Former president Jacob Zuma will record a album of struggle songs at the request of eThekwini’s Culture Department which will finance the project out of its Arts and Living Legends project.
News of the recording project 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. 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,” said DA Councillor Nicole Graham.
Graham said the matter had not been raised at any committee of council and had also not been adopted by council.
According to the head of department, Thembinkosi Ngcobo, the aim of the album is to preserve history for current and future generations. Ngcobo told the SABC that they had approached young artists but they did not have the understanding of the songs. He said Zuma 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 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.
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.