The presidential spokesperson has a very important role. The comrade is the communication channel between die president, the public and the media.
So, when President Cyril Ramaphosa called on Khusela Diko just five days before he reshuffled his cabinet, she had to be ready to drop everything and embrace her new role as spokesperson.
Briefly.co.za gathered seven facts about Ramaphosa’s ‘voice’, which would provide insight on who Khusela Diko is:
1. Her previous role is way different than her current one
Diko was used to answering calls from the media as the ANC communications manager, but when she received her new role as spokesperson, she had to deal with the public.
According to the City Press, Diko is faced with either complaints from citizens or calls from business people reaching out to help.
“This will probably surprise you, but about 80% of the calls I get are from people who are reaching out to offer help.”
2. She was completely caught off guard when Ramaphosa offered her the position
Just weeks before the president called on her, Diko talked to a group of lobbyists about how she was excluded from the ANC’s NEC.
Little did she know a great opportunity awaited her. But, she did not hesitate to accept the role as the spokesperson, despite being really anxious.
“I don’t think it was easy for him to come to that decision because one has to have a lot of faith in someone before they entrust them with such a huge responsibility.”, Diko added.
3. She has a strong support group
According to Diko, members of the ANC Women’s League and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga supported her, adding she would not have gotten so far without them.
4. She was born and raised in the Eastern Cape
Diko was born in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. Her father, Themba Sangoni, is a well-known judge, who worked alongside human rights lawyer George Bizos and political activist Dumisa Ntsebeza.
5. Clash of religious beliefs- Diko and her in-laws do not share the same belief system
According to the ANC spokesperson, she was raised in a Christian home, but she married into a family who has strong traditional beliefs.
However, she said her mother-in-law constantly reminds her the importance of a prayer warrior.
6. She is royalty
The president’s spokesperson married king Thandisizwe Diko, making her a queen. According to The City Press, Diko calls her king “baby”, while she made plans for him to travel and see her since they are kilometers apart.
7. A true family woman
She realizes the importance of her new role, but that does not mean Diko would neglect the other things, or people, in her life.
Diko makes time for her duties as queen and also her responsibilities as a mother to prince Amandla (9), a sister and a wife.
It seems the president’s spokesperson has managed to perfect the art of juggling a successful career and a family life.
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