South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa has become a viral sensation that has stirred up a #Maskchallenge a trend that has made him the butt of online jokes after he was caught on live TV during a national address struggling to wear a protective mask.

The South African President on Thursday addressed the nation to announce a five-level "risk-adjusted strategy" that is aimed at slowly reopening the economy by easing the lockdown restrictions starting May 1.

cyril mask

"As we begin the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May, we are calling on
all South Africans to wear a face mask whenever you leave home," President Cyril said.

President Cyril then tried to demonstrate how to wear a mask adding that it wasn't that hard, but then things went south.

To say the least, President Ramaphosa's how to wear mask demonstration did not go as planned.

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In the video clip of the national address, which since then has gone viral, is seen struggling to wear the mask and at one point ended even covering his eyes with the mask.

Exasperated President Cyril is then seen pulling it down, and is seen walking out of the Live camera shot while still struggling to keep it on.

The hilariously funny moment has become an instant hit with the South African population, who since then have come up with several viral memes. Hashtag trends such as #maskchallenge and #Cyrilmaskchallenge are trending on Twitter.

Making light of the online jokes, President Ramaphosa told reporters on Friday: "I'm going to open a TV channel where I'm going to teach people how to put on a mask.

"So you can enrol [and learn] how a mask is put on," the president said during his visit to the Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg reported TimesLive.

South African eases restrictions

South Africa has developed a five-stage plan to ease the coronavirus lockdown in the country, which will end on April 30. The lockdown will move to level 4 from the current level 5 starting May 1.

In his address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that a nationwide lockdown is probably the best means to contain the virus but it cannot be sustained indefinitely as people need to eat and earn a living while companies need to generate revenue.

"[But] by delaying the spread of the virus, we have had time to prepare our health facilities and mobilise some of the essential medical supplies needed to meet the inevitable increase in infections and it is in so doing, that we hope to save tens of thousands of lives," Cyril Ramaphosa said as he justified the 35-day lockdown that ends on April 30.