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The mask that united a nation; a human moment seen by the world has sent ripples of love through the South African population.


South Africa (24 April 2020) – Tensions were high, South Africans were angry, many were anxious. As it always went, the days we waited for President Cyril Ramaphosa to talk about the lockdown, were days hardest spent. Unable to concentrate, worried about the future, we spent the day mentally preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

The clock ticked past 8:30 pm, we sat waiting, slowly adjusting in our seats to lessen the blow we were sure was coming. What would we do if the lockdown was extended? How would we survive? Would we cope with the stress?

South Africans collectively held their breath as the President addressed the nation. He walked on stage, visibly tired but a glint of determination caught our eyes. As he spoke, we all listened. The build-up of anxiety was sitting heavily on our shoulders. And then came the relief…

The President spoke of his plans, his preparations and his ideas about how to save our country and our people. His reassuring words melted away the pain of holding all the tension inside. Our lungs were able to catch air, and we could breathe a little easier.

As he laid out his plans, spines unwound, brows unfurled and the anger diffused. We were reminded of how we are are all in this together.

The President reminded us about the rules and promised that we would be taken care of. And then he had a slight mishap that united a nation.

The President inspired hundreds of jokes and memes on social media when he failed to put on his cloth mask properly, hooking it over his eyes and nose, instead of his mouth. This as he left the podium from the Union Buildings, where he had been addressing millions of South Africans.

Mr President, your mask may have been uncooperative, but we can promise that we will do our best! You showed us you are just a man doing his best in a situation that no one has ever navigated before. We deeply respect you for standing up and accepting the task many would run from.

As a nation, you have united us, given us a leader we can believe in! And above all, you took a moment of stress and gave us a chance to laugh. We hope you know we didn’t laugh at you, we laughed because of you! Our fellow South Africans have all expressed their love and endearment of you since that mishap.

The mask incident will always be looked back at fondly; it will be a shining beacon in South Africa, a reminder of a light moment in a dark time. It has taken many years to find someone who could fill Tata Madiba’s shoes, but we think this may just be the right fit!

And if the jokes about the mask mishap upset you, don’t worry because the President has taken it in his stride and laughed off the “mask mishap” during an on a site visit to COVID-19 facilities in Gauteng.

Watch the video below:

Sources: Good Things Guy
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

1 comment

  1. What a beautiful way you explained our feelings and the relief. Your praise for the president well founded and felt quite a warm and fuzzy feeling after reading your article. A pity not many more like you.

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