Ramaphosa sings a song of unity at SONA

Photo_Web_Hugh_Masekela_230118

South African jazz legend Hugh Ramopolo Masekela.

South African jazz legend Hugh Ramopolo Masekela.

Photo_Web_Hugh_Masekela_230118

South African jazz legend Hugh Ramopolo Masekela.

South African jazz legend Hugh Ramopolo Masekela.

PARLIAMENT - President Cyril Ramaphosa ended his State of the Nation Address (Sona) in Cape Town on Friday night by quoting from the song Thuma Mina by the late Hugh Masekela.

This was the first time Ramaphosa addressed South Africans as head of state.

READ: Thoughts on SONA 2018

Masekela passed away in January.

Ramaphosa said: "As I conclude, allow me to recall the words of the late great Bra Hugh Masekela."

"In his song ‘Thuma Mina’ he anticipated a day of renewal, of new beginnings."

"He sang:
“I wanna be there when the people start to turn it around
When they triumph over poverty
I wanna be there when the people win the battle against AIDS
I wanna lend a hand
I wanna be there for the alcoholic
I wanna be there for the drug addict
I wanna be there for the victims of violence and abuse
I wanna lend a hand
Send me.”

"We are at a moment in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination, have started to turn the country around."

"We can envisage the triumph over poverty, we can see the end of the battle against AIDS."

"Now is the time to lend a hand. Now is the time for each of us to say ‘send me’."

"Now is the time for all of us to work together, in honour of Nelson Mandela, to build a new, better South Africa for all," Ramaphosa said.