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President Ramaphosa’s mask mishap sparks viral #CyrilMaskChallenge

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Following the President’s state of the nation address, social media has was riddled with memes and jokes about Ramaphosa’s mask mishap, which led to the so-called Cyril Mask Challenge.

On Thursday, 23 April 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the South African public outlining the government’s plan of action on the easing of COVID-19-induced lockdown measures. After concluding his speech, the President attempted to end with an endearing effort of placing a locally made mask on his face, to show his solidarity with fellow South Africans. His efforts took on a comical turn when putting on the mask, putting it over his eyes instead of his mouth, with some extra struggle in between. Eventually, he was able to securely place the mask and walk off the podium.

The unintentional, albeit comedic ending to his speech left the South African public in a fit of laughter, as memes and jokes continue to circulate social media. The #CyrilMaskChallenge, which is currently trending on Twitter, involves placing the mask over your eyes and pulling it down to your mouth.

Despite the mask malfunction, South Africans embraced the endearing moment from the President, with many claiming that it showed a sign of sincere humanity. One Twitter user, Michael Markovitz, wrote, “The mask ‘wardrobe malfunction’ made us laugh but in the nicest possible way, relieving stress and reminding us that we’re all human.”

Watch the ‘mask mishap’ below.

Sayushka Naidoo


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