While Jacob Zuma‘s troubles with numbers are not news to South Africans, it is now a global joke after YouTube star Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg posted a video mocking the former president on his channel.
Zuma can’t count
The video is titled ‘The president of South Africa’s Numbers’, with the cover image proclaiming in bolded text ‘He can’t count’.
The Swedish Youtuber boasts 96 million subscribers to his channel worldwide and the video had garnered just short of 3 million views when this article was published.
So the joke is now truly a worldwide phenomenon.
Comparison with a five-year-old
The video contains various clips of Zuma struggling to read numbers correctly and even laughing at his own ineptitude.
“If there’s one thing about Jacob Zuma, and that’s one thing, numbers are Jacob Zuma’s number one enemy,” PewDiePie said.
He then takes things to the next level by including a clip of a young American child correctly reading a very long number on a TV show hosted by comedian Steve Harvey.
To cap it all off, he includes a clip of Zuma making fun of people who cannot pronounce Nkandla properly and points out the hypocrisy.
South Africa’s reaction
A large portion of the local reaction to the video has been positive, with many praising the humour.
It doesn't take a genius to understand that the video was just for pure entertainment purposes, why you accuse pewds of such a horrible thing as racism! every late night host and comedian in this world make jokes about presidents and politicians.. leave pewdiepie alone ffs :/
— Nazaneen na Nazneen (@TaNaZa977) June 5, 2019
I'm glad he reacted to SA's former president. I get excited when other people notice that SA exists. And I didn't see any racism unleashed
— LazyGames (@LazyGames3) June 4, 2019
However, there has been some backlash too, with some not understanding why PewDiePie is sticking his nose in business they believe has nothing to do with him.
Honestly idk what @pewdiepie was trying to achieve with that worn out joke of a video. Zuma hasn't been president for almost a year. You don't know the racism you just unleashed. This country is really divided and @pewdiepie added salt to the fucken wound!
— Lesedi Molefe (@supposedly_sedi) June 4, 2019