#2018ZimElections: How to Dance Ourselves into Oblivion

Music can be addictive. Fine music has a rare aptitude to entertain or alter people’s beliefs. I adore music. I prefer reggae and jazz. I hope you do too. Dancing is part of the art of music. I can’t sing nor can I dance but I like the beat.

In my life, I have encountered endowed musical characters. One of them was Last Chiangwa aka Tambaoga, a Zimbabwean singer.

The aforesaid musician had abandoned potential to make audiences blubber in ecstasy and overlook their sorrows. He spotted dreadlocks to confirm his Rastafarian beliefs, so he had a reggae lineage.

Like many in this trade, his beginning was doubtful. This was before he embarked on a spiteful project titled: “The Blair that I know is a toilet…”

Indeed, he was precise; Blair toilets serve the call of nature. If his rendition was confined to a toilet, then it could have been equally filthy like the very matter contained by this stinking, bottomless hole. In the end his intended message and talent ended up confined to the same pit he recited.

Armed with uncommon dancing skills and a silk, booming voice, he fronted many state galas and featured in many electronic media jingles. Instantly, he became the brand face for the government-funded Third Chimurenga gospel. The recurrent thirty minute interval recital of the jingles which he constantly featured, served its intended purpose – well except one.
Jah Prayzah's Song is now a Hit at Political Rallies 

Indeed, the politically-connected justified amassing land leaving us within an eternal economic mess – almost like the Blair toilet. The intended objective was that: you too, you are part of this process, except we reaped a stinking legacy.

Tambaoga’s song echoed and shepherded us into nothingness, even longer than the echo of the tasteless jingle had subsided. The rhythm and chorus defined and drove us into economic chaos across the land. How he became an obscurity is not part of my dialogue, because it was apparent that he would someday gyrate into oblivion.

Many shall recall politicians-turned musicians who recited war-linked renditions. These were meant to encourage a people’s fledging belief in the liberation war. It served its purpose then. But sadly, this piece is not about singers or dancers; rather it’s a debate on why leaders should dance and when.

In order to kick-start the economy, you need more than a disciplined monetary policy, and not chubby women flipping their oversized backsides under the influence of Tambaoga’s voice, while forsaken young men grasped excess flesh, drooling with anticipation. This is kongonya. When the sweat has subsided, they return to their original life – a life of struggle and pittance.

The least you need are over-emphasised galas around the country that will not deliver needs in homes and hospitals. Even the ululation of a sham election victory and vigorous air punching fists could make our belief in party politics stronger but it will never elevate our credit ratings on world markets.

Hospitals require medicines and personnel to function and not 100 percent local music content. Children cry for food on their plates not sloganeering. Firms require liquidity injection to operate not political rhetoric.

Yes, land takeover may increase the list of mega-rich political-aligned politicians but for the rest it means sweating for nothing and when tired, used and abused, hunger will resume haunting them whilst politicians pack for another destination.

Andy Brown died a lonely man. In his twilight, he was a gifted performer and guitarist with a huge fan base. The moment he decided to sell a political agenda, they deserted him.

Soon, he slid into oblivion. Without fans attending his shows, his political backers abandoned him. This was the dearth of an icon, never to rise again.

So, no matter how many rallies we endorse and bless, despite how many self-serving songs we may compose, even if we dance our legs into lepers, if we don’t have structured and honoured administrative public personnel, we can dance until we collapse – but we will be destined to annihilation.

During election campaign, night vigils were established to deal with perceived political opponents. While women and youth sang and chanted political slogans, while torture was administered to opponents. Many innocent lives perished but these futile songs never ceased. Even with a firm political control, the same challenges continue to besiege the country.

Enter Julius Malema, the former ANC youth leader: “Refuse to vote for a singer and dancer. We want a thinker to drive the policy of our country. We do not want an old man who dances like a teenager. Every time he dances, older people look down with shame,” he said while launching his political movement recently.

What a spiteful but honest analysis.

South African president, Jacob Zuma is a gifted dancer not an orator. The man can sing and provoke low spirits. Give the men his “machine gun”, traditional Zulu regalia and a podium; you will forget he is the first citizen. Very often during his trial period he danced himself out of trouble.

But as soon as he slipped out of one scandal he soon ended into another.

Today, he has led his party into many scandals that will require more than a dance routine to douse it. Investigations are ongoing on how he financed a R200 million project for his family village home.

Experts believe this colossal figure could have constructed thousands of households for the poor. Poverty continues to bite while many officials continue to dine and collaborate with corruption. The sweet sound of money is music to their ears.

Our continental challenges require more that choreographers and entertainers. We need performers yes, but political problems require committed cadres who can dance us out of our plight.

If given the chance and talent I could dance if it could bring change but rather it would bring exhaustion and nothing for the masses. So, Mr Politician, if you can, dance; if you feel like dancing, proceed but just know that it will never bring change to your own people.

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