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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Jacob Zuma, the social body and the unruly power of song
Author:Gunner, LizISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Volume:108
Issue:430
Pages:27-48
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:songs
politics
About person:Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma (1942-)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/27667093
Abstract:This article tracks the life of the song 'Umshini Wami' (My Machine Gun) which has been closely associated with Jacob Zuma, the President of the African National Congress (ANC), since early 2005. It explores the wider implications of political song in the public sphere in South Africa and shows how 'Umshini Wami' helped Jacob Zuma to prominence. It demonstrated a longing in the body politic for a political language other than that of a distancing and alienating technocracy. The article also explores the early pre-Zuma provenance of the song, its links to the pre-1994 struggle period and its entanglement in a seamless masculinity with little place for gendered identities in the new State to come. It argues that the song can be seen as unstable and unruly, a signifier with a power of its own and not entirely beholden to its new owner. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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