Five tips to surviving the ANC’s birthday bash

2015-01-10 10:08

The ANC is having its 103rd birthday bash in Cape Town today and everyone is invited.

It’s the ruling party’s party. That’s a lot of party, so if you’re planning on going you need to bring your game.

But what to wear, do and bring? Here’s our guide to surviving the event, which is set to take place in Cape Town stadium with an address by President Jacob Zuma.

Know your lines:

Forget Umshini Wam. Zuma’s latest signature tune is a revived paean to freedom that recalls former president Nelson Mandela. There is much ailing the ANC these days, and Zuma speaking style isn’t exactly riveting but he gets it 100% right with this song.

It’s a rousing melody and Zuma’s rendition of it with a stadium full of people singing along is the stuff goosebumps are made of. You don’t want to be left out of this one so learn the words or you’ll be stuck with just singing along to the monophrase Umshini Wam and nobody wants that.

A teaser to get you started: “Inde’lendlela esiyihambayo/ Watsh’uMandela kubalendeli bakhe/ Wathi sodibana ngeFreedom Day (The road we are travelling is long/ Mandela said/ He said we will meet on Freedom Day).”

Bring an umbrella. And sunscreen. And a thermometer:

The mother city’s city is gorgeous as its weather is tempestuous. You’re likely to experience a combination of several seasons in a single day so check the weather beforehand and come prepared – particularly if you’re bussing in from a province with saner weather.

Don’t be late:

Speaking of busses, the party has organised over 800 buses, 1 000 taxis and trains to ferry their local supporters to the stadium, and those from afar. Miss it your peril. If you’re going to negotiate the streets in your own transport to the ANC gig do so well in advance.

The streets leading to the Mbombela stadium for the party’s final election rally in Mpumalanga last year turned into a parking lot of frustrated, hooting drivers. Get there early or don’t bother, and watch it from the comfort of your own lounge.

Avoid blue:

The Western Cape is the ANC’s problem child. It’s provincial leadership was torn apart by infighting and the party suffered declining support which saw it lose control of the province to the opposition DA much to their ongoing chagrin.

This is the ANC’s first birthday bash in the Western Cape in ten years and party leaders have been hard at work whipping their supporters into a froth of unhappiness over the DA.

The run-up to the party has been marked by vitriolic remarks about the opposition party and its leader Helen Zille, plus there was a nasty spat over the cost of using the Cape Town stadium and other requirements by the DA-led provincial government.

Cobalt blue may be all the rage for local fashionistas but it’s probably prudent not to wear any DA shades to this particular Cape Town party given the current mood.

Vuvuzela it up:

The ANC and DA also had a bit of a tussle over the province’s trademark Cape Town minstrels parade which was scheduled for the same day. It was finally rescheduled and the minstrels will join the parade in their satiny, colourful best.

Bring your vuvuzelas to play along to their signature tunes. As one of their most famous songs puts it: Welcome to Cape Town.

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