I am angry, and only President Cyril Ramaphosa can put a smile on my face again.
I believe that the president missed a golden opportunity during his address to the nation last Wednesday to prove us wrong – us who doubt his dance moves. After that April blooper when he tried to put on a face mask, the president had a chance to redeem himself when he announced the country would move to lockdown level 1 today at midnight.
All he needed to do was give us a taste of what to expect on Heritage Day, after he challenged South Africans to take part in the global Jerusalema dance craze – just like he demonstrated the elbow greeting.
CR has nowhere to run this time – he has to come to the party he “organised” for Thursday.
But you have to give it to South Africans and their sense of humour – they didn’t miss the chance to find the lighter side of Ramaphosa’s address.
Out of the entire speech, most of us took away just two things – the first being that, under level 1, the sale of alcohol would be extended to Fridays; the second being the Jerusalema dance challenge.
South Africans’ creative juices started flowing immediately, with some quickly challenging the president and his Cabinet to lead by example.
But others were not as impressed, and they questioned Ramaphosa’s timing, asking if they should dance the Jerusalema on hungry stomachs as they were still waiting for the R350 relief fund he promised them a few months ago.
“No amount of alcohol we consume or Jerusalema challenges we do, or the buhlungus of umjolo will make us forget about the R500 billion ya’ll looted,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another chimed in: “R500bn gone and we are told to do the Jerusalema dance.”
The country is angry, Mr President. People want their R350 grants, but I can guarantee that, come Thursday, they will be out in their numbers.
I hope you and your Cabinet will lead the dance. I can’t wait to see uncle Gwede “Tiger” Mantashe and Tito “Mr Tin Fish” Mboweni on the dance floor.
On a serious note, as we move to level 1, we should do so cautiously. From what I have observed over the past few weeks, most parts of the country have been living in level 1 (and even level 0) already.
For example, there have been parties and gatherings of more than 50 people. We South Africans are quick to break the law and equally as quick to blame others when things go wrong.
As we move to level 1, we still need to practice social distancing, wear masks and wash our hands regularly. It is only the level that has changed, not the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Now to start practising my Jerusalema dance for Thursday. Please bring back my smile, Mr President – only you can.