Johannesburg - If the DA’s family concert at the historic Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown appeared low-key on Sunday, the party brought on the bling on Saturday in the slickest political show South Africa has yet seen.
With echoes of US political campaigns, especially the first of then-presidential-hopeful Barack Obama, the DA had teleprompters, chants of “we can win”, “change” and more.
They unleashed the hottest hip hop muso right now, Ifani, who adapted the lyrics of his hit song Mili to say “Give me more jobs and then I can make a mili” and MiCasa’s J-something sensually jika-majika’d upfront.
But it was more than a show because the significance of the day and of the event could not be lost on even the most cynical observer.
The DA has grown exponentially.
Its big rallies are almost entirely black. Is this because middle-class people need to get their groceries done on a Saturday?
The Coca-Cola Dome, where the closing DA Gauteng rally showdown was held, has a 19 000-seat capacity, and there were thousands of black Gauteng supporters, all donning the emblematic Mmusi Maimane campaign T-shirts.
Maimane, the DA candidate for the Gauteng premiership, is handsome, like Obama.
Last weekend, the party’s Western Cape closing rally was held in the Bellville Velodrome, where it was an all-coloured affair.
Mitchells Plain born-and-bred Emo Adams performed goema, a Western Cape genre with its roots in slavery and minstrel music, and Cape Flats favourites, from Bob Marley covers to Justin Bieber.
Party leader Helen Zille took to the stage and performed Cape supporters’ favourite DA-Zille song Koekie Loekie.
On Sunday in Kliptown, the DA showed another side.
The party created an mbaqanga-inspired chilled Sunday vibe as it turned down the heat.
It brought out hipster niche folk singer Bongeziwe Mabandla and its own superstars – Maimane, parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and party youth leader Mbali Ntuli.
The real rising act to keep an eye on, Makashule Gana, completed the dream team, as the party’s black youth took centre stage on the historic Freedom Square where years ago the Freedom Charter was adopted by thousands.
Maimane reached out to the crowd and made his pledge. If the DA was elected to govern Gauteng it would bring change and work.
“The future of Gauteng will be decided on May 7. (If you vote ANC) it’s… more corruption.
“But change must come to Gauteng. All of us on May 7 will be out there to ensure change comes to Gauteng,” said Maimane.
And with that, the DA concert was over.