/ 18 December 2017

Phantsi, party poopers, phantsi

'The girls at Cubaña seemed to be younger than the whisky being drunk
'The girls at Cubaña seemed to be younger than the whisky being drunk

The velvet rope can shred you like barbed wire. Not physically, as when the elders were scrambling around Angolan battlefields, but emotionally.

In these fragile times, when the battleground for the national democratic revolution has moved from Cuito Cuanavale to Cubaña, a single rejection can cause the ego to crumple like a “pick me” under ANC Youth League president Collen Maine.

First I couldn’t get into the VIP section at Cubaña after some CR17 supporters commandeered the place. In homage to the revolutionary spirit of the French and Cubans, they quaffed vintage champagne and smoked Cohiba cigars.

I wonder if revolutionary comrades from those countries celebrate with similar nods to South Africa by inserting gold teeth into their mouths and diamonds on the soles of their shoes.

The girls at Cubaña seemed to be younger than the whisky being drunk, but I didn’t get to chat to any of them. The bouncers spotted my amashoba on my upper arms and below the knee and figured me for a KwaZulu-Natal supporter of uMama, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Judging by the invites, which had pictures of a leery Maine trying to get to grips with the strategy and tactics of “video vixen” Nicole Nyaba, I thought this was a 100% uMama jol. But then the league sent out a press release that “noted” the invitation and confirmed it had been booked in its name, before placing on record that it had “not organised an [sic] party on the eve of the ANC conference”.

“The national leadership of the ANCYL can confirm it is not them but is not in a position to say that who has booked under the ANCYL [sic],” it concluded in typically decisive fashion.

Either they’re still smarting from an earful from Uncle Gweezy about having respect for the conference or Maine and his cohort have been outflanked by some CR17 youth leaguers.

That Oros is the only person I know who can make lemons from a fruit juice mix. Gauteng comrades are too soft to do war properly.

In KwaZulu-Natal, we know. We spill blood as if it was tomato sauce and fire bullets more often than uBaba on a love mission behind enemy sheets.

uBaba’s tokoloshe, ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala, had told all us KZN delegates to wear amashoba so as to appear broader than we are to our enemies at the conference, while evoking the spirit of King Shaka and the Zulu impi.

All it evoked was a dry mouth and a trudge back from the club. Towards more rejection.

As a member of the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee this conference was supposed to be a holiday away from the beach: a spot of singing (down opponents), a bit of dancing (with decorum, and without bums exposed), a fair bit of Gupta-sponsored drinking, waking up to brown envelopes delicately slipped under our hotel room doors and “blessings upon blessings” from the panty-preneurs wandering around the outskirts.

Instead. I’m bounced again. Seems these bloody counterrevolutionary judges don’t want us to participate in the conference because we’re good at shutting comrades up — and out of the ANC.

It’s bitter medicine, I can tell you. uBaba’s tokoloshe tried to win back some ground by raising obstructionist points of order during plenary about there not being consensus on the conference programme.

He faced down deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and objected to the messages of support from our comrades from around the world being read out. I was in full agreement because if you don’t have credentials you don’t know who your friends are, and if you don’t know who your friends are should you be listening to them?

It was proper heated and I was a bit afraid for Comrade Jessie’s safety — Zikalala is so short that if he tried head-butting the Bride of Chucky-sized Duarte, he’d probably knock the lunch-stuffing out her stomach.

Our KZN impi is getting desperate. Where once we sang songs of fire and looting we’re now more silent than a concussed Eastern Cape delegate lying under a chair. I worry that, after the momentum of the “Zunami”, times may be changing. The tide may be going out leaving just the detritus and dirt behind.