Cyril will not disappoint SA, says his sister Ivy

An ecstatic Ivy Ramaphosa and a family friend at home in Chiawelo, Soweto, just moments after her younger brother, Matamela Cyril, was declared the fifth democratically-elected president of South Africa. Picture: Poloko Tau
An ecstatic Ivy Ramaphosa and a family friend at home in Chiawelo, Soweto, just moments after her younger brother, Matamela Cyril, was declared the fifth democratically-elected president of South Africa. Picture: Poloko Tau

Ivy Ramaphosa said she was confident her younger brother, Cyril, would not disappoint South Africa as he takes on his new responsibility as state president.

Ivy described him as an “honest and God-fearing person ... he loves people and is very calm and respectful which is exactly how we were raised”.

Her words were complemented by the contagious smile of a proud sister and a sense of fulfilment painted on her face as she sat in the family lounge watching on television as her Cyril was declared the fifth democratically elected president in Parliament.

Unlike in December – when Ramaphosa won the tightly contested race to become the leader of the ANC – his childhood home in Chiawelo, Soweto, was quite empty except for a few friends and relatives.

This time, Ivy did not spring from her seat when her brother emerged unchallenged as the new president of South Africa, just hours after Jacob Zuma tendered his resignation.

There was a definite change in mood, from sombre to cheerful, in December when he was announced as the victor, but this time around Ivy said she was confident, which was why she stayed calm throughout the Parliament proceedings.

“The family prayed for this day and it is finally here. I knew this was the next step after he was elected the leader of the ANC in December,” said Ramaphosa’s elated sister.

Earlier in the day before Parliament proceedings began, it was life as usual in Chiawelo, and Mhlaba Street in particular, where people and school children passed by the Ramaphosa house without even turning their heads.

Perhaps the neighbourhood was also highly confident or just unaware that South Africa’s next president was from Chiawelo.

Ramaphosa is the third president who has lived in Soweto, after Nelson Mandela and Kgalema Motlanthe.

His sister said she knew very well that wherever Ramaphosa was, he was equally ecstatic.

“Wherever Matamela is right now, I know he is very thankful to the people out there for their support. As for the family, we say one shall never know what God chooses for them ... he is where he is today because of the good Lord,” Ivy said.

“We have never thought as the family that one of the good days he will be president, but he was chosen by the people. I wish him all the best in his new responsibility but knowing him, I know he will do his best for South Africa.”

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