Imagine you are in midst of an intense moment on a wartorn battlefield, with the enemy closing in from all sides. You are armed with a pistol while all around you are heavy-duty armored vehicles. They close in. Yet, absolutely unperturbed, you dash straightway to the general; the big enemy. You climb up his vehicle with troops already inches away from you and you shout: “drop your weapons!” Worse still, no one pays heed to your advice, yet you grunt with anger, crying out loud, “do it…now!!”
The very next moment, another instance of your direct orders being denied, you take the fully loaded pistol and point to the forehead of your dreaded enemy and next? You pull the trigger. But what follows instead of a piercing bullet is a splash of water.
Truth be told, such a thing doesn’t happen in real life. Chivalry and bravado are the ornaments of a solider but no one laughs during times mired by crises, least of all, wars. In that regard, the war-like lockdown that we’ve all been exposed to – the world now comfortably numbed thanks to the deadly Coronavirus outbreak- a question to everyone:
How often have you humored yourself in these times where just like you, everyone is holed in, inside their homes, having nowhere to go, the world begrudgingly locked down? But what if you were told that there are some who are taking the fight to the deadly Coronavirus using no more than a smile?
Well, who are these nutjobs, you may wonder? Have you heard about South Africa fighting against Coronavirus? You may have. Just like you may have known that quite like nations such as Israel, South Africa is fighting against Coronavirus deploying the technology at its disposal.
But the fact is, that’s not the only step using which South Africa is fighting back. Truth be told, South Africa have a weapon of choice that not many have thought of deploying.
Now what’s that? Frankly, central to South Africa fighting against Coronavirus is the element of humor. There are hundreds in the wonderful Rainbow Nation who are resorting to the lighter side of things to ease up tensity.
Memes, jokes and light-hearted exchanges over social media are today as much a reality as is the possibility of clouds emerging over the Protean skies.
You read that right. Several news outlets have informed that among the first instincts of the South Africans to deal with these hugely difficult times is humor.
But what’s rather interesting is when you delve deep into understanding just why is South Africa fighting against Coronavirus using something so feeble-looking and tentatively harmless as a joke.
What a joke?
But when you realize that the Corona outbreak- a global epidemic-isn’t the first time where the land of the Madiba has faced a grave concern then you begin to get the sense of the situation.
Surely, the Coronavirus outbreak isn’t the first time that the nation of over 58.7 million has seen a massive concern. As a matter of fact, South Africa has, for months together, been dealing with a lack of stable electricity. In 2019, many of the country’s newsmakers and thought leaders had pointed to the situation of the country losing many of its large chunks of black skilled workforce to “better opportunities” that lay beyond the country’s borders.
Unemployment and stunted industrial growth have long been the follies of a country that has seen and sincerely deserves better days.
So now, what’s the point, after all, in getting all worked out about another threat?
For a country that already deals with the menace called “gender-based-violence” and often, on a daily basis, what possible soul-shattering harm can a new virus outbreak cause?
Here’s an example of how incredibly brave has been the country’s approach toward countering this burgeoning problem.
In one particularly pointed YouTube video, an overwhelmed public hospital nurse barks at patients: “OK, please do not panic, but you’re all dying today.”
That being told, it appears that the need to treat and view very dire situations with a lighter lens of life has never been as urgent as today.
So how is that?
Funnyman Mzinzi, one who often works as a Voice-Over artist and is noted for his large social media presence had the following to share:
“(I have) been amused by the flood of memes that juxtapose a very serious President Cyril Ramaphosa warning the nation about coronavirus with kicky music!”
Then there is one among the best-known South African cartoonists who have shown that in South Africa fighting against Coronavirus, humor is the right way to go. Here’s why:
Political cartoonist Carlos Amato draws for the Mail & Guardian newspaper and the New Frame website.
“I suppose it’s just the frequency of the challenges we face,” he said by phone from his home. “We have no choice but to keep laughing. Because, you know, the whole history in this country is one long, terrible situation with occasional moments of uplifting hope.”