Queen of the rallies, her vote undecided

Thembeka Dliwako | Sibonelo Ngcobo

Thembeka Dliwako | Sibonelo Ngcobo

Published Mar 25, 2024


Durban — She has been to three rallies at Moses Mabhida Stadium, participated in the singing and dancing associated with them, and even got three T-shirts in the process.

Her name is Thembeka Dliwako, a young woman from Haniville, in Pietermaritzburg otherwise known as Indlondlo Yamarali, loosely translated as champion of rallies.

Dliwako was spotted at the Economic Freedom Fighters manifesto launch rally in Durban in February and became the talk of the town when she was seen weeks later in an African National Congress T-shirt at the same venue. And then spotted again when the Inkatha Freedom Party launched its manifesto two weeks later.

“I do not know where this conclusion that I am IFP comes from,” she told the Sunday Tribune.

The queen was getting ready for Ellis Park Stadium where Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA was set to launch its manifesto.

Dliwako said she had been driven by curiosity about what the leaders of different political parties were promising to do if they were elected to power.

“This will be the first time that I am voting in the provincial and national elections and for me this is a very exciting time,” the 21-year-old said.

She said that while there was the option to listen to the radio or watch the news on television, a chance to see the leaders of parties in the flesh was more appealing.

“I have seen Julius Malema, Cyril Ramaphosa and got to meet Velenkosini Hlabisa, not to mention the numerous artists as well who I would not ordinarily meet. So it has been quite exciting,” she said.

One such artist that she had been eager to meet was maskandi heavyweight Khuzani Mpungose who she got to meet at the IFP rally.

Many Facebook users have pointed out how the queen has a striking resemblance to the artist.

She expressed her concern at youth apathy when it comes to politics, saying she hopes that through her actions she may spark an interest from her peers to play their role and vote when the time comes.

“It is of no use complaining about elected representatives that are not doing their jobs when we are not performing our civic duties which include voting,” she said.

Social media users have given varying opinions about Dliwako’s actions with some questioning her loyalty while others praised the move.

Armstrong Ngwane said: “Jokes aside, the queen provides a lesson that one should not take politics personally, but must listen to what all the parties are bringing to the table before taking a decision on who to vote for,” he said.

Dliwako is doing a Human Resources Management course at a college in Ladysmith and when asked whether she has decided who to vote for on May 29, shook her head, saying she still needed to hear what the Jacob Zuma-led uMkhonto we Sizwe Party’s manifesto says and only then will she know for sure.

Sunday Tribune