3 Reasons Why #ZumaTwitter matters

Zuma profile picture on Twitter (14 December 2018).

Zuma profile picture on Twitter (14 December 2018).

By now you know that the former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma,  finally joined Twitter on the 14th December 2018. Why now and why his entry into the Twittersphere matters for South African internet. According to Zuma his reason for joining Twitter is that people are talking about him on the platform and it seems he would like to manage his reputation online. The other reason for Zumas entrance into Twitter could be related to the recent judgement in court which indicated that he will be liable for legal costs related to his upcoming court cases. The Twitter entry may be a beginning of a campaign to raise funds online and on other platforms.

That’s the boring part about Zuma joining Twitter. The most interesting part about this development is it’s impact on the South African internet. The following are just some of the 3 reasons why this development matters:

  • More SA people to join Twitter

  • More local leaders may join Twitter

  • Zumas Digital Footprint

1.More SA people to join Twitter

Twitter in South Africa is still a platform of just a few. Jacob Zumas entrance into Twitter could just inspire more South Africans to consider the platform for engagement. Leaders in society have a tendency to influence people to do what they do. People who are still fond of the former South African President may consider the platform just to follow the former President and in the process discover other interesting bits about Twitter.

2.More local leaders may join Twitter

In an ideal world leaders should use Twitter for accountability and maintaining communication lines  with society. In South Africa there’s still few leaders who use the platform for communication. Zumas entrance into Twitter may just influence more leaders to also consider Twitter as their chosen platform for communication and engagement.

At the time of writing Zumas followers were 28 000 and with just 2 tweets.

3. Zumas Digital Footprint

Former President Zuma before joining Twitter had no digital footprint. Everything about him online has always been written by third parties and not coming directly from him. According to people who have seen a significant amount of GuptaLeaks emails, there’s no direct communication from former President Zuma from his official email account. For the first time South Africans will get the sense of Zumas thinking on matters directly from him.Thanks to Twitter, future generations will be able to go back in history and read direct views of the former Statesman.


Kay Ann