By Gen Terblanche27 September 2023
Unfollowed episode 6: Twitter vigilante Ntsiki Mazwai
Ntsiki Mazwai, featured on Unfollowed episode 6, has used Twitter to attack everything from ANC patriarchy, to those she accuses of prostituting themselves for fame, to white privilege, along with gay and transgender people. Pop your head up, and Ntsiki will have something to say.
“I’ll expose a lot of truths and truth is uncomfortable. They say that the speaker of truth has got no friends and that is what my reality is,” says Ntsiki. “There’s imbongi yomthonyama, who it’s believed that when they open their mouth, they get possessed by the elders. So me, I am that.”
Watch the trailer for Unfollowed
No excuse for abuse
While Unfollowed’s media experts are critical of much of what Ntsiki writes, they also spotlight the misogyny in many of the retaliatory attacks on her.
“Strong women are seen as something that needs to be put in its place. I find attacks on her very illiterate … I’d rather have her as this unfiltered strong person; we don’t see that enough coming from women,” says LGBTQIA activist and journalist Matuba Mahlatjie.
Ntsiki is well aware. “We’re not used to women who are so powerful. Even when they are powerful, they always have to kind of hold back a bit and groom it nicely. But I came in here with my messy hair … How dare I be so confident? ‘Why don’t you just shut up in the corner where you’re supposed to be?’ I think that might be a lot of the issue,” she says. “I don’t think that when somebody is strong, that’s an excuse to abuse them. I’m known for polarising and sparking debates … but I don’t personally attack people.”
Unfollowed highlights the celebs from Lira to DJ Zinhle who might disagree with that!
Paying the price of “truth” – R400 000
Thebekile probes Ntsiki about leaking a Facebook list of men accused of rape in the entertainment industry in September 2019, which led to two prominent DJs slapping her with gag orders and defamation suits for R200 000 each.
She stands by her actions, asking, “There are so many men in the industry who don’t have clouds hanging over them. Why do we not give those men the platform?”
And if that standard means she gets cancelled herself? “If I cannot hold myself in a manner that is responsible and that should be on the public domain, then take me off the stage,” she insists. “I believe in cancel culture and accountability culture.”
In Unfollowed, Ntsiki also talks about how the justice system drives victims to speak out on social media. And media experts and LGBTQIA activists weigh in on her online presence as both a beacon of resistance, and a provocateur whose words fuel active harm in the community.
Each Wednesday, Unfollowed takes us to meet South African stars who are wrestling with life after social media death. Nomsa Philiso, CEO of MultiChoice’s general entertainment division, describes Unfollowed as an opportunity for us to reflect on cancel culture and its place in pop culture – a chance to interrogate whether it’s the best way to deal with people who have been deemed problematic. The show interviews public figures who were cancelled on social media and lets the viewer decide if the treatment in each case was deserved.
Watch Unfollowed S1 on Showmax, with new episodes on Wednesdays.
Unfollowed S1: Nonhle's side of the story
Unfollowed S1: Tol A$$ Mo's side of the story
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