Zuma praise singer (7) steals the show

2008-08-05 00:00

AS expected, ANC president Jacob Zuma’s court appearance yesterday was dominated by scenes of supporters singing and toyi-toying outside the courtroom as they waited for their leader to address them and give them his rendition of the popular Umshini Wami song.

It was one of Zuma’s youngest supporters and arguably the country’s youngest imbongi (praise singer) who threatened to steal the spotlight as he drew interest from the media.

Seven-year-old Philani Buthelezi, a grade two pupil from Mzinyathi, bunked school for two days to sing praises for his hero.

“Shoshololoza Msholozi! [Sail on, Msholozi]. Zuma’s hands are clean, he has never killed anybody,” the young imbongi said to the loud cheers of the crowd who seemed to agree.

Zuma acknowledged Philani, shaking the boy’s hand before taking the stage.

Philani, accompanied by his mother, said he is the author of the praises and had no help from an adult. Asked why he supports Zuma, he said: “Because he is the right man to lead our country.

Should he become president, the country will not be lost but will have returned to its rightful owners.”

Click here for video of seven-year-old Philani

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