Debate rages over Gigaba and his amazing ‘Zulu memory’

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivering the budget speech, 21 February 2018, Cape Town. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivering the budget speech, 21 February 2018, Cape Town. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Unlike his political elders, the Finance Minister of Instagram doesn’t rely on medieval technology to read a speech.

Aside from the fact that Mzansi is still digesting the details of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s Budget Speech, debate has also been raging over whether he is some sort of genius who was able to memorise the whole thing.

Fortunately, an image has emerged to suggest he was – like almost every modern politician on earth – relying on autocue technology, with a teleprompter set up in front of him.

Facebook image suggesting Gigaba read the Budget Speech off an electronic prompter. Picture: Facebook

Facebook image suggesting Gigaba read the Budget Speech off an electronic prompter. Picture: Facebook

Some viewers are clearly more accustomed to our “old school” politicians like Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan who needed the reassuring rustle of paper in their hands while giving a speech.

But Gigaba is the kind of ANC Youth League alumnus who chases high scores on Candy Crush, gets thousands of likes on social media and quotes Kendrick Lamar – so if it ain’t on a screen, he ain’t looking at it.

One Facebook group dedicated to political debate has even started sharing Wikipedia links to what teleprompters are and how autocue works.

It was partly in response to one user writing that “Gigaba is an evidence [sic] that Zulus have a good memory”, which generated much comment and left a despairing Seun Hennessy to write: “Dear Lord please help my brothers and sisters to understand that their minister is not as smart as they think he is. Lord teach them what’s an Autocue.”

 

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