3/4/09

Sabela uyabizwa Msholozi!

I’m taking this time to review something that was impossible to review many years ago because it was unavailable here – in South Afrika, because we are backward. Americans and others have been using television for years to canvass for votes.

I am reviewing the African National Congress television advertisement. I’m still trying to figure out how much are they spending taking Ikhongolose to the people but I reckon it’s a lot of money – hopefully not from Arms Deal or some shady transactions that the comrades are involved in.

First; the ad is cinematographically very appealing and was well shot and edited with the undecided voter in mind. The target is the unconverted rural voter still wondering if COPE is a fluke or the real deal.

In the ad the ANC takes credit for all the successes of the last fifteen years, building of houses, clinics, bridges, roads, municipal infrastructure and makes a point of highlighting that it all started with the Nelson Mandela’s freedom. Absent from the ad’s archived visuals is disgraced former party chief and president Thabo Mbeki. It takes credit without acknowledging the man who came between Mandela and Zuma.

You get to see a ‘poor’ family standing infront of their new RDP house. You don’t get to see that it’s actually a four-roomed a la National Party matchbox structure, just that the Nats built stronger houses. Or they used sterner stuff which our comrades don't.

Then the killer for me is the old man who is relating all these achievements from the comfort of his tired-looking bench. He speaks isiXhosa, probably to acknowledge the humble roots of the ANC and to defer the Zulu leader of the party as just a head of a collective while the party still belongs to everybody, including isiXhosa speakers. Remember that COPE launched its manifesto in the Eastern Cape as well.

Then when the old man takes to his feet it becomes the sell-off moment. And then the brand ambassador, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma appears and urges the electorate to give them another mandate. Wow! Another five years? Someone ask; to do what? He says it's like a girlfriend complaining about a boyfriend who has never satisfied her for fifteen finally leaving and the boyfriend arguing that she should give him five more years? What is it that the underperforming boyfriend will do in five years that he couldn't do in fifteen?

From a marketing point I fail to comprehend why I saw it twice during e-international news, since I sort of figured that people who make time to watch the 13h00 news are already converted, they already know who they are going to vote for and might not switch loyalties based on what the ANC claims to have achieved. It’s like people who watch Top Billing, Generations, Muvhango, Bold and The Beautiful and many other clearly LSMd shows.

It’s a nice ad with a thought-provoking hackneyed message. One of my visitors to this blog figured it should be screened during 3rd Degree as well. I reckon it will depend on what the topic is, not when it’s the issue of suspended two Land Affairs Chief Directors for maladministration of funds – who happen to be ANC deployed supposed to be ‘disciplined cadres’ who stole poor people’s money.

4 comments:

  1. Gab(Real) Makhubedu3/13/2009

    'He speaks isiXhosa, probably to acknowledge the humble roots of the ANC' -- ANC's humble roots are, by and large, Zulu: Pixley Ka Isaka Seme is the founding father and his cousin John Langalibalele Dube the president. Just a correction, bhuti!

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  2. 'He speaks isiXhosa, probably to acknowledge the humble roots of the ANC' -- ANC's humble roots are, by and large, Zulu: Pixley Ka Isaka Seme is the founding father and his cousin John Langalibalele Dube the president. Just a correction, bhuti!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3/13/2009

    Broer, some people will differ with you, because the roots of the movement are not rewinded as far back as 1912 where as you say you can speak of so many people like Luthuli and Dube but where it really flourished, where the roots spread so much that they strengthened the tree. So, Eastern Cape, not KZN is synonymous with the ANC, due to its institutions like Alice and Lovedale having nurturued the leaders who later became the icons of the movement like Lembhede, Sisulu, Tambo, Mandela and Mbeki

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  4. On the premise of their selective amnesia, they will differ with me: however, the fact remains -- ANC's roots are grounded in KZN (not in Eastern Cape). I agree that the liberation movement flourished in Eastern Cape, but its inception being there is nary a fact. Another point of correction: Anton Muziwakhe Lembede (the official founding president of ANCYL who was also a Zulu person from KZN) was not nurtured by any of those institutions. One of the sources to verify this: http://www.sahistory.org.za/pages/people/bios/lembede-am.htm

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