We can fix our country

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With the new year fast approaching, South Africans are taking stock of what 2017 meant for them personally, what it meant for the country, and what 2018 is likely to have in store. While economists are predicting another tough year, political analysts are predicting more upheaval and social commentators are of the opinion that South Africa is in imminent danger of disintegrating into factional and racial strife, a positive outlook for 2018 has come from an unlikely source: a fast-food outlet.

Fix South AfricaWell known for its tongue-in-cheek satirical adverts, Nandos is reminding South Africans that “we can fix our s#*t”. This is the title of the latest TV ad from the peri-peri chicken specialists – one that seems to have touched a nerve with social media users.

“Hands down... this makes me wants me to go @NandosSA and eat something just because of that ad,” @Tpabutterfly4 tweeted. “I feel like Nandos has a lawsuit budget that is revised before they release an ad,” @moebapey said, to which Nando’s South African replied: “We can neither confirm nor deny this statement”.

The ad, which starts with the statement that South Africans can do anything, proceeds to list some of our achievements. “We can end hundreds of years of oppression, and we can get lost lovers back in two days,” the narrator says, accompanied by images of the fliers for “sangoma” services common on every street corner. “We can perform miracles, and make miraculous recoveries,” he continues, juxtaposing Christiaan Barnaard with Shabir Shaik.

At times, citizens felt “doomed”, the advert states, followed by a clip of “prophets” spraying people with insecticide. Near the end of the advert, three people with bags of money in hand, resembling the controversial Gupta family, rush towards an SUV with the number plate “WE RUN GP”. As the individuals load the vehicle with artworks, the narrator says: “In South Africa, we've always fixed our sh*t and we can fix our sh*t again.”

The message, says Nandos Southern Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer, Doug Place, is a reminder to South Africans that, “we’ve always managed to find a way to fix and change what needs to be fixed and changed. It’s time we remember this and time for us to do it again.”

As 2018 looms in uncertainty, this is a message that many South Africans have appreciated hearing. The fact that someone has faith in the country and it’s people is a nice change from the doom and gloom that permeated much of 2017 – even if it is a chicken takeout joint – is a much-needed morale boost, and a reminder that despite the current challenges, we’ve overcome worse.

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Image credit: Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo


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