In the best cases, social media has enabled causes to spread and change lives which was among some of conversations I had on Power FM with the ingenious and versatile, Aldrin Sampear. I was part of his Thought Council slot alongside Lebo Madiba of PR Powerhouse and political commentator, Mapaseka Muroa.
In short the conversations ranged from the ability to craft a brand and voice on social media through consistent efforts, which can have a positive impact on society; to e-commerce in township businesses. And why Africa should to utilise its own criminal justice systems and consider leaving the International Criminal Court. There were countless invaluable inputs in the discussion which included the possible impact that e-commerce might have on the growth of small business, with a special focus on the informal economy which is an area that I find exciting.
Agitating for change on social media
In the past few years social media has seen the advent of movements that affected the status quo and led to positive change. These range from #FeesMustFall, brands making changes as a result of social media conversations and the growth of #CountryDuty, as well as the spread of conversations around #EndSARS which is currently trending.
I highlighted #CountryDuty as one of the exemplary movements that evolved from social media to now making a difference in the real world. According to their website “#CountryDuty gained popularity at the time when South Africa was facing political uncertainty especially with regards to a host of Cabinet Reshuffles that occurred at that time. South Africans united, mainly through Social Media (Twitter in particular) and put pressure on Politicians to consider their impacts prior to taking actions.”
Tumi Sole, founder of Country Duty, built first built his profile on social media through consistent and incremental efforts, which now enables him to create a community and a team that works towards a positive change in society. This was essentially the basis of my contribution in the discussion, that we underestimate the value of building our voices and commentary on issues that we are passionate about.
Most of us use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and others for mostly social purposes when in fact they can also help for career and community advancement. It starts with creating or contributing to content that talks to your area of interest.
Please see the short video snippet below with some of my views:
E-commerce for township businesses
Lebo Madiba of PR Powerhouse was also a guest on the show and brought up the significant topic of e-commerce in township businesses. She tried to order for her cousin on World Teachers’ Day to be delivered by Net Florist in Soshanguve – a township situated about 30 km north of Pretoria. This led her to searching for a solution in the township which could deliver the flowers and an e-commerce solution would have helped to resolve the challenge.
This is one of the areas I find fascinating, thinking of technology solutions that help to support small businesses and to grow the informal economy. It can help to support more people in areas that are outside economic centre, more-so in townships where most of us grew up and started.
One of the points I raised was that skills tend to leave for opportunities in economic hubs which, in many instances, are needed to create digitally powered marketplaces. There is an assumption that people in townships may not utilise e-commerce or online shopping platforms and this may be inaccurate, judging by the growth of platforms like Uber in bicycle deliveries in these communities.
Have a look at the short snippet below where I comment on e-commerce in townships:
We also spoke about why Africa should to utilise its own criminal justice systems and consider leaving the International Criminal Court, a topic that political commentator, Mapaseka Muroa raised.
Click play below to listen to the conversation:
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