by Wendy Khumalo
Sunday 10th March 2019 was a beautiful sunny morning. We woke up early to go shoot at the Durban Beach Front. We shot church people performing a baptism in the ocean; it was my first time witnessing this. I snapped away, I had to capture this moment Id heard about and hadn’t seen before.
As we carried on walking on the beach we saw some people wearing Inkatha Freedom Party (I.F.P) regalia and Mam Lizzy Muholi went over to them and asked what was happening, there were a lot of them at the beach. They then informed Mam Lizzy that there was an IFP Manifesto Launch taking place at Chatsworth Stadium, starting at 10h00.
As we walked towards where we had parked the cars, we saw Prof Muholi and Dr Bajabulile Dhlamini. Mam Lizzy informed them about the IFP Manifesto Launch, Prof suggested we go, as this would be good for our portfolios. When we received the go ahead from Prof, I envisioned myself shooting Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (uNtwana kaPhindangene) *smiles*. I was eager as this would be my first political assignment and could not contain my excitement.
We were super hungry as we were at the beach from 07h00 and the time was 09h30. We went to Spar to grab a few stuff. We then headed off to Chatsworth Stadium for The IFP Manifesto Launch.
On the road leading to the stadium we saw buses and lots of people wearing IFP regalia, to my surprise there were also lots of Indians. Initially I thought, of course they’ll be Indians we in Chatsworth, which is predominantly an Indian area. We arrived just after 10h00 and Mam Lizzy saw a photographer wearing a Media lanyard and asked them where to get it, as we were a team of five of us covering this event from Inkanyiso Media. In order to all have access, we needed media access, which we received with no questions asked. All they requested was the name of our organization. We received a complementary pack with snacks, fruit, water and program of the day.
We went our different directions to capture the Manifesto moments. The mood around the stadium was jovial and the people were eagerly awaiting the Inkatha Freedom Party President Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP in song and movement chants. IFP has claimed itself as the party for social cohesion hence the Indian dances with Zulu dances entertaining the crowd, as we all waited in anticipation for the key note speaker Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
The Key Note speech
The Inkatha Freedom PartyPresident addresses the loyal masses that turned up in numbers, to listen to this important 25-years-of-democracy Manifesto. Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi observed protocol with a special mention to his guest of Honor the King of Congo, who had come to support his comrade and Royalty associate.
In his introduction, the Prince mentioned the work he has done in Congo and the rest of Africa. The Manifesto outlined Gender Based Violence, being tougher on crime, corruptions and most importantly getting the economy working. The IFP emphasized being trusted by the voter and the leader also mentioned that he has always been a man of integrity.
IFP has been a party that has believed in education, ‘we built a lot of school and universities. We are behind the recent up rise against crimes, we are totally against gender based violence.’ IFP was the first party who fought for widows to get their widower’s land and title deeds, as law didn’t allow it at the time.
This for me was a first and an eye opening experience as growing up in the 80s we new the IFP to be hooligans (izindlavini) but I experienced something totally different. The IFP members were receptive to all of us (media) people although we were wearing jeans. It was such a refreshing and liberating experience, I’m thankful to Inkanyiso Media for the opportunity.
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