As millions of readers of this blog already know, I am a Catholic. One of the things I like the most about the Catholics is that, unlike the Christian church franchises, the Priest doesn’t have the liberty to choose which verses to read in the bible. All Catholic parishes read the same verses on the same day all over the world. Such a decided in a 3 year cycle by the Church structures at the Vatican.
However, these verses are read in different languages at different times of the day. Perhaps if the Earth was on the same time zone and all parishes started at the same time, then we can have one big mass but in different languages.
The ANC made history today. The ANC held the Siyanqoba Rally in 9 provinces at the same time, simultaneously. As President Jacob Zuma opened his speech at the Ellis Park Stadium that is filled to capacity, the ANC supporters at the adjacent Johannesburg stadium were watching proceedings on big screens. That is two big stadia filled to capacity and more people left out in the streets due to space limitations.
At that very same time, the stadia in the other 8 provinces were also filled to capacity by ANC supporters and also following the proceedings from their respective big screens. This is besides the people who were watching the rally on TVs at home, taverns and on neighbour’s TVs.
No political party in the African continent had ever contemplated such a sophisticated and technology driven rally of similar magnitude. Even the Catholics, with their YouTube, channel have not become this sophisticated yet. They may prescribe the same verses for all parishes but it is not read simultaneously.
In an earlier rally at Idutywa there had been an outcry by some in the media that President Mandela’s attendance of the rally had actually been a kidnapping of the old man to parade him to gain support. I knew at the time that this was a lie because I knew a source who was close to the processes of arranging that rally.
There had also been complains that the only reason the ANC supporters are filling stadia to capacity in election rallies was because the ANC was bussing people from other provinces and/or towns. I also knew that this was a myth because I had sources I knew who were close to the process of arranging those rallies.
Today we had rallies in all provinces, there was no way that people could have been bussed from other provinces. Today President Mandela attended the rally again. There is no way that Mbalula could have successfully kidnapped the old man again as alleged at Idutywa. Both these myths were busted today.
When sources known to me that were close to the process of arranging this multi-stadia rally, I worried about the possibility of technical failure on satellite link to stadia at worst or bad weather at least. Fortunately the weather in the entire country was beautiful as though it was respecting the people’s liberation movement of Mandela. There also wasn’t any technical failure that was reported in any of the provinces.
Perhaps to some there might be nothing unusual about this. People may not always be at stadia but they do watch the State of the National Address all the time in big screens and small screens around the country. The same can also be said about the Budget speech. Rather this is only as far as technology is concerned, even though that would amount to what I can call underrating extremism. But the wisdom of the ANC is seeing the strength in efficient use of available technology is unparalleled in the continent. The levels of mass mobilisation was also phenomenal.
Furthermore, communications other multi-venue broadcast is mostly one way. In the ANC’s case, something of World Record proportions happened. The “Umshini wami” song is the very first revolutionary song to be sang by more than 500 000 people all at the same time led by one main singer in the world. I doubt that the ANC itself does realise the magnitude of what it did today.
President Jacob Zuma praised President Mandela for his consistent loyalty to the ANC. President Zuma also took his time reiterating that steps that ANC government would have to take over the next five years at it assumes office in a few weeks time.
He also mentioned in his speech that it is cool to vote ANC and that ANC ROCKS!