#SONA2021 : State of the Nation Campaign

Three of South Africa’s top comedians are on a mission to motivate young South Africans to watch the State of Nation Address on 11 February, 2021. 

This initiative is in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) for Freedom. 

South African comedians Thenjiwe, Dillan Oliphant and Carvin H Goldstone, will host live, online conversations encouraging South Africans to watch the State of the Nation Address on February 11, 2021. 

They will be kicking off their discussions on February 10 at 3pm CAT on the Freedom Foundation Africa Facebook page, with a second preview on 11 February at 6pm just before the address begins.

Thenjiwe is the 2020 South African Comedian of the year, while Goldstone is the 2018 Comics Choice Comedian of the Year. 
Oliphant, also an award winning comedian, shot to fame as an opening act for Trevor Noah and featured on Noah's NationWild Comedy Tour. 
The FNF director for Southern Africa, Barbara Groeblinghoff, said that the campaign is aimed at motivating South Africans to watch the state of the nation address because politics is like a contact sport.  

"Whether you like it or not, you’re on the field. Either you become a player, or you get run over. Either you get in the game and you ensure that what you think is right gets done, or other people make all the decisions for you.   
There is no middle ground."  

"It’s important that we know our government’s plans for the year ahead. It makes us aware of what our government has been doing. The Zondo commission does too, but this is about the state of the nation address. The president addresses urgent issues like unemployment, education, taxes and infrastructure development. These issues affect us all more than the Idols results. The SONA is an audit we can all take part in. It’s very entertaining, and more realistic than the WWE", Oliphant quipped.

Thenjiwe added that if South Africans don’t watch the SONA, it means they are not interested in the plan for the country and therefore should not complain. 

 "The State of the Nation Address is directly linked to the Budget Speech, and gives us a good indication of where our money as tax payers will be spent. Watching the opposition parties oppose everything is the best Sitcom in Mzansi and we have missed our parliamentary dramas" she said.  

Goldstone chimed, “We have to hold our politicians accountable and comedy is one way to let them know that we’ve got our eye on them, and that we will let the country know in the funniest way when they do wrong things.”
Ms. Groeblinghoff said politics is not just people waffling in parliament, provincial legislatures or town councils.  

She continued, "Politics is: How good is my school? When will I get vaccinated? Which vaccines are available? How good is the road I travel on? Do I have a good clinic or doctor to go to? Do the lights stay on? Is there water in the taps? Am I safe?
The State of the Nation is one of the political events which maps out the year ahead for politics and the country. It’s the yard stick to measure what has been achieved and what has not."
The comedy trio will host a SONA preview on 10 February 2021 live on the the FNF in Africa Facebook page titled Freedom Foundation Africa, where they will be discussing what they expect to hear from the president in his address. On Thursday, they will host a pre-SONA conversation from 6pm, on the Freedom Foundation Africa Facebook page. 

The address is scheduled for 7pm.  

Thereafter Thenjiwe, Goldstone and Oliphant will host a review of the address with a comedic unpacking of what was said.

They will also be releasing comedy videos encouraging people to join them on the Freedom Foundation Africa page for the State of the Nation address.