Malema outburst inspires unlikely dancefloor hit

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The Independent Online

While Julius Malema landed himself in court in South Africa for singing "Kill the Boer", it is another track featuring his words that has become a national hit.

"Revolutionary House" samples the 29-year-old politician's tantrum last month when he was chided by a BBC journalist for attacking exiled Zimbabweans for having offices in the wealthy Johannesburg suburb of Sandton when he lives there himself.

The leader of the ANC Youth League lost his temper, accused Jonah Fisher of having a "white tendency" before yelling at him that he was a "bastard" and a "bloody agent". All of which sounds remarkably good when sampled and laid over a house music beat.

The track was picked up first by the breakfast show on a local radio station in Johannesburg. Other stations were soon playing it and within 48 hours it was online and going viral. There are at least four different versions of the song on YouTube, all with tens of thousands of hits and admiring comments coming in from all over the world.

All of which is faintly bewildering for David Law, the 25-year-old sound engineer and music producer, who thought that a few hours of his spare time would make a good joke for his friends.

It all began with that "fateful" press conference, he says, at ANC party headquarters in South Africa's commercial capital. "When I saw it I couldn't believe what was going on – it blew my mind," he says. "It was completely embarrassing to the country."

And also an obvious target for a young musician and ad man who has been making parody tracks for the last four years. Some of them good enough to earn him some threats from supporters of those being satirised. Hence his initial anonymity.

When he played the track which features sound clips of an exasperated Malema yelling "bastard" and "bloody agent" to friends their response encouraged him to circulate it more widely.

Law, who is white and describes his politics as liberal, chose a local DJ, Gareth Cliff, whom he guessed wouldn't be afraid to play it. After that "it gathered momentum and it spread everywhere," he says. The response has "blown his mind" again and he has received emails and interview requests from all over the world since breaking cover to talk about his remix.

Mr Malema has become a staple of the diet of South Africa's world-class satirists. There are Malema puppets, Malema cartoons and plenty of other Malema songs. But the youth leader remains a substantial political player with a strong support base among the country's young unemployed blacks.

Despite some in the party leadership wanting to discipline the serial controversialist, he has so far escaped with a warning and a commitment last week to go to anger management classes.

The title of Law's hit track comes from the firebrand himself. Having gotten upset when journalists laughed at his warnings to the BBC man, he continued: "This is not a newsroom, this is a revolutionary house and you don't come here with that tendency. Don't come here with that white tendency. Not here. You can do it somewhere else. Not here. If you've got a tendency of undermining blacks, even where you work, you are in the wrong place."

The young sound man, who says that his choice of house music and the style of the satire was meant to remind people that not everyone had lost their sense of humour, nonetheless sees the serious side of the story. "You have this guy who is arrogant and a megalomaniac but he's head of the 4-million-strong ANC Youth League".