Television Puppetry

ZA News’ “Wreckling Ball” parody

By August 8, 2014 August 7th, 2017 No Comments

ZA News debuted this spoof of Miley Cyrus’ hit Wrecking Ball featuring a puppet of South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to howls of laughter at the South African Comic’s Choice Awards last weekend.

Anyone outside South Africa could be forgiven for not quite getting the joke.  Thuli Madonsela isn’t well known internationally (although Time Magazine named her as one of their “100 Most Influential People in the world,” this year), but she’s been in the headlines in South Africa for months. In her role as Public Protector – a government office that functions as a sort of independent trustee to protect South African democracy – she has been leading damning investigations in to allegations of kickbacks and other scandals in the administration of South African President Jacob Zuma.

She came in like a wrecking ball...get it?

Here’s a look at how they made it:

Puppet/suit in the video was built by Mathew Sanna and Franci van den Heever, and it was performed by Tassyn Munro (who was in the body suit). The puppetry was performed by Roshina Ratnam and Beren Belknap.

For more ZA News clips, cartoons, and music videos visit

12/8/14 Update: The original version of this post misattributed the construction and performance credits for this video. They have since been corrected.

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