The first time was when the Mitchells Plain Festival director Mr Rozario Brown invited me to perform for president Jacob “kan nie tel nie” Zuma.
Now, not at his publicly-funded, upgraded home in “Kant en Kla” with the fire pool, but rather in a mall that had a pool, the Liberty Promenade innie Plain.
I thought I would be starstruck, but because I was representing my hometown, this Malay-khoi-klong vannie Plain remained calm and unshaken by South Africa’s mshini wam songbird.
At the end of my performance, I was rubbing his seepgladde bleskop while singing and dancing to Abba’s hit song, “Dancing Queen”.
He laughed as only JZ can, while Marius Fransman cheered him on as he did the jigga-jigga for the mense vannie Plain.
Ai, the good old days.
That event took place six years ago when our current president was probably not as ‘Zuptarised’ as he is today.
When I look at the anti-Zuma marches that are taking place now, I find it difficult to believe the same charismatic man who six years ago flew in from Australia to make a public appearance to the people of Mitchells Plain, is now submissively dancing to a Bollywood drumbeat which is drawing the masses to the street, making ou tannies go viral on social media for a oulike stervy toi-toi, and causing some halaal tieties to lose their adaab last Friday when they flashed placards reading “Zuma Se Ma Se P***”.
Ja mense, how quick things change when politicians are done dancing for our votes.
Maar soes die ou mense altyd sê: “Jy mag nege en neentig keer weg kom met ‘* ding, maar die honnerdste keer gaan hulle jou vang.”
To translate that for you, Mr. President, your Cabinet and the Guptas, at one time or the other, in the words of our elderly viral sensations: “Zooma mist go… Zooma mist Go… Zuma must faaaaall”.
The second head of state I performed for, was the president of the Cape Malay Choir Board Boeta Shafiek April, a dignified man who has been spearheading the culture of Cape Malay choir singing for over 25 years.
Mr. April is a gifted leader who is consumed by his job, which is to keep onse mense happy.
From engaging in venue battles with the City of Cape Town, to participating and stimulating marches that had no hidden agendas except to keep the culture alive and problem-free.
Now, just like any other leader he too has his “haters”, some of them even dubbed him a dictator.
I prefer to see him as a leader who has dedicated his life to the upliftment and preservation of this uniquely Kaapse kultuur, after all, 25 jaar is nie 25 dae nie.
For each term of Mr. April’s presidency he was democratically elected by the CMCB which is made up of leaders from all troupes, proving to many a head of state that if you put the people’s interest before your own belly, then you can leave an honourable legacy behind.
Mr. April was dealt a helluva blow when he and the rest of the CMCB delegates were forced to cancel the Cape Malay Choir Board Top 10 Competition last week.
The much-anticipated competition was set to take place at the Castle of Good Hope, but the marquee didn’t match the venue’s logistical requirements, which left the CMCB with no other alternative but to reschedule.
Many political analysts would say that one simply cannot compare these two presidents, the one has far more to deal with than just a tent.
Well, The Moppie King begs to differ.
I strongly feel that all leaders can be judged in the same capacity, because they have been elected by the people, to serve the people.
The City of Cape Town should stop being so dismissive of people like Mr. April and supporters of the Cape Malay Choir Board, who for two years now have been faced with a venue dilemma, thanks to the City hiring out the Good Hope Centre for business.
Please Auntie Pat, help your people and give us the centre, al is dit oek net vir die Top 10. Soos my ouma altyd gesê het, Madam Mayor, “better late than never.”