4 reasons why I’m glad Madiba never used Twitter

Nelson Mandela — father of the nation, freedom fighter, an example to all of humanity. But sadly, like other equally historically important iconic heroes such as Lil Wayne and Kim Kardashian, sometimes following someone as important as Madiba on Twitter can be a little bit of a disappointment. The struggle could never be reduced to 140 characters or less, so maybe it’s just as well Madiba had already retired from politics by the time Twitter became popular. We can only guess as to what he would have tweeted about. I sincerely hope it wouldn’t have gone a little something like this:

1. The Black Pimpernel

Before he was sent to jail, Nelson Mandela gave up the law firm he had started so that he could devote his life to the struggle. While he was a fugitive from the law, the early days of the fight for freedom were a time of idealism and hope for him. But luckily Twitter did not exist, or Madiba’s ideals may have been reduced to this…

2. 27 Years Of Incarceration

The next phase of Mandela’s life was, sadly, spent behind bars. But at very least Twitter wasn’t invented yet, or we may have had to share Madiba’s pain during his many years in jail…

3. Free at last

In 1990 Nelson Mandela was finally free. The world was amazed that he had not become bitter or hardened, instead he emerged with his ideals still in tact, every bit as strong as before he was incarcerated. I can’t help but thinking that if Twitter was around in the years that followed his release and culminated in him becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected President, it would have only dulled the impact of his monumental achievements during that time…

4. Personal life

Twitter is a platform that allows us to experience a more human side of those we idolise. It is a reminder that no matter how important a figure is, that person still spends time doing mundane things and has relationships like anyone else. And maybe it’s just as well that we never saw too much of that side of Madiba…



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.