South Africa: Young Poet to Usher in President Ramaphosa At SONA

13 February 2020

With just hours to go before President Cyril Ramaphosa tables the State of the Nation Address (SONA), the spotlight is on praise singer Masingita Shibambu, who is tasked with ushering in the President into the Parliamentary chambers.

Over the years, the 19-year-old has perfected her craft at Sunday school, parties and funerals of close relatives and friends in her hometown of Malamulele, Limpopo.

Having received recognition from various institutions and posting videos of herself on social media, Shibambu's talent has finally caught the attention of the highest office in the country.

Tonight, South Africans will get an opportunity to witness Shibambu's talent as she ushers in President Ramaphosa with a poem in XiTsonga.

In a country boasting 11 official languages, the principle of rotation has been implemented in order to afford all languages a fair and equal opportunity.

The first-year University of Limpopo student, who is also known as "Ntombhi ya Mutsonga", started dreaming of going to Parliament to usher in the President with a praise song after an invitation to usher in Collins Chabane Local Municipality Mayor, Moses Maluleke.

"This gave me so much courage and I started dreaming of going to Parliament to usher in President Ramaphosa," said a visibly excited Shibambu.

Shibambu is grateful for the momentous opportunity to participate in SONA 2020.

"In all [the] places I've been, I represent and embrace my culture by my traditional outfit, Xibelani na minceka. I was born to be a praise singer and when I am on stage, I make sure I excel. I have [a] YouTube channel as proof," said a beaming Shibambu.

The young poet, who jetted off to Cape Town on Tuesday for her rehearsals, firmly believes in the empowering role of education.

The President will deliver the SONA at 7pm.

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