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Influencers Rally South Africa's Youth to Vote in Crucial Election

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Ayize claire

May 28, 2024

Social Media Figures Encourage Young Electorate Amid Pessimism and Uncertainty

Political parties have noticed the influence of social media figures, with some influencers approached to promote party agendas. Mahapa, who declined such offers, stresses the need for responsible use of this influence. Marketing spending on influencers has surged by 78% in three years, highlighting their growing role in public discourse.
TikTok creator Karabo “Kay” Mahapa, with over 350,000 followers

South Africa’s social media influencers are stepping into new roles ahead of this week’s general election, acting as political mobilisers for the youth. With 42% of registered voters under 40, the younger demographic could significantly impact Wednesday's election.


TikTok creator Karabo “Kay” Mahapa, with over 350,000 followers, has shifted his usual content to encourage voting. Mahapa's election-themed videos resonate with a young electorate, recently identified as pessimistic about the country's future. Despite not endorsing any party, Mahapa makes it clear which one he won’t support, asking viewers to consider not backing the ruling African National Congress (ANC). His message echoes a broader sentiment of frustration with the ANC, marred by allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement.


Influencers like beauty guru Kay Yarms have also engaged their followers. Yarms directed her Instagram audience to the voter registration website, successfully prompting new registrations. Rhodes University student Asithandile Mayongo, 22, credits social media for providing resources on voting and political issues, influencing his participation as a first-time voter.


Comedian Bouwer Bosch uses humor to stimulate political discussion, his election promise video garnering over two million views. Bosch hopes comedy can open dialogue and encourage political involvement. Despite the significant influence of social media, Bosch emphasizes the importance of making informed decisions independently.


Political parties have noticed the influence of social media figures, with some influencers approached to promote party agendas. Mahapa, who declined such offers, stresses the need for responsible use of this influence. Marketing spending on influencers has surged by 78% in three years, highlighting their growing role in public discourse.


Johannesburg resident Fay Williams, 35, follows influencers like Samantha Jansen and Darren Campher, who discuss South Africa's political situation. Williams values the awareness influencers bring to the voting process but believes personal research is essential for making informed choices.


Influencers like Mahapa advocate for "edutainment" – educating and informing through entertainment. As South Africa approaches a pivotal election, the role of social media in mobilizing the youth and fostering critical thinking becomes increasingly evident.



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