'Dabbing to polls' may just 'clinch' ANC win

24 July 2016 - 02:00 By THANDUXOLO JIKA
President Jacob Zuma demonstrating the party’s new election meme
President Jacob Zuma demonstrating the party’s new election meme
Image: TWITTER

US rapper Skippa Da Flippa claims it all started in Atlanta when he threw money into the air, stretched his arm and leant forward as if he was kissing his biceps.

Although Da Flippa's version is contested, he is widely known as the creator of the "dab move", a dance craze that has spread across the world - even to Nkandla.

Images of a dabbing President Jacob Zuma broke the internet last week as he joined young ANC volunteers who have adopted the dance move as a campaign tool to encourage young people to vote for the party in the local government elections.

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Fikile Mbalula, the party's head of campaigns, said " dabbing" had brought vibrancy and "razzmatazz" to the ANC campaign.

Mbalula's love of American culture is well documented. But he deniedhe was the brains behind the dabbing.

He told the Sunday Times that the concept came from the ANC youth constituency, and that the leadership ran with it as they wanted to set themselves apart from the opposition with an exciting campaign.

"You [cannot] bore people with politics all the time; they follow simple things. Even a person who would have decided that they are not going to vote, but because there is dabbing, [they will be] dabbing to the polls," said Mbalula.

Since his appointment as ANC head of campaigns two months ago, he has re-energised the party's campaign by bringing in celebrities and trendy ANC regalia, including jumpsuits and sleeveless windbreakers and fashionable straight peaks.

He revealed that, after his appointment, a decision was taken to wait for the 2016 Uefa European Championship to end before unleashing the full campaign as it could have taken the spotlight away from the party.

He said campaigning was not only about promising people a better life, but about bringing them fun.

"People have heard a lot of negativity; some of them they go to bed without eating anything; they know negativity, so there is no need to dwell on that. The most important thing is to resolve their issues but, at the same time, being positive," said Mbalula.

He boasted that the ANC had more celebrities endorsing it than any other political party.

The list includes AKA, Khanyi Mbau, Somizi Mhlongo, Jessica Nkosi and others.

"We have seen celebrities joining political parties, but the only dynamic is there are many in the ANC as opposed to others. It is not like we employ them ... we unleash them as our superpower.

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"There are equally those who are opposed to the ANC, but it so happens that celebrities and all important people in majority you will find in the ANC. Our opponents try that game, but they can see that it doesn't work out; they don't have those numbers," said a boastful Mbalula.

He admitted, however, that internal squabbles over the candidate lists had caused them problems, especially in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, where the DA has been campaigning hard for the past 11 months. But he said he was confident that voters in all metros would "dab all the way to the polls" to ensure an ANC victory.

"We are very much confident that we will emerge victorious in Nelson Mandela Bay. We have not undermined the fact that the DA wanted to make inroads; we have pulled up our sleeves and rectified our mistakes; of course the issue of the list process affected us negatively but now on the final push we are all together. For now everything is under control; we are focused on August 3," Mbalula said.

jikat@sundaytimes.co.za

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