Zuma vacates the hot seat

2014-02-06 00:00

THE jovial voice of Brian Zuma (49) booming out across the city hall corridors will be a thing of the past from the end of this month.

Zuma, spokesperson for Msunduzi Municipality, has been the man ratepayers ran to if they had any problems with the council over the past nine years.

But, in a surprise move he announced his resignation on Facebook on Monday.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, Zuma said: “I live by a simple philosophy. I do the things that I love and I love the things that I do. What influences my life mainly, is following my heart.”

Zuma, who spent nine years as a teacher, also worked as a personal financial manager with Old Mutual for four years. He said he fell in love with communications when he started working part-time on community radio stations, a logical choice for the man with the smooth as silk, but booming loud, voice.

“So when I was approached by then P4 Radio which later became Gagasi FM, I followed my heart spending four years working as a disc jockey and ended up being a programme’s manager,” he said. Zuma also cut a CD Ncinci Bo in 2010.

In 2005, he decided to join the Msunduzi Municipality to work for the city he has lived in all his life.

He said even though working at the municipality had been a roller-coaster ride, it had toughened him up and prepared him to face any challenges in life.

“The year 2006 was the most challenging for me personally with politics playing out and I became a victim,” he said. It was thanks to the former mayor Hloni Zondi and the former municipal manager Thabani Zulu that Zuma was able to weather the storms of 2006 because “they had prepared me well for the challenges of working in such an environment.

“Over the past 12 months, I have begun to hear voices inside me to leave for a new challenge,” he said.

Zuma said he had to find something else to do because he had big projects that he wanted to pursue but could not do so while working at the municipality.

“I will have a full-time job in the private sector within the city but at this stage cannot reveal where I will be starting next month,” he said.

Zuma said after the municipality it was time for him to “hustle hard” to follow his dreams.

Zuma has had his fair share of front page quotes and pictures in The Witness.

One memorable photo showed him holding up a dead hadeda which had caused power outages in many parts of the city.

“Blame this guy,” he said to reporters at the press briefing in the city hall.

He said one of his most painful memories while employed at the City was when he and his wife were getting ready to go to work one morning and he received an abusive phone call.

“I was phoned by a Hilton woman complaining about power cuts. She had been swearing at me and I had my phone on loud speaker and my wife was in tears,” he said. Zuma said he wanted his wife to hear this so that she understood the nature of his job.

“I am glad the City has been able to fix the Hilton line.

“My most difficult time was when we were placed under administration; nobody likes to be part of a sinking organisation,” Zuma said.

He said his most treasured moment was when he was able to assist a frustrated citizen or ratepayer.

“Now that things are back to normal, I can leave thanks to the new administration that has been able to steer our city out of the doldrums,” said Zuma.

For those who fear they’ll miss his sonorous voice, Zuma said he would return to radio from time to time, saying he saw it as his “social responsibility”.

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