William Saunderson-Meyer
3 minute read
14 May 2022
6:00 am

Zelensky transmogrified from comedian to president, Ramaphosa doing the opposite

William Saunderson-Meyer

Unlike Ramaphosa Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has proved to be a quick study in agility, because of his previous life as an actor and comedian.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

Political leaders need to be quick on the uptake and nimble in the execution. One moment, you’re sitting at your desk plotting your country’s triumphant entry into Eurovision. The next moment there’s a T-64 tank barrel pressed against your temple. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has proved to be a quick study in agility, perhaps because of his previous life as an actor and comedian. Within days of the invasion, he was winning hearts and minds with impassioned Zoom addresses to national assemblies around the world. And his government apparatus has been similarly impressive. Despite being deluged by Russian-inflicted chaos and...