‘Mshini Wami’ hitmaker and former South African President, Jacob Zuma, has inked a recording deal, adding another venture to his controversial political career.
Zuma, 76, will not earn a fee for recording his favorite struggle songs as part of a push to preserve the nation’s heritage, said Thembinkosi Ngcobo, chief of parks, recreation and culture for eThekwini, the municipality spearheading the deal.
Still, opponents slammed the agreement, which is expected to be presented to local lawmakers, as a waste of resources. Councillor Nicole Graham of the Democratic Alliance called it “blatant patronage” and vowed to fight it, local media reported.
‘He can sing’
The recording deal developed after officials in eThekwini, which is part of Zuma’s native province of KwaZulu-Natal and comprises his political base, realized no archives existed of the liberation songs from the anti-apartheid struggle period, local officials said.
They then reached out to Zuma, who often sang the songs at political rallies, Ngcobo said. Zuma is due to perform the songs at a festival in April.
“We discovered that he is so talented musically,” Ngcobo told news station eNCA. “He can sing, He can command a group of people so that even if they don’t know the song, they will learn and participate.”