PODCAST | 'Thuma mina' was meant for Jacob Zuma

10 January 2020 - 15:00 By QAANITAH HUNTER
The world-renowned trumpeter Hugh Masekela's song 'Thuma Mina' has been quoted by President Cyril Ramaphosa as call for the nation to rise to a better future.
The world-renowned trumpeter Hugh Masekela's song 'Thuma Mina' has been quoted by President Cyril Ramaphosa as call for the nation to rise to a better future.
Image: Judith Burrows/Getty Images

As President Cyril Ramaphosa enters his third year as ANC president, the slogan of his presidency, "thuma mina", is fading. The invoking of music legend Hugh Masekela’s song Thuma Mina no longer carries the same level of optimism and euphoria it once did. 

Sunday Times journalist Qaanitah Hunter tracks the genesis of "thuma mina" and how it became the tagline of Ramaphosa’s presidency. She spoke to a speech writer who came up with the idea for the state of the nation address in 2017 that was meant to be delivered by former president Jacob Zuma.

LISTEN TO THE STORY OF THE BIRTH OF THUMA MINA: 

Two years on, many are questioning whether thuma mina is just smoke and mirrors. ​