Ntsiki Mazwai: The mediocre Twitter activist no one asked for

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It’s not surprising to see that Mazwai has joined the transgender hate train, since she finds every reason to stay relevant by popping onto our timelines every once in a while. Photo:  Archive
It’s not surprising to see that Mazwai has joined the transgender hate train, since she finds every reason to stay relevant by popping onto our timelines every once in a while. Photo: Archive

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As if implying that sleeping with married men is acceptable wasn’t enough, the insufferable Ntsiki Mazwai is at it again, this time with a series of transphobic tweets that have rubbed Twitter users the wrong way. 

In a since-deleted tweet on January 16, activist, author, songwriter and poet Ntsiki Mazwai wrote: 

“Can we ask people who were born as men to find another term for themselves? The term for women already exists and we won't be erased. Find another term to refer to yourselves… transgender ladies will not do… you’re males.” 

With over 370 000 followers gullible enough to value Mazwai’s outrageous hot takes, the debate surrounding transgender people and their existence in this world has been circulating South African Twitter timelines once again. 

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In recent times, we have seen the rise of what we call TERFs (Trans-exclusionary radical feminists), some bigger names in the movement include Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling and motivational speaker and author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The term TERF is used to describe a radical feminist whose belief system rejects the notion that trans women are women, and that they belong within the feminist movement. 

It’s not surprising to see that Mazwai has joined the transgender hate train, since she finds every reason to stay relevant by popping onto our timelines every once in a while, with some scandalous opinion that gets people talking. 

Even after countless call outs, Mazwai didn’t stop there as her rantings took a darker twist: 

In a since-deleted tweet, Mazwai added: 

“Secondly...no, I don’t believe our creator makes mistakes in creating people exactly how the creator intended...at all.” 

It seems the point flew right over her head with this one.  

Various accounts of the trans experience are prompted by an overwhelming sense of disconnect between the gender they were assigned at birth and the way they feel internally and wish to be perceived within society. By Mazwai’s own logic, transgender people are created exactly the way the creator intended.  

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As the forgotten stepchildren of second-wave feminism, TERFs seem to easily forget the existence of transgender people throughout history, their documentation as early as 218 AD through the Roman emperor, Elagabalus, and their documentation throughout African history as genderless deities and even the representation of these deities through ancestral callings.  

For so long, Mazwai has paraded herself as a fluent and powerful intellectual mind and activist, with mind-shattering ideologies that the country believed it needed to hear. Her career was founded on her ability to piece together a string of words which falsely presented her as a liberal with an open and accepting mind. 

It seems transgender people plague the minds of TERFs even more than fighting for the rights the feminist movement was founded upon. With gender-based violence and femicide at an all-time high in South Africa even for transgender women, there are more pressing matters than discourse surrounding whether or not we should allow transgender people to live freely and honestly within our society.  

In 2021, Mazwai called Nasty C mediocre, which only she would know since she has spent two decades in the industry, being more mediocre than any other activist, artist or creative. It might be time that we talked about how to efficiently deplatform Ntsiki Mazwai.


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