During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday evening, he began with a joke and anecdote after naming and recognising VIP guests in parliament.
In last year’s Sona, Ramaphosa delivered a memorable address focusing on hope and the catchphrase “Thuma Mina”, borrowed from a Hugh Masekela song, which he quoted at length. Shortly after starting his address, Ramaphosa spoke off the cuff and joked that EFF leader Julius Malema challenged him last year to not just quote the song, but also sing it.
Ramaphosa said he’d thought about that and, when he bumped into Malema by chance yesterday, had told him he would agree to sing the song in the event that the EFF wins the next elections. “I want to start off with a disclaimer … a disclaimer that arises from my input last year when I invoked Hugh Masekela’s song Thuma Mina and one member of our assembly here, none other than Julius Malema, whispered ‘sing it’.
“He was challenging me to sing the song. I hesitated for a while, thinking I would take him up on his challenge and sing, but I thought it wise not to do so.
“Yesterday, by chance, I met Mr Julius Malema and we reached an agreement.