By Margaret Kamba
It was during ZANU PF Secretary General Cde Obert Mpofu’s address St Paul’s Mission in Lupane East Constituency that I got to hear about the tale of the safety pin. The interactive session he had with the electorate at had him engaging the crowd on how the safety pin is used to accept a man’s proposal from a woman he loves.
For him, the mission was going to ask the electorate to vote resoundingly for ZANU PF in the 9 December by-elections. It was also a mission to tell the electorate that His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa loved the people of Lupane East Constituency. It was also a mission to dig deep and find out the concerns of the electorate in order to address them.
During this time and being an experienced elder and leader, he took time to relate with the people at their level and using the very same concepts that they understood and the safety pin (isipenedi) was one.
It was so engaging and fascinating hearing how the men tell the women they love to the part of their life. This particular man lifted his hand and using his lyrical voice and words narrated how he wanted he would sweet tongue the woman into being his. Where it was not clear, Cde Mpofu would ask for clarity and exact words to use. To the women, he would also ask how they took the message and respond. The ultimate action if the woman was satisfied would be taking her safety pin and handing it over to the man in her acceptance for his proposal.
The use of Ndebele proverbs and Biblical verses were part of his message to help the people understand it. “Obey your parents for your days to be many in the land,” “inkokheli enhle kumele ivume ukukhokhelwa” (a good leader must allow for himself to be led).
To the losing candidates of the Primary elections, he encouraged them to hold hands with the chosen candidate in order to move the Party forward. He discouraged internal fights and warned the leadership against preaching a divisive message.
“We were given these elections by our ancestors. Who knew that we would be holding these elections again? Let us use this opportunity to elect our candidate Cde Phathisiwe Machangu who is our daughter so that she can bring development to our area," Cde Mpofu said.