‘He’s so funny’: when little Daisy met President Ramaphosa
Eight-year-old's letter to Cyril touches his heart, and when they met in person she had some questions for our number-one citizen
When then Grade 2 pupil Daisy Ngedle came home with work she had done during the 2018 academic year, her mom immediately spotted the letter she had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
And like most social media-savvy mothers would do, she shared it on Facebook with her friends – and the rest is history. “I sometimes share some of the good things and milestones in her life on social media,” Zenande, 30, told Times Select. Before she knew it, the letter started trending.
“The president’s spokesperson [Khusela Diko] also saw the letter on Facebook and shared it.
In her letter, the eight-year-old from the Eastern Cape expresses her love and gratitude towards Ramaphosa, but she also had some questions for the number-one citizen, such as whether girls can also be presidents.
“The letter was done in class so I don’t think anyone helped her to write it,” said her mom.
On Friday, Daisy and her fellow pupils got the surprise of their lives when Ramaphosa visited their school, Clarendon Primary.
Zenande received a call from Diko on Wednesday, alerting her that the president had responded to Daisy’s letter.
“She asked for my e-mail address so she could send the response. I couldn’t believe it. I was excited, in shock and disbelief, all at the same time.”
It felt unreal even when they received the president’s response. “It was the most genuine letter I had ever read. It was not one of those automated responses. It was so personal and felt like the president indeed took the time to read Daisy’s letter.”
Zenande dismissed suggestions that the response by the president was an electioneering stunt. “People will always have something negative to say and I don’t take such to heart. There were people who questioned the legitimacy of the letter and whether my daughter existed. I know where the letter comes from so I really don’t take any of that criticism to hear.”
This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her daughter.
Daisy told Times Select on Friday that her heart was still beating fast from meeting the president, and that she would sleep very well that night.
And what does she love about the president?
“He’s a very kind person and funny.”
Meeting Ramaphosa also made the little girl even more convinced what she wants to become when she grows up.
“I want to be the president,” she exclaimed.
“I’m really happy and it was really lovely for the president to say to me that we are now best friends,” Daisy said. When she takes the reigns one day as a female president of the country, she will see to it that more schools were built and all children of school-going age are in school.
“I will also make sure that kids have enough food to eat and that they don’t go to bed without food.”
As for criminals, Daisy said she will make sure thieves are sent to jail.
To prepare for her career, she will watch the parliamentary channel.
However, there is still plenty of time for things that kids enjoy. For Daisy that involves cartoons, pizza and ribs (her favourites), and ice cream from KFC.