Columns 4.8.2016 06:03 am

Song and dance for your X

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo

Who would have imagined the intensity of the local election? The country is on tenterhooks for yesterday’s results.

But this year’s elections have made the impossible possible. Mmusi Maimane reportedly claiming to have voted for Nelson Mandela when he was 13, the NFP being disqualified and even the emotional blackmail of using Nelson Mandela’s name to garner support, led to interesting times.

And if things couldn’t get anymore absurd, political parties enticed votes with celebrities. Concerning for me is how electioneering has taken to the stage in the form of “trending” songs, artists and dances. We see more and more celebrities taking key positions in the political space.

While the right of association is reserved, something tells me that endorsements are vital in order to be secure in comfort. Where are the political debates, discussions and engagements? These are serious elections. Try enticing us with speech and dialogue and not some playlist we can compile ourselves.

The only parties in politics should be the political parties, not a rally turned into a concert or a celebrity-watching spectacle. Are we really going to remember cheap T-shirts and a musical concert, or are we going to keep fighting corruption and pushing for service delivery through the ballot?

As to the relevance of the artists that are used by political parties: do they even know what they are endorsing or are they just there for the jol and pay cheque? I guess when the votes are tallied, we’ll know how important freebies and songs were in deciding who is best to lead the country.

I’m saddened by the state of politics in this country: we are the laughing stock of not just Africa, but the world. We need to remember that the X we marked yesterday will decide whether or not we will be laughing all the way to service delivery or once again dancing in streets littered with burning rubble – because the ones who wooed us with song and dance have left us out in the cold while they count their profits from the business of selling us dreams that will never become reality …

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