You can check your calendars, it isn’t April Fools’ Day today. But you’d be forgiven for thinking so, once you realise that Jacob Zuma – as in, “Former President Jacob Zuma” – has got the green light to make a music album.
The extraordinary development has been ushered in by Thembinkosi Ngcobo. He’s the Ethekwini Minister for Parks, Recreation and Culture and the Durban-based municipality has signed a deal with Zuma, to help him release a record of all his favourite “struggle-era songs”.
Fire in the booth from Jacob Zuma
Ngcobo revealed that this surprise move would form part of the metropole’s drive to preserve their heritage. They believe an album of anti-apartheid music – as sung by a man who returned from exile to eventually lead Mzansi – is the best way to do this:
“We have sealed a deal to preserve our heritage through song, with ex-President Jacob Zuma. We arrived at his house while he was having lunch and he invited us to join him. He then enthralled us with his story-telling skills. He will do a live recording of his famous struggle songs in April.”
Zuma’s got talent
Let’s be honest, you can criticise Zuma for a lot of things. But he has always had a cracking set of pipes on him. His baritone, dulcet voice was best-utilised during the Nelson Mandela Memorial in 2013:
They should have allowed Jacob Zuma to sing the Thina Sizwe Song at Mama Winnie Mandela's funeral. Msholozi is a living legend. Long Live Msholozi. #WinnieMandela #WinnieMadikizelaMandela #WinnieMandelaFuneral pic.twitter.com/ALUP3QeFwa
— Man's Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) April 14, 2018
Songs on the Jacob Zuma album
It’s not like he’s been out of practice, either. During a number of public appearances – and post-trial rallies – Zuma haslead the song and dance on a fair few occasions this year. But what could we hear on the upcoming album?
As well as Thina Sizwe, uMhlaba Wethu, Mshini Wami, Yinde Lendlela, and Nans’iNdod’eMnyama Felevudi have all been performed by JZ at some point. But we’d like to make a few suggestions for the Zuma album, if we may:
- What Do You Meandos? – Justin Bieber.
- Nkandla In The Wind – Elton John.
- (Legal) Bills, Bills, Bills – Destiny’s Child.
- “Gupta” No Good – The Hoosiers.
- Gimme The Loot – Notorious BIG.