Winnie takes Twittersphere by storm and connects with supporters

2013-10-18 00:00

WINNIE Madikizela-Mandela has taken the Twittersphere by storm and became an instant hit within hours of entering her #winniemandela handle on SA’s social media.

Madikizela-Mandela’s handle became the most popular discussion point on Twitter — amassing more than 7 000 followers within 48 hours and tweeting 90 times since Tuesday and yesterday afternoon.

Madikizela-Mandela said yesterday that she would use her profile in an effort to understand the opinions and viewpoints of others.

She said via e-mail that she wants to be more accessible to her supporters.

“My participation [on Twitter] will be an honest reflection of my ideas and will be an intimate look for people to understand who I really am.”

Madikizela-Mandela said she wants to communicate about serious subjects with young and old on Twitter.

One of her first tweets said: “I refuse to talk to you only at rallies. I have it on good authority [grandchildren] that I would find you here. WM”

Another tweet said: “You, young people determine the discourse of this country. WM”

She also urged tweeters to involve her in their heated debates.

Madikizela-Mandela will also use Twitter to promote her charity work and social activities.

She tweeted yesterday about the movie Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom. It will soon be shown in United States schools to encourage awareness among pupils of South Africa’s history. A study guide for pupils and teachers will also be distributed. The project is a joint initiative of the Weinstein Company and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Well-known personalities have embraced Madikizela-Mandela with open arms on Twitter.

Entertainment journalist and writer Gavin Prins, author of the controversial book about Joost van der Westhuizen and Amor Vittone, tweeted: “@winniemandela is on Twitter. More voices! More opinions! More debate! Love it!”

Many tweeters referred to Madikizela-Mandela as the mother of the nation.

She said she had been overwhelmed by the response, but was happy that she was welcomed with so much love.

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