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Are looks important in a political leader?

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With the world coming to the realisation that politics is not based solely on leaders putting the interests of the people first, is it superficial to vote on the basis of looks?

Politics is often cited as a dirty game between the people with the power to direct the lives of the people they are leading. With the realisation that politicians do not necessarily make decisions based on the needs of the people, why then should people vote based on merit? With that in mind, is there a certain criteria that citizens should base their votes on, moreover, is it shallow to base it simply on looks?

This came to mind after a series of videos of former South African president, Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, circulated on social media. In one of the videos, Duduzane is appealing to students of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to stop vandalising property, amidst the protests, and rather rally together to find a solution.

Some of the videos had disparaging comments, with some people labelling him a hypocrite for lambasting the current ruling government for actions similar to those during his father’s tenure as president. Other social media users, especially the females, clearly stated that they would gladly vote for him to be the next president. Their views were not entirely based on his address or leadership qualities, but rather, on his physical attributes.

This could be considered to be somewhat similar to Donald Trump being voted as president of the United States of America. Many alleged that besides his left-wing comments during his campaign, some believe his public persona, as seen on television, swayed votes in his favour.

Sabelo Makhubo

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