Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bafana Bafana - what's in a name?

Last week, SAFA (the South African Football Association) maintained its firm stance that it will not be purchasing the rights to use the Bafana Bafana name. And so, South Africans wait anxiously to know what to call their usually failing soccer squad.

Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula, offered his full backing to dump the Bafana name for a more intimidating option. The South African squad's current name, Bafana Bafana, translates to "the boys" in Zulu. One can only hope the SAFA has the foresight to register the trademark beforehand this time.

Given the rather sloppy election strategies by the ANC this year, it's not surprising that they haven't decided to campaign on the name change for the national team as part of the election process - a name for the people, by the people.

Perhaps they could call it Banyana Banyana, oh wait... that's taken too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

South Africa - Local election campaign strategies

It's that time of the year again and the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) are at loggerheads once more. What is interesting though is that there is a dramatic about-turn in campaign strategies between these two parties.

In 2009, the DA was determined to communicate that a vote for them would be one more vote against getting Zuma in power. There was absolutely nothing of substance in their campaign about how they were going to improve the lot of anybody. It was fear-mongering and nothing more than that. Their tack this year has changed significantly. There is talk about delivery and asking the public to give them a chance to prove their mettle - that is positive, and exactly what South Africa needs. More talk and perhaps even some credible promises will help build a credible opposition to the ANC.

The ANC strategy, on the other hand has been to put up huge billboards with Jacob Zuma's smiling face all over the countryside. They show pictures of him with towns folk - a man of the people. Julius Malema, as usual is their hardcore campaigner that drives the message of what people (and usually not businesses) want to hear home. It appears that the ANC is pushing the fear message this year - quite ridiculously so at that. Malema's statement at a town hall campaign meeting in Port Elizabeth warned residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality that should they vote for the DA, they are risking Madiba's health getting even worse because of the additional strain (caused by a DA victory there).

The whole situation is quite a bizarre role reversal from 2009. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Wonkie's latest ANC vs DA local elections cartoon capturing the point exactly.

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