Why, Mr President, what a bright face you have

Has Jacob Zuma pulled a Vladimir Putin on us?

The Russian Prime Minister’s official photographs are the stuff of legend: Putin riding bare-chested through the mountains; Putin discovering artefacts at the bottom of the ocean; Putin wrestling a bear. Okay not really, but you get the picture.

Zuma’s “man of the people” photograph taken on Sunday shows him getting handy with a hoe. In a maize field, that is, so get your mind out of the tabloid gutter.

But the photographs have raised some eyebrows among our readers, with some asking if the photo has been poorly photoshopped by the government communication and information system (GCIS).

In the photographs, President Jacob Zuma is seen helping — or at least posing in the right position — to plough a maize field at Mhlongamvula in Mpumalanga during the launch of a rural development project. They were distributed by the South African Press Association (Sapa).

What do you think? Are the photographs a bit too staged and polished? And if so, do we care?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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Verashni Pillay
Verashni Pillay is the former editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian, and inaugural editor-in chief of Huffington Post South Africa. She has worked at various periods as senior reporter covering politics and general news, specialises in mediamanagement and relishes the task of putting together the right team to create compelling and principled journalism across multiple platforms.

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