Ramaphosa writes letter to ‘My

Image: myoctopusteacher/Instagram

Ramaphosa writes letter to ‘My Octopus Teacher’ team ahead of the Oscars

Ramaphosa said that bringing home the Oscar will be a crowning achievement for the ‘My Octopus Teacher’ production team and for South Africa.

Ramaphosa writes letter to ‘My

Image: myoctopusteacher/Instagram

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently wrote a special letter to the team behind the South African documentary, My Octopus Teacher, ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards.

About My Octopus Teacher

The documentary, which was produced by Craig Foster and directed by Pippa Ehrlich and award-winning filmmaker James Reed, tells the story of Foster, suffering from a loss of purpose, who begins a daily diving regimen in the freezing kelp forests at the tip of Africa in order to re-energize himself. 

“What he discovers below the water’s surface is a totally alien motivation in the form of an unusually curious octopus,” it reads on Netflix. “This beautiful record of an animal’s entire life -something seldom achieved in the wild, let alone underwater – was shot over a full year and explores the habits and personality of a strange, undulating creature that most of us have only ever eaten.

“An immersive portrait of human-animal understanding, brimming with danger, drama and devastating emotion, My Octopus Teacher grabs you with all eight arms and changes its camouflage – showing you colours and textures you’ve never seen before.”

A special letter

Now, after taking the Bafta in the same category, Ramaphosa said that the documentary has opened a window into the natural beauty and diversity of South Africa’s oceans and marine ecosystems.

“This documentary will encourage a greater appreciation and advocacy for marine conservation at a time when ocean degradation is a growing global problem,” Ramaphosa wrote after congratulating them for their amazing work done. He also hopes that the documentary will be translated into multiple languages.

“In this regard, I am greatly encouraged that the documentary will be translated into multiple South African languages. I call on the producers of My Octopus Teacher to ensure it gains greater distribution locally, especially in our schools. Bringing home the Oscar will indeed be a crowning achievement for the production team and for our country.”

A first for South Africa

Ramaphosa ultimately wished them luck.

“The team should be justifiably proud, as are we, that My Octopus Teacher has been nominated in the Best Documentary category for this year’s Academy Awards – a first-ever for a South African documentary. This Oscar nomination is part of a long list of commendations and awards the documentary has received.”

You can read the full letter over here.


Be a part of the 93rd Academy Awards by tuning in to DStv’s M-Net Movies 1 (DStv channel 104) at 02:00 on Monday, 26 April to witness all the glitz and glam Hollywood has to offer. The Awards will also be rebroadcast at 22:30 on M-Net (DStv channel 101) and is to be presented by acting and musical heavyweights Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Zendaya and many more A-list celebrities.