Sat Dec 03 13:43:32 SAST 2016

ANC cuts voter album

ANDILE NDLOVU | 2011-03-09 22:01:53.00 Comments
Health MEC Brain Hlongwa (white shirt), Kwaito singer Chomee, Arthur Mafokate (black shirt) and supporters at the ANC braai on the Vaal PIC: NKULULEKO NCANA. 12/04/2009. © THE TIMES

It was ANC Idols when music producer Arthur Mafokate presented 30 songs to party leaders Jeff Radebe, Jackson Mthembu and Fikile Mbalula for inclusion in their elections album - and they threw out 25 of them.

Mafokate revealed how seriously some of the ANC's top brass took their job as executive producers of the ruling party's 2011 local elections album.

Yesterday, Mafokate told The Times that the three leaders, aka executive producers, asked him and other labels to produce "representative" songs for the party's 2011 local government elections promotional album last year.

The album coincided with the party's launch of its elections manifesto at Sun City, Rustenburg, last month.

Mafokate, the 999 Music label owner, who produced five songs on the 13-track album, said: "There were a lot of them [top ANC members] that were part of the planning process and listening session for the album.

"We started [working on the album] in the middle of last year. We did over 30 songs with lyrics but most were rejected, can you believe it?"

One of the songs he produced included the lead track, with kwaito singer Chomee, titled Together we can (build better communities).

The album features contributions by the vocally feeble Khanyi Mbau, veteran producers Oskido and Spikiri, as well as by current chart-toppers Winnie Khumalo and Professor.

Mafokate wouldn't reveal how much the party paid him but said all the artists were compensated.

"Some of the things we did were voluntary, but obviously you can't employ professional artists without paying them," he said.

The album is said to cover genres like hip-hop, kwaito, maskandi, gospel and house music, and includes songs aptly namedLet's move on, Woza kuANC and Awethuness.

Over 25000 copies of the album have been produced, with the figure potentially reaching 500000, according to Mafokate.

An inside sleeve of the album contains a message from President Jacob Zuma, in which he encourages people to "jive to the African National Congress beat".

"Music defines the spirit of the South African nation. The 2011 local government elections allow us to work together . on the road to a better life for all, led by the ANC," wrote Zuma.


Verse 1 (Zulu)

Bengihlala emkhukhwini (I once lived in a shack)

Kodwa manje senginendlu (But now I have a house)

Ngenxa ye-ANC (Thanks to the ANC).

Bengiphuza amanzi emfuleni (I drank water from a river)

Kodwa manje senginempompi (But now I have a tap)

Ngenxa ye-ANC (Thanks to the ANC).

Verse 3 (Sesotho)

Ne ke tsamaya mo sekgweng (I used to walk in a jungle)

Jwanong ke tsamaya mommileng (Now I'm walking on a paved road)

Ka baka la ANC (Because of the ANC).

Ne ke hloka mosebetsi (I was unemployed)

Hona jwale ke a sebetsa (Now I'm working)

Ka baka la ANC (Because of the ANC).


Together we can build

(Ek gaan met my ANC)

Together we can build

(Vir 'n beter lewe)

Dis my ANC

Better better communities

(Ek is lief vir my ANC)

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