Campaigning's tough

2009-04-06 00:00

So you want to be a politician, and a leading one at that. Well, if the campaigning schedule of the IFP’s premier elect for KZN, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi is anything to go by, you might have second thoughts.

Having completed her sixteenth campaign rally in six days in the greater Durban region this week, kaMagwaza-Msibi spoke quietly from the back seat of her trusted 4x4 as to what lay ahead in the coming three weeks.

As she began mapping out a mind-bogglingly long and winding road from Louwsberg to Ulundi, Durban to Umtata, Msinga to Msunduzi, (to be completed in two and a half days) she was asked if she had any idea how many kilometres she might have travelled so far as part of her official campaigning for the 2009 elections. She called her driver Mthumzi Zulu over. He took out a log book of sorts and asked for a calculator. “Well, the premier elect began her official campaign trail on January 12,” he explained rather formally, “and as of now [April 3] we have logged up 25 335 km to date.”

He went on to say that while it was “quite impossible” to determine her eventual mileage leading up to election day on April 22, he imagined that this could easily extend up to 30 000 km.

“Do you want me to give you an idea of what’s ahead? Well, to start with we will be leaving Durban at 6.30 am tomorrow and driving up to Umtata. Early the next morning we will go to Louwesberg near the Ithala Game Reserve and then on to Ulundi. The following day we head off to Msunduzi [PMB] and then all the way down to a destination in the Ugu Municipality [lower South Coast]. After this…”

KaMagwaza-Msibi didn’t deny the fatigue factor but said two things kept her going. “I know the IFP will win back KZN. The people understand the crisis we are in. So I am focusing on simply encouraging our supporters to make the physical effort of getting to the polling stations on April 22. No effort is too great to achieve these ends. And the other thing is that I happen to love people. Yes, I’m tired but when I get to my destination I liven up again …” she said.

Richard Compton is an IFP media consultant.

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