South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday poked fun at himself for clumsily fumbling with his face mask during televised speech, a move that attracted widespread laughter on social media.
The president awkwardly pulled a colourful fabric mask over his eyes after announcing an easing of lockdown restrictions on Thursday night, prompting instant reactions on Twitter by amused viewers.
The hashtags #facemaskchallenge and #CyrilMaskChallenge were trending on Friday as South Africans humoured their president by posting captioned images of Ramaphosa and pictures of themselves in impromptu face coverings.
Haha, I love him. So dope to see the No.1 cititzen loosening up. He deserves to smile & laugh a bit cause he’s been under so much pressure. He has shown great leadership skills in these tough times. Lead us Rre Ramaphosa, we are behind you. #cyrilramaphosa #CyrilRamaphosaFaceMask pic.twitter.com/Fkd09adW1O
— R.M Phoolo (@casspernyovest) April 24, 2020
“For those who were laughing at me yesterday, let me tell you something,” Ramaphosa told reporters during a hospital tour on Friday.
“I am going to open a TV channel where I will teach people how to put on a mask,” he chuckled. “You can enrol.”
Ramaphosa’s mask incident lightened the mood in a country entering the fifth week of a strict nationwide lockdown and where the number of coronavirus cases — 3,953 to date — is the highest in Africa.
South Africans have a quick & warm sense of humour. We laugh with each other not at each other. It gets us through our toughest times. It’s our strength. #CyrilRamaBillion #CyrilMaskChallenge #cyrilramaphosa #CyrilFridays
— Simon Grindrod (@SimonPGrindrod) April 24, 2020
“Kudos to our president,” said one Twitter post. “At least he’s got a sense of humour.”
Let he who has not struggled with their mask throw the first stone #cyrilramaphosa
— Amanda Reekie ???????? (@moozir) April 23, 2020
Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to wear face masks as the lockdown is set to be gradually phased out from May 1.
(Compiled by Carina Koen.)