In the run-up to the country’s May 8th national and provincial elections, a handful of political parties are taking a musical approach to their campaigning – by releasing music albums.
The songs are expected to rev up supporters at rallies and manifesto launches.
The African National Congress (ANC) is amongst the parties which have released an election music album. The 13 track album is a mix of gqom, amapiano, gospel and kwaito.
ANC Head of Elections, Fikile Mbalula, says music is important in campaigning as it amplifies the message.
Mbalula says, “Message goes with the song, it mellows down nicely like an old wine drink. The song is important in the campaign, it reminds us of where we are but it also it’s about the celebration of the moment because at the end of the day election campaigning is a celebration of a maturing democracy, it’s not a sad issue. People express themselves in song and the song also captures the moment like Mandela says ‘we speak as politicians but the message that goes to the heart and far appeals to our people is through art’. ”
Musician, Dr. Malinga, composed the song, Ramaphosa on the album. He says he composed the song because he loves President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“I was asked by many people to do a song about Ramaphosa, my fans asked me that so I did it, ” he also adds.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have also released an album. The album features Ringo Madlingozi and Fifi Cooper, as well as EFF spokesperson, Dr. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
The songs are about land, jobs and their leader, Julius Malema.
Cooper who is also featured on the album says the song called Somlandela is inspired by the spate of unemployment and the lack of proper houses.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance’s National Director of Communications, Mabine Seabe, says the party has a band called, Bluetrain, that performs at their rallies.
He says, “Music and song have played a role in South Africa’s politics since the beginning of time and as the Democratic Alliance fully acknowledge this, hence we support local artist within the organisation who often by their own will develop songs about the party leader and vision of building on South Africa for all.”
Seabe adds that their songs are about the struggle for democracy.
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