How to survive the state of the nation

2013-02-14 13:51

Our political reporters’ guide to surviving today’s state of the nation address.

1. Practise your elevator speech beforehand – in this case it’s the speech you give when Zuma comes over to say “hi”. Try to be different and don’t just gush about the speech, but tell Baba you liked something specific. If you do this right the next Cabinet may reshuffle in your favour.

2. Wear heels that are sturdier than normal – the cobblestones around Parliament has driven many well-heeled ladies to tears when their Loubitons cracked under the pressure.

3. Bring an iPad along if the boredom gets too much. Remember Angry Birds is a game, not a nickname for the DA.

4. If none of the fashion journalists come running towards you, you must run to them. Introduce yourself and throw in a bit of gossip to break the ice. Do what you must to get into the social pages, those are much better places to be seen than the front pages of newspapers.

5. Learn the names of the different first ladies beforehand so that you don’t get confused when you’re introduced. And while you’re there, please find out for us what MaKhumalo sells in her tuck shop.

6. Patience. There is a lot of waiting, sitting around and staring, and even then the actual event only lasts for an hour before it’s over.

7. Bring enough business cards – hide them in your bra if you have to. But you want to make sure people know how to spell your name when they fill out the tender documents.

8. Get a taxi to drop you off. You don’t want to get on a bus with your fancy outfit.

9. Bring snacks because it can become a long day, but avoid biltong and peanuts which could complicate matters by making you thirsty.

10. Bring enough Red Bull to ensure you don’t snooze during uBaba’s speech – if a video camera catches you that will be the footage on repeat until next year.

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