When President Zuma endorsed his daughter’s TV show

Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube has come out in defence of her show Uzalo
Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube has come out in defence of her show Uzalo
Five years ago‚ Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube would have struggled to say that she “can’t help who my parents are”. Especially not after her dad had taken to social media to punt the premiere of her new show at the time.

This week‚ she was at pains to dismiss suggestions that her father being the president of the country had anything to do with her television drama Uzalo being renewed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

She did this in a Twitter rant in reaction to a Sunday Times report that SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng – said to be an ally of President Jacob Zuma — overruled his staff to push through a R167-million contract with a production company co-owned by Zuma-Ncube.

Among the tweets – each prefaced with the word “Fact” – was this from @guguzuma: “Fact: I can’t help who my parents are. But what I have always done is to put my head down and I work harder than everyone around me. #Uzalo”.

But‚ five years ago today‚ an endorsement for Zuma-Ncube came from the top Twitter office in the country.

On July 15 2011‚ Jacob G. Zuma ?@SAPresident – a verified account — posted: “I encourage you all to tune into channel 107 Tonight on dstv at 7pm for a new sitcom ‘it’s for life’ it promises to be great #itsforlife”.

The sitcom that aired on Mzansi Magic was described at the time as revolving around “four 20-something girls who find a squatter living in their house who they can’t seem to get rid of”.

The reaction to the president’s tweet ranged from disapproval to disbelief.

@AlexForsy said: “embarrassing that you use your twitter account to advertise your daughters sitcom. Is it tax sponsored as well?” while @Setjadphoko agreed‚ tweeting: “Self interest neh? The President should shy away from that! Its wrong“.

A fake Julius Malema account‚ @Julius–S–Malema‚ which had over 51 000 followers at the time responded: ‘Why? Bcz it has 2 of your daughters?“

The @SAPresident account is still open‚ but this has not been posted on since October 2013. @PresidencyZA – the “official Twitter page of The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa” — is the account now used to communicate on behalf of Zuma these days. – Tiso Black Star Group Digital