Fred Khumalo | Watch Ramaphosa, as you've never seen him before!

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Cyril Ramaphosa and King Charles III. Photo: Aaron Chown - Pool /Getty Images
Cyril Ramaphosa and King Charles III. Photo: Aaron Chown - Pool /Getty Images
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President Ramaphosa goes to England and tells the world Queen Elizabeth fought against apartheid. Huh? We all sing for our supper, in one way or another. But there are limits, dude! Writes Fred Khumalo.

Not in a long time have I seen President Cyril Ramaphosa so much alive, so cheerful, not sleeping in public.

Painful as it is to remind you, my friends, how many times of late have you seen pictures of our president nodding off in the middle of a serious meeting or session with members of his Cabinet? Looking at those pictures of him sleeping in the middle of serious meetings, you are torn between two emotions.

On the one hand, you are inclined to hate him for sleeping while the country burns, for being irresponsible or dismissive of the proceedings at hand.

On the other hand, you want to be sympathetic to this overworked, highly insulted president who got into power at the wrong time.

He got into power when the country’s major problems - load shedding, crime, unemployment, porous borders leading to xenophobia and corruption–were shifting into top gear.

But this week, good ole buffalo soldier was not sleeping. He was not in South Africa, after all. He was in England, inside the comfy confines of 'Fackingham Palace', to be more precise. Which made him as happy as when Jacob Zuma gets married to yet another woman.

Being away from home keeps Ramaphosa alive and cheery, it seems. The blues of running a country seem to dissipate when he is away.

If you haven’t had the chance, do yourself a favour and find that short video clip which shows him in one of his most cheerful moments.

READ: Photos | King Charles welcomes President Ramaphosa with gun salutes and carriage procession

He is sitting on an ornate chair and is dressed in that funny suit that reminds me of a waiter from a top-class restaurant.

Standing to the Buffalo Soldier’s left is King Charles himself in all his big-eared glory. King Charles greets the master of Phala Phala in some of our country’s official languages.

King Charles says in scripted Xitsonga: “Avuxeni.”

With a wide grin on his face, buffalo soldier bellows: “Wow!”

King Charles says: Swabona (meaning sawubona)

Buffalo soldier: “Wow!”

King Charles: “Molweni

Buffalo soldier: “Wow!

President Cyril Ramaphosa among the British royal family. Photo: Reuters
President Cyril Ramaphosa and King Charles III. Photo: Getty Images

On and on it goes with the king of the English greeting him in our official languages, and the buffalo crying “wow, wow!”, giving the wrong impression to the world that when you greet a South African, he is supposed to respond: “wow, wow!”

No, people of the world, that man is misrepresenting us. That is not how South Africans respond to greetings.

But let’s leave him be; he is just too overwhelmed that there are people out there who are still interested in greeting him at all.

When he comes back here at home, the first greeting will be: “Dude, did those white people in England give you some electricity?”

That’s what we are going to ask him. We are going to say: “Dude, those English thieves stole our gold and diamonds and works of art, and when you were there at 'Fackingham Palace', they even showed you these stolen goods. Did you bring them back?”

I can picture buffalo soldier murmuring:

That big diamond that was on Auntie Elizabeth’s crown was buried with her. Auntie Elizabeth gave us our freedom, as I told the world the other day. She fought against apartheid, Auntie Lizzie did.

At which point we are going to shake our heads, turn to look the Ankole president straight in the eye and say: “Ah, the commander-in-chief of those English thieves is now your Auntie? Huh? What did they feed you, brother buffalo? What did you eat there that you are so confused as to call that witch your auntie?”

At which point, clearly misunderstanding the sarcasm, buffalo soldier will say: “What did they feed us, you want to know? You know what they fed us? Roast beef by the ton. Some of it buffalo steaks from my Phala Phala farm. And Ankole beef as well. And for dessert, they gave us a delicacy you have never heard of. Are you ready for this? For dessert, we ate the South African national flower, the protea…”

Incredulous, we will gasp:

You ate what? You had our national flower for dessert?

He will continue: “And it was coated in sugar, the protea that we ate at Buckingham Palace. Ask Blade, he was there. He ate most of the food, Blade did. He represented the country. Human hoover Blade. Tiny as he is, that man can eat. He really is a sharp blade. He goes through a plate of food like a hot knife through a brick of butter. When the king heard that Blade was a communist, he smiled magnanimously and told Blade to have another helping of our sugar-coated protea dessert. Communists have been starving for centuries, the lovely king said. If only he knew our South African communists.”

You think I’m making this up? I am not. The official dessert at the dinner with King Charles was a load of protea flowers coated in sugar.

READ: From edible proteas to stuffed Windsor pheasant: how King Charles wined and dined President Cyril Ramaphosa

I’m not a gourmand myself, but the notion of eating a national flower sounds disgusting. Even if it is sugar-coated and served by the whitest white person on earth. It should taste like that sugar-coated lie that Ramaphosa shared with the world the other day: that Queen Elizabeth - his auntie! - brought us our liberation, at the risk of endangering her own crown.

Wow, Lizzie, old girl, how generous of you! Sugar-coated as it is, it is still a lie. But I guess buffalo soldier had to sing for his supper.

President Ramaphosa, please stay there in England; you seem happy. Only come back when you are carrying truckloads of electricity, shiploads of those stolen mineral treasures from this country, and of course that shipload of proteas that were stolen from the Cape only to be served as a dessert over there at 'Fackingham Palace', on that miserable, rapacious little island called England.

Otherwise, don’t come back home!


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