Jacob Zuma to release new struggle songs album

Wednesday January 2 2019

Former South African president Jacob Zuma

Former South African president Jacob Zuma was in the habit of singing and dancing at rallies. PHOTO | AFP 

PETER DUBE
By PETER DUBE
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Former South African president Jacob Zuma has struck a recording deal and will release a full-length album of liberation struggle songs in April.

Mr Zuma, who was forced to step down in February 2018 over multiple graft scandals, was in the habit of singing and dancing at rallies during his tenure.

The City of eThekwini, the capital of his home province KwaZulu-Natal, announced that it would fund the recording.

Head of recreation and culture Thembinkosi Ngcobo said the idea was conceptualised three years ago in Durban.

"We were looking at artistes and trying to revive these types of songs. It was very difficult. We tried to find any archived material that had video clips or any voice clips. But we could not find anything in the museums," Mr Ngcobo said.

It was then that they recognised that Mr Zuma had been singing many of these unrecorded songs, he added.

The project will be part of the eThekwini’s integrated development plan to stimulate economic growth through music, sports or cultural activities.

Mr Ngcobo said the former president will record live, either on April 10 or 11, during the Articulate Africa project, which celebrates the expression of culture and ideas.

"He has the talent and understands the history and emotion behind the music. He was singing the songs in the 80s and 90s and even before. Most of the young people in the ANC [ruling African National Congress] do not even know them," he said.

Mr Zuma, who joined popular social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram last month, is yet to speak about the deal.

In December, the ex-president who is thought to have little personal wealth, was ordered to foot his own legal bill and to pay back State funds used to defend him as he fights graft charges. He could be liable for a R32 million ($2.3 million) legal bill.

He is being charged with 16 counts of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

The charges were first brought against him in 2005 but dropped by prosecutors in 2009 shortly before he became president, before being reinstated in 2016.

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