Bulawayo-based dub poet Dumisani Mhlanga has clinched a praise poetry deal with MDC leader Welshman Ncube. The poet will perform where he addresses people.
Mhlanga told NewsDay yesterday the agreement was between him and Ncube “as an individual and not the MDC party as a whole”.
The deal entails having Mhlanga perform praise poetry before Ncube stands up to address an audience anywhere in the country.
He will also perform soon after Ncube takes his seat.
Mhlanga said this was meant to “preserve our cultural values which were slowly being eroded”.
“In our Ndebele tradition, elders or leaders would never be allowed to just stand up and speak without a praise poet having ‘opened up the way’ by reciting the speaker’s achievements and telling people who he is,” he said.
Mhlanga said he had already performed at public gatherings where Ncube had spoken before and people had “gladly welcomed the move”.
He said this was still being practiced in South Africa and Swaziland.
The party’s youth assembly secretary-general Descent Bajila confirmed Mhlanga had been roped in to provide poetry for their leader.
“We want to re-introduce culture into our politics. Mhlanga would be there to provide praise poetry for Ncube. We want to ensure that we abide by our cultural values,” he said.