Greytown’s inspiring poet did not expect ‘My President’ to go viral

2020-05-06 06:03
Claire Lagerwall from Greytown who recently penned an ode to President Cyril Ramaphosa. PHOTO: Tilanie Grote

Claire Lagerwall from Greytown who recently penned an ode to President Cyril Ramaphosa. PHOTO: Tilanie Grote

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WHEN Carrie Lagerwall sat down to pen an ode to President Cyril Ramaphosa amid the national lockdown, she did not think it would go viral.

The mother of three from Greytown said while she could not comprehend the weight on the first citizen’s shoulders, she wrote the 178-word poem to offer her support.

Titled My President, You’re Tired, part of the poem reads: “My president you’re tired. We can see it in your eyes. It’s not really something you can easily hide.” The poem, which she posted on her Facebook page on April 21, has received over a million views and 8 000 shares.

“The response took me by surprise. The highest response I’ve ever had on my post was about 7 500 readers. I never thought it would get to a million” Lagerwall said.

Lagerwall, a technical content writer, runs a Facebook page dedicated to sharing inspirational and uplifting content. She said she was inspired to write the poem after Ramaphosa announced a massive social relief and economic support package.

“My heart was sore when I saw his face and how tired he looked. I can’t imagine doing what he does. I wanted people to extend grace to him.

“We have so many little groups of people angry about specific things, but they don’t have the full picture that he is facing.”

Lagerwall added: “I have children and I can give them an instruction; whether they are obedient to my instruction or not depends on them. Imagine 60 million people.

“I can hardly manage my three.”

She had written a poem to the president when the initial lockdown was announced and decided to the second poem which struck a chord with social media users. “He is doing a remarkable job despite what people may think,” she said.

While the majority of the responses have been positive, Lagerwall notes that she had received a backlash for publicly supporting the president.

“I had messages in my inbox calling me a traitor to the white race. It’s not about colour or creed, it’s about humans supporting a human.

“A lot of people forget that he is not a god and he is trying.” Lagerwall said the pandemic had been hard for her family too. “It’s definitely difficult. Being a farmer’s wife, we’ve taken a knock because there is no sale in produce.

“At the end of it all, I am a very resilient and positive person.”

She said she has been informed that the president has received the poem and will be in contact.

“I don’t need him to respond. I just need him to know that there are millions of South Africans praying for him. We recognise he is human. We recognise that he is tired. We are proud of him.”

My President, You’re Tired

My President you’re tired

We can see it in your eyes

It’s not really something

You can easily hide

We see you across

Our television screens

Addressing the nation

On a history unseen

We see you stumble

Over words being said

And I pause to wonder

What’s going on in your head

Are you coping Sir

With all that you face

A broken nation

Looking to you for grace

Are you okay Mr President

You look so sad

Your eyes tell a story

I’m sorry it’s so bad

We pray for you

Hold you in our thoughts

This is a war

We have never fought

I’m glad that you’re ours

That we don’t have to share

That our precious nation

Is under your care

With our cries of faith

We trusted God for a man

Who could steer a nation

Into unknown lands

Thank you, my President

For being so brave

Whilst a nation is judging

Each move that you’ve made

We pray for you Sir

We really do

And we thank God

For a leader like you

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