WATCH | Laughing through the wound: 5 hilarious times Ramaphosa had us LOLing under lockdown

30 December 2020 - 14:00 By kyle zeeman
President Cyril Ramaphosa brightened the mood for South Africans a few times under lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa brightened the mood for South Africans a few times under lockdown.
Image: Masi Losi

While 2020 was a tough year for South Africans, with the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the health system, economy and personal lives of many, President Cyril Ramaphosa has at times given the nation something to smile about.

Often labelled the bearer of bad news, or the Grinch who stole Christmas, Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown in March and several restrictions since in his many addresses to the nation this year.

And while many of these speeches left Mzansi deep in their feels, occasionally they brought hilarious moments.

Here are five times the president made us giggle as a nation this year:

Elbow greeting: An amapiano hit!

There was a sombre mood when Ramaphosa addressed the nation on the government's response to the global Covid-19 pandemic in March.

Announcing several interventions in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus, Ramaphosa suggested an elbow greeting, as an alternative to handshakes, to stop people spreading the virus to each other.

โ€œIn essence, we are calling for a change of behaviour among all South Africans. We must minimise physical contact with other people and encourage the elbow greeting rather than shaking hands,โ€ the president said.

Well, it wasn't long before the demonstration became an amapiano hit!

Laughing at nationalisation of hospitals?

A video of Ramaphosa laughing while EFF leader Julius Malema threatened to nationalise private hospitals went viral in March.

The video was taken during a media briefing after a meeting between Ramaphosa and leaders of opposition parties to discuss an action plan to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Malema said hospitals had to work with the government to avoid nationalisation, but something tickled Ramaphosa's funny bone and he couldn't help but laugh live on air.

'I never said which April 16'

When the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus was later extended, Ramaphosa again became a meme, when he joked that he had said the restrictions would ease in April, but didn't say of which year.


In April, South Africans were left in stitches by Ramaphosa's struggle to put on a cloth mask during an address to the nation.

The president tried to put his mask on at the end of his speech but things went pear-shaped and he ended up hooking it over his eyes instead of his mouth.

He topped the trends list for the moemish and later joked about it with reporters.

โ€œI'm going to open a TV channel where I'm going to teach people how to put on a mask. So you can enrol [and learn] how a mask is put on.โ€

Beauty filter

Ramaphosa again became the joke in November when bored social media users decided to โ€œdress upโ€ the president during his address to the nation.

Using beauty filters and stickers, tweeps shared their pictures and videos of Ramaphosa looking fabulous on the TL.