Columns 26.3.2014 07:00 am

A lesson from a footloose president

Cliff Buchler.

Cliff Buchler.

When nearing octogenarian age the penny drops slower.

I’ve only just realised why the ANC still has followers, despite its ineptitude.

It has inculcated a culture of togetherness that no other political party has been able to do successfully. Okay, so wily Helen Zille has caught on to this key component, but has a long way to go persuading her conservative adherents to follow in her footsteps.

The magic element? Dancing. And what better example than the president himself, given his handsome physique and supple leg work, and his strong singing voice wowing the crowd.

In fact, its mesmerising effects block minds to the realities of life. Who cares about poverty and joblessness? So what if the leader and his lackeys are feathering their own nests? And hey, let him have his Nkandla, because he surely deserves some reward for sweating it out so often to entertain us?

The dancers come away with a joyous feeling, singing and dancing all the way to their leaking shacks, with no thought of tomorrow and the wretchedness it will again bring. They seize the moment with feet tapping on littered, muddy roads. The president has brought them a magic moment, and they’ll show their appreciation at the ballot box.

Watching a video of Dutch musician Andre Rieu and his orchestra performing in open concert all over the world further brought home the huge influence music has on the populous.

Rieu always includes traditional medleys that have the crowds on their feet, dancing the night away. At one concert he drew an audience made up of 78 nations: Germans, Africans, Americans, Brits, Italians, Greeks – you name them. Now in the normal course of events these people have an axe to grind. Take the French and English for example, or Israelis and Palestinians. Not too friendly a relationship. But get them dancing and singing, and all animosity drops to the floor.

Imagine a similar concert at FNB Stadium, attracting all South Africans of different cultures, religions and languages. No speeches, no hidden agendas. No booing. Just dancing and singing songs representative of all groups.

We have our own Rieu in maestro Richard Cock. Together with a symphony orchestra, he can do it.

Why should President Zuma have lone rights to the score?

 

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