After Donald Trump declined to grace India with his presence on the 2019 Republic Day, the organisers of the event called upon Cyril Ramaphosa. The fifth President of South Africa accepted the invitation and is currently the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. Ramaphosa is accompanied by First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe and a contingent of nine high-level ministers. Besides them, there are other senior officials and businesspersons.
Ramaphosa is the second South African president to be invited to India’s Republic Day ceremony after Nelson Mandela. In case you didn’t know who Ramaphosa is, here’s a brief background. Besides running his country, Ramaphosa is an anti-apartheid activist, businessman and a trade union leader. He is also one of the richest men in South Africa and has honourary doctorates from a host of universities including the University of Port Elizabeth, the University of Pennsylvania, and University of Massachusetts Boston, among others.
Ramaphosa got himself involved in politics while attending university, being attached to the South African Students Organisation and the Black People’s Convention. He’s also credited to have built a powerful trade union in South Africa known as the National Union of Mineworkers. The president is also reported to be a polyglot - he knows a number of South African languages – and uses them in his speeches.
As a very private person, there’s not much known about his personal life. Reports mention that Ramaphosa was previously married to the now late businesswoman Nomazizi Mtshotshisa. The couple has a daughter together. Ramaphosa later married Hope Ramaphosa, and the couple has a son. After divorcing Hope, he got married to Tshepo.