By Derek Carstens
That the ANC would lay claim to Madiba’s legacy was never in doubt. And rightly so. However I am not sure the same can be said in terms of the ANC being the sole, rightful heir to Winnie’s legacy.
Madiba’s ‘brand’ and Winnie’s ‘brand’ are very different
Make no mistake, as Madiba’s legacy becomes increasingly tainted with being a sell-out combined with Ramaphoria exuding a distinct whiff of elitism/White approval, Winnie’s claim on the soul of the majority of South Africans will inexorably strengthen. Young, old, male, female, educated, not educated, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, rural, urban, you name it. Across she spectrum she will seemingly be immortalized as the latter day icon of the people, their fearless champion. Resolute in her commitment, pure in her motives, compassionate in her caring.
Her legacy/brand will grow with time as she potentially challenges that of Madiba’s.
- Fresh in the psyche of the Nation, in sync with its mood.
- The Mother who stood up to the oppressors vs the Father who compromised with them.
- The Great Appeaser vs The Fearless Fighter.
Simplistic – maybe. But with 2019 looming who would you rather have in your corner? Party political campaigns will find it increasingly difficult to claim both, and will inevitable build their strategy around one.
The ANC will doubtless try, after all she was one of them. Banned, banished, detained but ‘there’ to keep them alive whilst the men languished in prison. The callous marginalizing of her in the 90’s and Mbeki’s shunning of her in the early 2000’s will be put aside as the 2019 election campaign hots up.
The EFF will doubtless also try, with Julius’s uncompromising stance seemingly fitting the glove well. Particularly if Patricia joins them brandishing her “arms deal exposer” credentials.
The DA are clearly not even in the starting line-up. Mmusi with his internal strife, befuddling ‘diversity’ issues, perceived ‘white’ oversight, and the Ramaphosa building ANC unity threat means the DA looks increasingly marginalized from the Black electorate and Winnie’s legacy in particular.
Black First Land First will also have a run at claiming a piece of her. Given their militancy they could probably do so with a fair degree of legitimacy. However methinks at present they lack the requisite stature/gravitas.
The UDM are seemingly too closely aligned to Madiba by virtue of Bantu’s well known strong personal ties to him.
The IFP also a non-contender given their appeasement in the past.
On balance I think it fair to say that despite dropping the ball the ANC can still score a try. However it will become increasingly challenging for them. Fact of the matter is that amongst the more militant, educated youthful people the legacy of Madiba is increasingly been scrutinized and challenged.
This ‘branding’ contest was dramatically brought home to me watching a recent eNCA debate hosted by Eusebius Mackaiser. As an aging, increasingly out of touch, rural Whitey I was taken aback as I witnessed the youthful members of the audience having a full go:
- Labelling Madiba as a sell out and a compromiser;
- Ignoring the challenges he faced;
- Focussing on the ‘now’ and not the ‘then’;
- Labelling Whites as still in charge while Blacks suffer.
That’s the jist of it.
Similarly, when some young attorney friends recently informed me that in their respective law firms (prestigious ones at that), whilst Black colleagues were cordial in the corridors and at the water fountain, they are committed EFF/anti-White folk, I thought “Go figure”.
No doubt the ANC will become increasingly challenged to reconcile the Centre with the Left.
So what exactly is happening here? Well it’s simply this. The perception is that playing fields have not been sufficiently levelled since 1995 in terms of Rands and cents – economic transformation.
And that’s what matters now – not the right to vote – political transformation.
Been there done that.
Is it that the youth believe that Madiba presided over a compromise, whilst Winnie was in the ANC wilderness, which left White economic supremacy (WMC) intact, and it is still like that today? Colonialism of course being the beton noir.
Age vs Youth
So here we have a situation where post ‘95 an aging, but huge Party, built largely on the legacy of one man now faces the prospect of been challenged by a potent newcomer, claiming the legacy of one woman – Banned, banished, detained but ‘there’.
A new role model for young people.
Beautiful, young, caring, brave, indomitable, unwavering, liberator, sexy, firebrand.
The Value of the Brand
In my experience as a brand manager I can think of nothing more alluring than Brand Winnie. Consider the following brand description:
- Brand’s Higher Purpose – To liberate my people
- Brand Mission – Eliminate White Oppressors
- Brand Values – Caring, Resolute, Uncompromising, Committed, Brave.
- Brand DNA – Fearless
It really doesn’t get much better than that.
So who will claim her? Who will win the race, because make no mistake, the victor will enjoy some serious spoils. Maybe not in 2019 but by 2024 for sure.
So in conclusion we voters should be asking ourselves:
- Who owns the youth?
- Who owns anti-colonialism?
- Who owns Radical Economic Transformation?
- Who owns anti-White?
- Who owns land expropriation without compensation?
- Who has a youthful leader?
For the ANC the gauntlet has been thrown down – that of ‘owning’ Brand Winnie.
The race is on.