27 May 2019

South Africa: Ramaphosa Paints a Technicolor Future. Next Up - Real Life

Photo: South African Government
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the inauguration.

Watching and listening to Cyril Ramaphosa's inaugural address and the enveloping ceremonies inevitably triggered thoughts of cinematic and historical references. The whole broadcast virtually cried out for a suitably inspirational soundtrack in addition to all the musicians singing before the speeches and prayers - and the display of airborne power.

There is that moment in the film, Invictus, which takes place inside the cockpit of the SAA 747, just as it is about to conduct a dangerous, low altitude flyover of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. As the plane swoops over the teeming sports ground, the roar of the plane washes over audiences in cinemas - just as it must have done in real life. Military theorists would probably call this effect a "force multiplier" - just as it turned out to be the case for that final match.

Accordingly, it is an easy leap of belief to see Cyril Ramaphosa's presidential inauguration as a made-for-television force multiplier for his national (and international) audiences. Consequently, it may have been even more so for the live audience seated in Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

A key element of that live audience was all those African heads of state and other...

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