The former president will in the new year become a recording artist after reaching an agreement with eThekwini Municipality to record his popular Struggle songs.
eThekwini Parks, Recreation and Culture head, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said Zuma would lead a yet to be formed Durban Mass Choir, which will back him.
Ngcobo, who led a team of officials and politicians to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead last Friday to lobby him to record the Struggle songs, said he agreed to the proposal.
Ngcobo said: “He invited us to have lunch with him, and it was 3pm when he said ‘I don’t have a problem with that’.
“He was the one who spoke the most about the need for heritage.”
Ngcobo said the municipality noticed JZ’s singing talent on stage, especially when he sang the iconic Awuleth’ umshini wami song.
“When he sang the song about Mandela and [the] Freedom Charter during the Mangaung conference, nobody knew the song, but when he kept singing it, after about three minutes everybody joined in,” he said.
“He does not only have the talent to sing, but he can command and direct people to join the song.”
He said the plan was to have Zuma record in April a number of Struggle songs, including his now popular Umhlaba’wethu, which he sang at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
“Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, his singing unites people as nobody says negative things about his singing,” added Ngcobo.
He said his department in the municipality took the initiative to preserve Zuma’s heritage before his death.
Zuma could not be reached for comment.
However, the Democratic Alliance are not fans of JZ at all and are blocking the plans.
“This record deal is blatant patronage where the people’s money will be used to finance the former president’s lifestyle,” DA councillor Nicole Graham said.
She said that the proposal had not been brought before the municipal council.
“While the history of our country holds immense value to us all, it is impossible that any rational person would believe that a corrupt and disgraced former president singing ANC struggle songs holds any benefit to the people of eThekwini.”