Sunday, November 14, 2010

If only they could deliver, half as well as they sing and dance...

It is election season in Africa. Tanzania just concluded their elections, with the incumbent CCM party candidate, President Jakaya Kikwete, or 'JK', as they fondly call him, getting re-elected. No surprises there. CCM has been in power since independence in the 60's.
Cote d'ivoire has just gone through round one, with the run-off expected on the 28th November. In Guinea, they are counting the votes, amid controversy and accusations of electoral fraud. Museveni is still campaigning in Uganda and the Nigerians will start party nominations soon.
Just when i thought Museveni was innovative in his campaign, bringing his new-found 'rap' music talents to spice up his vote-hunting antics, i stumbled upon BBC's Africa correspondent, Andrew Harding's piece titled 'Africa's presidential rap idol?'.
South African president, Jacob Zuma, or 'Jay Z' (no relation to the American hiphop artiste), showed off his dancing and singing skills during the last elections in SA. I had more or less forgotten about it, so here you go, for those who did not have a chance to see this:

Critics were quick to point out that the song, "Umshini wam", which means 'give me my machine gun', was akin to hate speech, since it was used during the anti-apartheid struggle. In any case, you've got to hand it to him-the man is a good dancer.
In West Africa, Mr. Ali Ben Bongo succeeded his late father, Omar Bongo. But during the election campaigns, he too had a chance to explore his musical talent, with the assistance of local rap musicians. I like rap and hip hop music, and even though my knowledge of the French language is below kindergarten, it seems to me that they had a good party, as you will see in the next clip:

I only hope that Gabon will have a 'good party' in terms of human growth and development, provision of basic utilities and creation of employment during Mr. Bongo's regime. All in all, it seems that African politicians, from the West to the East, have understood the power of music and dance in African life, and are using it to their advantage.It makes living in Africa a very interesting experience-never a dull moment!
If only they could deliver, half as well as they sing and dance......

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