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Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
No laughing matter.
#STRONGERTHANTHERAND

South Africans react to their collapsing currency with good humor, and a hilarious hashtag

By Omar Mohammed

The South African rand has been in a slump for a while. But after this week’s crash in Chinese stock markets sent convulsions throughout the global economy, and especially in emerging markets, the rand plunged to an all-time low against the US dollar.

With the economy struggling and anxieties about the rand at the top of their minds, some South Africans are expressing their frustration with humor instead of anger. The Twitter hashtag #StrongerThanTheRand has inspired an outpouring of one-liners and sarcastic jokes, with users continually one-upping each other with droll observations about the unlikely things that are now stronger than their cratering currency.

Unsurprisingly, beleaguered president Jacob Zuma has featured in many of the tweets.

In particular, the jokesters are keen to tease Zuma about his apparent struggle to read numbers.

And pity the poor (dollar) millionaires.

Even Donald Trump and Deez Nuts have unexpectedly made appearances.

Marketers have predictably tried to play along.

No tweet is now safe from hashtag, it seems. This dour tweet about South Africa’s weakening economy was soon retweeted with #StrongerThanTheRand, a reminder that things could get worse before they get better.

Amid the turmoil, for many the tweets demonstrate South Africans’ toughness and resilience during a difficult period for their country.