South African musician Freddie Gwala may not be a headline act at home, but he’s spent the past two weeks rolling with the big boys on Zanu-PF’s re-election trail.
Gwala and his band, Platform One, performed at two rallies where he not only belted out his tunes but used the microphone to beg for votes.
At the first, he campaigned for Zimbabwe’s extremely wealthy minister of mines, Dr Obert Mpofu, who resoundingly won the Umguza seat for Zanu-PF.
Last Sunday, after performing one of his older hits, Amadamara, Gwala told a 15 000-strong crowd at Mpofu’s final rally in Umguza: “Put an X on Mpofu and Zanu-PF, and do not be the one complaining when the elections pass and you did not vote.
“No one will control you or your resources. They (whites) have tried that before, but that is in the past and let us rule and benefit from the land left to us by our forefathers.”
Mpofu’s constituency is in an area where some of Zimbabwe’s most prominent white cattle ranchers lost their farms to Zanu-PF-led land grabs.
At the second rally this week, Gwala was less successful in drumming up support for retired army colonel Tshinga Dube.
Dube lost his constituency at the polls.
Gwala revelled in his new role as a musical ambassador.
“This is the best treatment I have ever received in Zimbabwe,” he told journalists as he climbed into a white limousine after one rally.
But his sudden fame didn’t go down well with artists in Zimbabwe, who said Gwala was being “misguided” and “selfish”.
Leading playwright and actor Cont Mhlanga said: “I think what Gwala did is grossly unfair to the arts sector because he is not a politician, but a musician.
“Moreover, artists must not get carried away when they take part in such events. Let those who are campaigning do it, and as artists let’s do our own thing.”
Powered by WPeMatico