A group of my friends were imbibing on the nectar of the gods the other evening when their minds drifted to word games to caricature some of our global leaders.
Here are a few gems that came out of that befuddled conversation: the people of India have been MODIfied; the Brits are disMAYed; while the Americans have been TRUMPed.
And then there were also suggestions that the French are MACAROOned; the Canadians have been JUSTified while the Russian have just stayed PUT IN.
Closer to home, I began to wonder which words (or play on words) come closest to encapsulating the state of mind of the people of our beloved South Africa today?
Well, after a week of high political drama and intrigue, I dare say there will be some RAMAPHOBICS, especially among the dissident factions in the ruling party aligned to former president Jacob Zuma, still smarting from their defeat at the 2017 ANC elective conference at Nasrec.
They are obviously fearful of what a successful Ramaphosa Presidency will mean to their futures and will waste little opportunity to stifle its progress.
And we’re already witnessing several manifestations of this fightback in political utterances and attempts by some government institutions still loyal to Zuma to influence decision-making in the new Presidency.
But, it seems, the RAMAPHOBICS may be fighting a losing battle.
After Wednesday’s announcement of the President’s new executive team, it’s fairly evident most South Africans see themselves as RAMAPHORIANS who are pinning their hopes on the beginning of a new era.
Listening to details of evidence being led at the State Capture commission of inquiry, South Africans are now beginning to learn how massively and systematically they’ve been hoodwinked and looted by people they helped put into office in the past decade.
They’re not sure who they can trust in leadership anymore.
And it was not just outsiders like the Guptas and their cohorts who swindled us.
Some of our own respected stalwarts of the liberation struggle were also in on the act.
So when someone like the genial Cyril Ramaphosa - with his common touch and convincing commitment to eradicate corruption and inefficiencies - ascends to the Presidency, there is a growing sense of hope and relief, because people are desperately looking for a saviour from the country’s political, economic and social woes.
They are yearning for a leader who can end the debilitating scourge of corruption eating at the fabric of our society, someone who can transform our economy, attract international investors, rebuild a fragile nation, create new jobs, and stabilise our ailing state-owned enterprises.
In simple terms, they want someone they can trust and who is able to inspire confidence in the country, just like they experienced in 1994.
It’s a tall order for one man, but his daunting task is made a lot easier by the support of millions of RAMAPHORIANS.
And if that sounds like music to your ears, just put it down to basic RAMAPHONICS.