Politics

South African Youth on 2019 Elections: "The ANC can no longer self-correct"

We talked to a few South African youth about who they're voting for and why.

South Africa will be holding its national elections on the 8th of May this year. These elections are set to be the most fiercely contested elections to date and understandably so. It has become a real possibility that Nelson Mandela's beloved African National Congress (ANC) may very well lose these upcoming elections. All this country has ever known is the ANC - the political party of many struggle heroes. And with Apartheid still an open wound far from any true healing, there is a genuine fear for a number of South Africans that under a Democratic Alliance (DA) government, there could be a return to a regime of racial exclusion.


From the heavily fractured and corrupt ruling ANC, to the radical-posturing of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to the consistently inconsistent DA, South Africans are not particularly spoiled for choice. With over 6 million South African youth (under 35 years) having not registered in the last registration weekend (26th-27th January), it seems that this particular group may again have a low voter turnout.

We spoke to a few young South Africans to find out whether they'll be voting, who they'll be voting for and what they hope these upcoming elections will hold for the country's future and prosperity. It was no surprise that none of them expressed much confidence in the ANC. Not many young people feel that the ANC can self-correct and purge itself of the festering rot. What was surprising however, albeit understandable, was the sheer level of anxiety and inner conflict these young people were going through in their attempt to decide who they'd be voting for.


Atang Biyela, 24, Student

Are you going to be voting on the 8th of May?

Yes, I am voting. There is no way that I will not be voting. I am a citizen of this country and it is my democratic right to vote and I will exercise it just as much as I exercise all my other rights. It's only right.

Which political party will you be voting for and why?

I don't know. We have a corrupt ruling party but they're also our struggle heroes and all this democratic country has ever known. You have the DA which seems racist and doesn't seem to have any direction. The DA doesn't have the interests of Black people at heart which means, by default, they don't have the interests of this country as a whole at heart. Personally, I am not radical. I'm not sure how long the EFF can sustain themselves to be honest.

Do you think any of the Big 3 (ANC, EFF and DA) are capable of effectively running SA?

My fear with the EFF is a fear of the unknown. If they take over, how will this affect the economy? It may seem like I'm an 'enemy of progress' or not 'woke' but investor confidence is a real thing which affects people's livelihoods. Last time I voted for the ANC but now I am not sure anymore given the many recent revelations. They really can't rectify things or fix their image. I don't trust them. I'm not willing to give the DA a chance. Seeing how they're governing the Western Cape, I don't like that preview.

What are some other thoughts you'd like to share?

The biggest challenge for me is really just who to vote for.

What is your greatest hope for South Africa regardless of the election outcome?

Given countries like the DRC, Kenya and Nigeria, who have all had elections before us and they haven't been ideal, I just wish ours will be peaceful. I hope that the parties that are campaigning have the people's interests at heart, although we've seen the contrary. It's disheartening but I feel we need to keep bettering our country and voting is one tool to use for that.


Anonymous, 32, Public Health Researcher

Are you going to be voting on the 8th of May?

Yes. I will be voting to make my mark. I think it's important to vote as the power of governing this country is given by voters.

Which political party will you be voting for and why?

I will be voting for the EFF. This is the party that prioritizes the needs of Black people and the poor. In addition, the issue of state capture, the Guptas, the SABC woes and Eskom disaster have all been issues the public has been made aware of because of the EFF. The land without compensation act was primarily an EFF project before the ANC took over.

Do you think any of the Big 3 (ANC, EFF and DA) are capable of effectively running South Africa?

Well the EFF is the only party that caters to the needs of the youth and talks the language of the future. They are the only party that talks about improving security in government schools and bringing change to the decaying health sector. The ANC, however, has cheated us and blindfolded our eyes to think that how they are governing, is all because of Apartheid. I have confidence in the DA, however, I doubt they can run the country because of the racism and segregation existing within the party itself.

What are some other thoughts you'd like to share?

One president in the past took R242 million for the building of his homestead Nkandla while we have a painfully high youth unemployment rate. Maladministration will always prosper if people on the ground do not wake up and vote for change.

What is your greatest hope for South Africa regardless of the election outcome?

I know the ANC will win anyway but my biggest hope is for the ANC to obtain less than half of the vote and have fewer seats in parliament. If we fail to reduce the party's power in office, the next five years will be captured by the likes of billionaire Patrice Motsepe or the Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe.


Boitshoko Baloyi, 24, Student

Are you going to be voting on the 8th of May?

Definitely. I've registered to vote simply because we live in a country where we have the privilege to have our voices heard in terms of who we want to rule. Our grandparents fought very hard for that privilege.

Which political party will you be voting for and why?

Before the VBS Mutual Bank scandal, I felt the EFF were fighting for the truth. I concede I don't know their actual manifesto to be honest. The VBS scandal, however, broke my heart. The EFF spend a huge part of their campaign outing the ANC's corruption and yet go on to steal from the poor, the very people they say they're fighting for.

Do you think any of the Big 3 (ANC, EFF and DA) are capable of effectively running South Africa?

The ANC has too many scandals. They have become arrogant in that they think they can act without impunity. They need to see a dent in their votes. I'm definitely not voting for them. They're like a cheating boyfriend. They won't change if we accept their mistreatment. I can't vote for the DA. I can't vote for a party with so many White people. There are so many racists like, for example, Penny Sparrow, who are affiliated with the DA. They're too white for my taste and maybe that is racist but it's the honest truth. Also, they're not particularly pro-DA in themselves, they're just forever anti-ANC.

What are some other thoughts you'd like to share?

The DA, ANC and EFF are the most likely candidates in terms of winning the election. I don't know who to vote for because I feel disappointed in all three for various reasons. I think I'll vote for an underdog minority party that no-one really knows about. But I still need to do my research and really think about it. I want to read their manifestos but they [the parties] don't stick to them. Corruption is not in their manifesto but yet here we're are.


Jeanine Botha, 27, Teacher

Are you going to be voting on the 8th of May?

I will be voting this time around honestly because of peer pressure.

Which political party will you be voting for and why?

Historically, the ANC vs DA dynamic has been seen simultaneously as being Black vs White. Everyone expects all the White people to vote for the DA. But I'm suffering from an existential crisis with regards to race and voting for the DA. Am I only voting for the DA because I want to keep my comfortable White middle-class status quo? Ultimately I will vote for the DA though because I feel they can offer decent opposition to the ANC.

Do you think any of the Big 3 (ANC, EFF and DA) are capable of effectively running South Africa?

For me it's basically all about the ANC and the DA. This binary is because I live in an area that is very much DA vs ANC. I want to vote for a party that I know is actually going to bring about a difference. There have equally been many accusations of corruption in the Western Cape which is run by the DA.

What are some other thoughts you'd like to share?

We're no longer in the position to give the ANC the opportunity to self-correct because it [corruption] only seems to get worse. And in the meanwhile, people are suffering. We need to give the ANC competition so that they're not comfortable but in the same breath, who do we then vote for? Is the DA as kosher as they purport to be? Maimane uses every opportunity to make a jab at the ANC or another political party. I think that's quite annoying and not useful.

What is your greatest hope for South Africa regardless of the election outcome?

That would be for us to stop focusing on our differences and learn to truly care for our fellow South Africans, regardless of race, gender, religion and whatever other differences we get so hung up about.


Mosangoaneng Leteane, 24, Student

Are you going to be voting on the 8th of May?

I will be voting, yes.

Which political party will you be voting for and why?

I don't see who is really carrying the democratic project right now, leadership-wise. I don't know. I will tell you that people want change and the EFF is saying things that I personally find refreshing. We need a voice that can make controversial statements and unsettle the discourse. But as an actual government, I'm not sure. The ANC has been a government for a long time but even they're still not getting it right either.

Do you think any of the Big 3 (ANC, EFF and DA) are capable of effectively running South Africa?

I don't know. And this is still a huge anxiety for me. The ANC can no longer self-correct. They need a regeneration of their politics overall. ANC politics aren't as diverse as we think they are. The DA is not even an option for me. Like I said, the EFF is important to challenge the status quo.

What are some other thoughts you'd like to share?

I wasn't going to register to vote. I felt incredibly betrayed but a few things shook me. One of them was the fact that people died. Daily we see the aftermath of Apartheid. A heavy price was paid for my being able to vote. Currently, in various parts of the world, there are people who can't vote and we take it for granted. It's bigger than just one political party. Elections may not fix things instantaneously, but there's a moral obligation to vote.

What is your greatest hope for South Africa regardless of the election outcome?

My hope would be to go back to our founding values, to the fundamentals and to the very beginning. I hope we remember why we began the democratic project in the first place: the rule of law, equality and human dignity. However, it requires we take ownership of where we've gone wrong. It will get better though and I have a lot of hope in our youth. It will just take time.

News Brief
Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South Africa Shocked After DJ Sumbody's Fatal Shooting

The popular Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody, was tragically killed in Johannesburg.


News recently broke that the well known South African Amapiano music producer Oupa John Sefoka, popularly known as DJ Sumbody passed awaythis past Sunday, November 20th.

The family reported that specific details of DJ Sumbody's passing could not be released because the issue was a part of a larger, ongoing investigation.

"Artist and musician DJ Sumbody has died. Details of his untimely death cannot be released but the artist allegedly ran into an unfortunate incident that led to his passing in the early hours of Sunday morning, November 20 2022," the family released in a statement, according to News24.

According to several unconfirmed reports, the renowned South African DJ was traveling on Woodmead road in Johannesburg when gunmen attacked his vehicle with a hail of bullets, which instantly killed him and one of his bodyguards.

He was en route to perform at an event in Woodmead for the All White Veuve Clicquot Picnic on Sunday. Apart from being an Amapiano pioneer, DJ Sumbody was a creative force in the South African entertainment industry. In the early hours of Sunday, Sumsounds Music, his management team, confirmed the news.

DJ Sumbody was a pioneer of the well-known viral Amapiano sound, a word that translates to "the pianos" in Zulu and is an eclectic genre that started in South Africa in 2012 and fuses house, jazz and lounge music for a unique sonic experience.

During the pandermic, OkayAfrica featured him in the pieceDJ Sumbody Is Ensuring Amapiano Stays Alive During Times of Coronavirus and Social Distancing.

Social media users went online to share their shock about the unfortunate event.

Music

Listen to Sho Madjozi's New Single 'Toro' Featuring DDG

The talented South African rapper Sho Madjozi comes through with a confident new track.

South African rap star Sho Madjozi just shared her latest single, "Toro," featuring DDG via Epic Records.

The critically acclaimed artist first burst into the music scene in 2017 and became an act to watch because of her unique flow, and her keen eye for vibrant fashion styles that fused traditional African attires with modern spins.

"Toro" is the rapper's first English release since "John Cena," a record that quickly became a viral sensation after its release. Over the years, the rapper has continued to push the envelope and sonically break barriers by experimenting with her flow, cadence, and structure. On this record, fellow Epic Records signee DDGalso makes an appearance, and the two ride the wave of the beat in a memorable way.

The song has a noticeable Amapiano beat, a genre increasingly gaining traction on the modern African music scene. While talking about the song, Sho Madjozi shared that it speaks to the complexity of human relationships and how the bad endings of relationships, both platonic and romantic, can be an eye-opening experience.

" 'Toro' is short for 'Mtoroki,' meaning an 'escaper.' I've escaped bad managers, bad lovers and still come out as me," Sho Madjozi mentions. "I even defy convention because I say and do what I like. However, this music video is part 1 of this story. The thing around my neck stands for my gift—the thing that has given me my success. The video makes a statement about how isolating fame can be: how friends, managers, etc., have backstabbed me. By the end of this video, I'm disillusioned with fame and wishing I didn't have this gift at all because it's made me lose touch with closest to me and probably even myself."

So far, Sho Madjozi has received a lot of critical acclaim, awards, and recognition, including "Favorite African Star" at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, "Best New International Artist" at the BET Awards, "Entertainer of the Year" from Forbes, and more.

The music video for "Toro," also released earlier today, chronicles a dance party that initially starts with people having a good time until chaos breaks out. Watch the clip below.

Sports
(Photo by via Getty Images)

The Other African Footballers in the World Cup

There are five African teams in the World Cup, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were either born in Africa, or have African ancestry.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five African teams in the World Cup in Qatar, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were born in Africa or have African ancestry.

This is, of course, the result of the African diaspora, the movement of people from the continent towards the rest of the world. But the stories of how African players or their families got to the other side of the world are not always so stereotypical as one might imagine. The world cup, besides a month of football, is also a way to find out about how humans move through the world. Here are a few:

One of the most talked about stories in this tournament is that of Breel Embolo, who was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but represents the Swiss national team and refused to celebrate after scoring against his country of birth last week. Embolo scored the only goal in the 1-0 Switzerland victory. It was the first goal he ever scored in a world cup, and the video of it went viral. But it wasn’t because of his technique, it was because he refused to celebrate.

Embolo moved to France when he was six years old because his mom, who had separated from his dad, went to study there. She met a Swiss man and married him, and the family eventually moved to Switzerland when the now Monaco forward was still a kid. So when he scored for his adopted country against Cameroon, he decided to stop and hold his arms up while his teammates celebrated around him.

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Arts + Culture
Photo: Courtesy Wangechi Mutu and Vielmetter Los Angeles, taken by Robert Edemeyer

A Massive Exhibition of Wangechi Mutu's Work Is Heading to the New Museum

A specially-commissioned art piece from the Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based artist will be part of the major overview of her work.

In what is set to be one of the largest showings of the artist's work, the New Museum in New York will present “Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined,” from March 2 – June 4, 2023. The art works will cover the entire museum, occupying the three main floors, including the lobby, and the building’s glass façade, where a new piece that's been commissioned will be displayed.

Earlier this year, eight of Mutu’s sculptures were installed at the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York, showcasing her current practice in earth and bronze material.

Mutu’s upcoming New Museum exhibition is curated by Vivian Crockett, Margot Norton, Allen and Lola Goldring and Ian Wallace. According to the curators, “Intertwined” will chronicle Mutu’s recent sculptural development, and connect it to her long standing expression and exploration of the legacies of colonialism, globalization, in African and diasporic cultural traditions.

The upcoming exhibition will highlight some of Mutu’s earlier art, as well as her most recent artistic outputs, which are primarily made from Nairobi-sourced wood, soil and bronze.

“Intertwined” will give art lovers the opportunity to see and appreciate the thematic progression of Mutu’s work, and get a sense of how New York-based art institutions have influenced the scope of her artistry over time.

Different floors at the museum will carry various parts of Mutu’s multi-dimensional work. The second floor, for example, will draw connections between the artist’s collage-based practice and her work in sculpture, including 'Yo Mama' (2003), originally commissioned by the New Museum in 2003 for the exhibition “Black President: The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.”

This exhibition on the second floor will also underscore some of her more recent work, which experiments with collages in corporeal, mechanical, and botanical forms. The third floor will continue to explore the fluidity of Mutu’s work and how her pieces have evolved over time.

The fourth floor will tie a collection of Mutu’s collages from the 'Subterranea' series (2021–22) with her most recent large scale bronze art.

In a statement, Crockett said Mutu’s work has wrestled with themes and complex artistic principles that make it even more important for the future of art as a whole. “Mutu’s work has long been characterized by a sense of permeable boundaries and hybridity, invested in the complex encounters of bodies, sites, and structures. Her work grapples with contemporary realities and proffers new models for a radically changed future informed by feminism, Afrofuturism, and interspecies symbiosis,” said Crockett.

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