had its gen­e­sis in the silly sea­son when news­pa­pers around South Africa scrab­ble for sto­ries, but it shouldn’t come as a sur­prise given Ja­cob Zuma’s predilec­tion for song and dance.

It’s dif­fi­cult to for­get the al­most daily scenes out­side the high court in Joburg for the sec­ond quar­ter of 2006 – scenes of him singing Awuleth’ Umshini Wami (Bring Me

My Ma­chine Gun) to scores of ador­ing fans, chief among them Zwelinz­ima Vavi and Julius

Malema to the en­dur­ing de­light of car­toon­ist Zapiro.

We had 10 years of song and dance – in­ter­spersed with gig­gles – dur­ing his pres­i­dency.

Now, though, the man who gave us state cap­ture is about to be cap­tured for pos­ter­ity, pos­si­bly on vinyl for the hip­sters, MP3 for the mid­dle-aged and stream­ing for the youth – all paid for by eThek­weni’s Parks, Cul­ture and Recre­ation Unit as part of its cel­e­bra­tion of Dur­ban be­ing named Un­esco’s City of Lit­er­a­ture in a bid to pre­serve the coun­try’s her­itage.

The deal was ap­par­ently struck at Nkandla, the for­mer pres­i­dent’s homestead com­plete with fire pool that be­came a by­word for mis­man­age­ment well be­fore the Gup­tas had the temer­ity to land at Waterk­loof.

As you might ex­pect, the DA got it­self into a froth both about the grant and the fact it wasn’t prop­erly tabled, while the twit­terati have had plenty to say, with the pithi­est be­ing author and mo­ti­va­tional speaker Clive Simp­kins: “Ja­cob Zuma must have chat­ted with R Kelly and re­alised he has all the qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­quired to be a mu­sic star.”

The an­nounce­ment by South Africa’s se­rial Grammy award win­ning Lady­smith Black Mam­bazo that it would col­lab­o­rate on a cou­ple of num­bers with Msholozi sent the Twit­ter­verse into more death spi­rals amid mur­murs of con­sumer boy­cotts against the masters of isi­cathamiya.

Col­lab­o­ra­tions, though, aren’t new in this coun­try; Karen Zoid has made a busi­ness model out of it while Mam­bazo have col­lab­o­rated with a range of in­ter­na­tional stars from Dolly Par­ton to Michael Jack­son, Josh Groban and, most fa­mously, Paul Si­mon. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with uBaba ka Duduzane might, iron­i­cally, be truer to their roots than Grace­land could ever be.

The tim­ing though, of this is, if not con­trived, cer­tainly a lit­tle awk­ward for his suc­ces­sor – in the stu­dio in April for a re­lease in May and not Septem­ber, which is Her­itage Day.

May’s not just the month the rest of us go to the polls, it’s also the day that Zuma fi­nally faces his day in court af­ter more than 10 years of do­ing his damnedest to avoid it. It won’t be soon enough to raise enough funds for his le­gal war chest, but it will be more than enough time to show all his en­e­mies a mid­dle fin­ger.

Once again, Ja­cob Ged­ley­ih­lek­isa Zuma could well be liv­ing the mean­ing of his mid­dle name: the one who laughs while phys­i­cally hurt­ing you.

Given his le­gal woes, though, per­haps he should have held out for a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Fokof­polisiekar.

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