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“Africa loves you,” exclaimed businessman Patrice Motsepe, as he shook the hand of US President Donald Trump in Davos on Thursday.
At a panel which featured the two prominent men in their own countries, Motsepe donned the continental spokesperson hat and lauded the US president.
“Africa loves America. Africa loves you. It’s very, very important. We want America to do well,” he can be heard cooing to Trump.
“The success of America is the success of the rest of the world.”
It’s not clear what prompted Motsepe’s soliloquy, but it shot his name to the top of Twitter trending charts on Friday.
Sentiment was mixed too.
Some thanked Patrice Motsepe for doing everything he can to remove Africa from a potential future global war.
Patrice Motsepe doing everything he can to make sure Africa is never involved in World War 3! I stan🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/T41UoyLDQo
— 𝗢𝗳𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀𝗲 𝗠𝘄𝗮𝘀𝗲🎞️📽🔥🔥🔥 (@unclescrooch) January 24, 2020
Patrice Motsepe just saved all of us from getting involved in world war 3 lona bo mabena!🤣🤣
— Kemiso Motholo (@KemisoMo) January 24, 2020
Some figured Motsepe was actually wearing his businessman face, effectively “pitching” himself to Trump.
Listening to Motsepe introduces himself and tell Trump he is one of Forbes 100 greatest business minds and is doing business in 50 countries,what came to mind is that as Entrepreneur there is no end to introducing yourself and pitching to those with influence no matter how rich.
— Ndzavi Derrick .CBA (@NdzaviDerrick) January 24, 2020
Even Fikile Mbalula, SA’s minister of transport (and unofficial minister of Twitter), chimed in with his disagreement.
“I also don’t agree that Africa loves Donald Trump,” he said.
Patrice Motsepe tells Donald Trump 'Africa loves America, Africa loves you' – but not everyone agrees. I also dont agree that africa loves donald trump.https://t.co/A65OMQhI6g?
shared via @News24
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) January 24, 2020
Others demanded an end to the “UNGRATEFULNESS” and remembered the time that Beyonce and Messi were “brought” to South Africa by the businessman.
Motsepe brought us Messi and Beyoncé, if he says we love Trump y'all better flood Trump's mentions with 😍 and 😘 instead of questioning him. STOP THIS UNGRATEFULNESS!!
— Nchema (@ShottaZee) January 24, 2020
But others had more verbose arguments against Patrice Motsepe’s actions.
“What Motsepe did was uncalled for; you can’t go anywhere in the world and speak on half of an entire continent,” said Twitter user @_AfricanSoil.
“His utterances are dangerous and very irresponsible.”
What Motsepe did was uncalled for; you can't go anywhere in the world and speak on half of an entire continent. Every country has its own President & international relations representatives that can speak for themselves
His utterances are dangerous and very irresponsible pic.twitter.com/wHTyPJirg6
— Sphithiphithi Evaluator (@_AfricanSoil) January 24, 2020
Motsepe’s being surprisingly generous here too, considering the thoughts of other prominent South Africans about Trump.
In 2018, EFF leader Julius Malema famously called the US president a “pathological liar” after Trump’s tweet about South Africa’s land reform plans.
Feature image: @unclescrooch‘s tweet featuring Patrice Motsepe and Donald Trump at Davos in January 2020, by Andy Walker/Memeburn