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20/03/2018 06:06 SAST | Updated 20/03/2018 06:06 SAST

Will We Ever See The Release Of 'When's Day Zero?'. It's Hard To Say

When's Day Zero? The new cartoon book for 50 percent of the adults in Cape Town.

Adrian de Kock/ Foto24/ Gallo Images/ Getty Image
DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressing national government and Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokoyane about not fulfilling their duties in Western Cape.

Ever wondered about the origins of Day Zero? Wonder no further.

On September 21, 1987, English illustrator Martin Handford released the first "Where's Wally?" book, which soon became a worldwide phenomenon. The concept involved an elusive character dressed in red and white, which the reader had to find on a really busy page with a lot of stuff going on.

The Americans have a penchant for importing things from the U.K. and adding or subtracting one or two letters to make the rest of the world think it's a brand new thing – see "The Office (US)" and any word with the letter "u" in it. They released their own completely different version of an elusive character dressed in red and white, who the reader had to find on a really busy page with a lot of stuff going on, and called it "Where's Waldo?"

Totally different. And yes, they are sticking with that non-metric system of measuring things they've got going on over there.

The Germans were at least a little bit more sneaky with their "Wo ist Walter?". The Spanish got away with their deeply sexy sounding "¿Dónde está Wally?", while the Chinese... well, who was going to raise eyebrows at "尋找威利", where even the question mark was hidden from us foreigners?

Cape Town, never one for conformity, decided to come up with their own unique version – and in January 2018, launched "When's Day Zero?"

Adrian de Kock/Foto24 via Getty Images
DA leader Mmusi Maimane addresses a crowd at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone on January 24, 2018 in Cape Town.

Day Zero was billed as an elusive character, who the citizen had to try to hide water from in a really busy season of activity with a lot of stuff going on. At first, people thought Day Zero was hiding on April 22, 2018. But on closer inspection it turned out that it was expected 10 days earlier, on April 12.

But as more and more people joined the hunt for the slippery little day, it changed its landing date to April 15, then May 11, once again to July 9 and now it's sometime in late August.

Sadly, the demand for "When's Day Zero?" became so unmanageable that local political leaders were forced eventually to announce that the release was cancelled for 2018.

Local radio stations got involved, and soon an army of water warriors had been mobilised, and their slogan, "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's blue, you should really see someone immediately," was heard all over Cape Town.

Sadly, the demand for "When's Day Zero?" became so unmanageable that local political leaders were forced eventually to announce that the release was cancelled for 2018, but that if things returned to normal, we could expect it to surface again early in 2019. Many are calling this "a dam' shame".

Will we ever see the release of "When's Day Zero?"

It is hard to say. But while we hope and pray, we would do well to grab a chocolate croissant and our latest copy of "Où est Charlie?" and do our best to hunt that little red-and-white-garbed traveller down.