Nelson Chamisa among Africa’s most handsome opposition leaders. In the modern age of image politics driven by social media, your looks are just as important as your political philosophy in Africa’s ever-evolving landscape. Younger voters swayed by the shortcomings of traditional liberation parties are gravitating to like candidates who share similar ideals, struggles and experiences.
Being handsome in this business may not win you the elections, but it sure does attract your attention, an important currency this game of numbers. Here are some of Africa’s hottest opposition leaders with a growing support base, shaking things up in their countries. Please note they are not in any particular order, and drop a comment if we left out anyone, we sure love your input on who you think should be part of the list of opposition hunks.
Nelson Chamisa – Zimbabwe
Firebrand Movement for Democratic Change Leader, who started as a student activist and rose through the party ranks to become one of the most influential men in Zimbabwe’s politics. In 2009 he was appointed Cabinet Minister at just 31 during the Government of National Unity. In the 2018 general election, he garnered 2 million votes but rejected being runner up to incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying the vote was rigged. His Constitutional Court challenge of the elections was thrown out after judges said the party didn’t provide sufficient evidence of manipulation of the vote. An advocate by profession, he ignites his supporters with his energetic speech delivery.
Mmusi Maimane – South Africa
Former leader of South Africa’s largest political party the Democratic Alliance – DA, in 2011 he was elected councillor in Johannesburg City Council rising to become the first black leader of the DA in 2015. An eloquent speaker, his reign was thought to bring more black voters to a party that was perceived to be moving a white agenda. After much controversy within the DA in the run-up to South Africa’s 2019 general election, the party lose ground to the Economic Freedom Fighters – EFF in National and Provincial legislature when the results came out. In late 2019 he resigned from the DA and left his parliamentary post. He has a degree in Psychology and has a Masters in Public Administration and Theology.
Bobi Wine AKA Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu – Uganda
This musician cum politician has got a growing youth base and is poised to run for the Ugandan presidency in 2021. His grassroots campaigns connected well with voters leading him to upset season politicians from established parties. This fierce critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been arrested numerous times, blocked from holding rallies and his style of wearing a red beret has been banned in Uganda. He has a degree in Music and Performing Arts and is also a businessman and actor.
Duma Boko – Botswana
He is the leader of Botswana’s second-largest party the Umbrella for Democratic Change (it’s not a typo it does sound like Zimbabwe’s MDC), which is a coalition of three parties. In the 2014 Parliamentary election, he almost beat the ruling party and becoming the head of the opposition. In the 2019 election, he lost his parliamentary seat to ruling party candidate from the Botswana Democratic Party and the main opposition lost his ground. He is set to contest the 2019 vote which he says was rigged. He is a lawyer who went to Harvard Law School.
Ousmane Sonko – Senegal
This former taxman in 2019 become the youngest person to contest for the Presidency in Senegal. In the presidential election which was won by Macky Sall, he came a decent third for a first-timer who leads the Patriots of Senegal for Ethics, Work and Fraternity (PASTEF) party. He became popular when he opened the lid on tax havens of Senegal’s elite, information he attained while working in the tax office. Through his whistleblowing, he lost his job, but gain public attention and trust which was a springboard to his public life.
Source – iHarare
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