[imagesource: Ayanda Mthethwa]
I’m eternally grateful that most of my dancing exploits have never been filmed and ended up on the internet.
Then again, as far as I can remember, I’m not dancing on stage with the rest of the ANC ‘Top Six’, drunk with power.
Over the weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations in Kimberley, and the party bigwigs broke it down once the formalities were completed.
First, the formalities. Ramaphosa gave a speech, and a few cakes were sliced and diced.
I guess the funds for the affair were spent elsewhere – just look at this monstrosity:
The image via IOL:
That does not look appetising.
Alright, time to dissect the dance moves:
I don’t recognise the song, but I guess it must be by some artist willing to sell their integrity and perform at an ANC party.
As for Cyril’s efforts, he has good hip and knee movement for a man his age (67), although given the political mess this year promises to be, I don’t see why he’s in such fine spirits.
I give him a solid six out of 10, with two points added for the sheer audacity of beaming so widely at this point in time.
Ramaphosa can be seen dancing alongside treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, secretary-general Ace Magashule (obviously trying to find the right angle to insert a knife in the president’s back), and deputy president David Mabuza.
Can we also take a moment for Gwede Mantashe’s moves around the 19-second mark? He’s like that drunk uncle that lingers at the edge of the dancefloor at a wedding, swaying away, until he spots a younger woman left unattended.
It wasn’t just a weekend of dancing and crummy cakes, of course. For a few body shots, let’s go the Daily Maverick:
The weekend of the January 8th statement has become synonymous with a massive piss-up for those ANC officials and supporters who can afford it. Young women boast on social media about a weekend spent with older men in generous moods; young men boast on social media just how wild the party is.
Even the ANC leadership got in on the bacchanalian references, with national chair Gwede Mantashe joking to the crowd at the stadium rally that Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s advice for the day was not to “drink under the influence”…
The crowd gathered in the stadium for the birthday rally were rewarded for their attendance with the following: free food on the event buses; free stadium wifi; and free entertainment in the form of musical performances from some well-loved local artists.
The following day, when the ANC bigwigs rolled out of town, load shedding struck, and rain caused the town’s main road to flood, with cars trapped in potholes.
But, you know, free food and WiFi!
For a smidgeon of hope, it’s worth noting that the ANC’s support among younger voters seems to be wearing thin:
The most passionate ordinary supporters tend to be older. Of the ANC Women’s League members dutifully gathered at the rally in their green blouses, there was barely one to be seen under 50.
For younger South Africans, the relationship is different — particularly for those shut out of the Instagrammable world of parties and champagne. For those not yet born when apartheid ended, the ANC’s saviour status is considerably reduced.
What they want is not nostalgia, nor the frisson of seeing Top Six members dancing together on stage. What they want is jobs. If the ANC cannot deliver that, the days of these wasteful celebrations have to be numbered.
We can only dream.
For now, at least, the party goes on.
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