If digital media was present during the #SouthAfrican Struggle

I would like to think that with digital media present during the South African struggle we would never have endured apartheid for 46 year. We could have had our freedom sooner. It would have taken half the time!

MASS MOBILISATION

Every person with the ability to share content (video, text and pictures) could have been a journalist and been able to pass information much faster. Mass mobalisation would have been quick and cheap and the uprising would have been much harder for the government to control, truly making SA ungovernable. That is why countries such as China have banned social network sites such as twitter and Facebook under the country’s policy of internet censorship.

DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION

Digital media penetration to the masses is not that great in South Africa at this stage, because broadband data is very costly – thankfully, this is changing. So if you take your mind back to 1976 we all know that there was one obstacle and that was the watchful eye of the then South African Bureau for State Security. Being swift and agile when distributing content was key. I certainly would not want to be caught with Black Consciousness ideology in my DropBox but I think I could perhaps have a few banned books in a memory stick.

A World of Strangers by Nadine Gordimer. A Banned African Books

A World of Strangers by Nadine Gordimer. A Banned African Books

FAMILY BONDS

On a lighter note, a lot of families had to be separated due to the struggle. Parents left their children to Mkhondo we Sizwe. A lot of the exiled members at times felt as though they are excommunicated. They did not always know small pleasures that bring joy to your parents on a daily basis. They did not know what their children look like until they had come back to the country. Thanks to Instagram you could safely post a #selfie, a meal without even mentioning recipe. Every now and again a parent in exile would have the pleasure of eves-dropping in your life’s happenings.

Umkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, translated as “Spear of the Nation”) was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville Massacre.

If we had social media we could have had our freedom sooner. It would have taken Half the time.  Let me put this in perspective – don’t you sometimes wonder what Steve Biko’s Twitter timeline would have been like?

Nelson Mandela's Digital Timeline by Prezence Digital

Nelson Mandela’s Digital Timeline by Prezence Digital

Now let us not take our social media liberties for granted. Let us use all these tools as an opportunity to push greater agendas that affect us presently; including the fact that SA has estimated 3.7 million orphans, and also that there will be no jobs for many of the tertiary graduates. Don’t you sometimes feel the pressure to use the social platforms for something bigger? Don’t you want to start a movement?

2 thoughts on “If digital media was present during the #SouthAfrican Struggle

  1. Mmmh. I’m not so sure about that. The very same platform would have given the apartheid government an opportunity to track & monitor our struggle leaders. (Our devices have geo-location).

  2. Nice post, Palesa. However, the trend of “social” uprisings is not looking great at this stage, if the instability experienced, as we are meant to believe; in Egypt, Libya and Syria is anything to go by. The only country that seems to be on the route to recovery is Tunisia, as we have not heard any adverse reports since their 2011 Arab Spring. Pity that this has been the case. Maybe someone will post on explored possible reasons for this?

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