Music is said to be a universal language and there certainly is no age or status limitation to being a musician as former South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma is set to record an album of struggle songs at the request of Thekwini’s Culture Department which will finance the project out of its Arts and Living Legends project.
According to the head of culture department, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, the aim of the album is to “preserve history for current and future generations”, Eyewitness News reports.
Ngcobo told the SABC that they had approached young artists but they did not have the understanding of the songs.
In making a case for Jacob Zuma, the official said that that the former president was known to sign struggle songs every time he got up on a platform but that current activists were unable to join in the singing because they did not know the songs.
Ngcobo also said they had discovered most of the struggle songs sung before 1994 had disappeared and there was no video or any form of preservation of the songs.
But news of the the music has been slammed by the Democratic Alliance in eThekwini.
“This record deal is blatant patronage where the people’s money will be used to finance the former president’s lifestyle,” DA Councillor Nicole Graham said.
“Recent reports state that Thembinkosi Ngcobo and Councillor Thembo Ntuli met with Zuma and according to Ngcobo the record deal will boost economic development by promoting cultural activities.”
Graham said the matter had not been raised at any committee of council and had also not been adopted by council.
Ngcobo, while commenting on the financing of the project he said the department had a budget of around R25-million that was used throughout the year to host events or fund musicians to record their album. The money for the Zuma project would come from the department’s budget.