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Black Twitter rolls out red carpet for awards

Fikile Mbalula stands a chance to win.
Fikile Mbalula stands a chance to win.
Image: Esa Alexander

This evening Black Twitter will celebrate and recognise tweeps (Twitter users) who have set the social media network abuzz this year.

The black community social media group, which acts as a change agent, will roll out the red carpet online for the 2018 Black Twitter Awards.

The awards, which are the brainchild of television and radio personality Spitch Nzawumbi and television producer Portia Gumede, hope to attract a bigger audience in their second year.

"The concept ... was fun when it started. It was a matter of saying, 'hey, it's almost towards the end of the year, how about we have some awards' and we're like-minded and we just met and discussed it and said 'let's do it'," said Nzawumbi.

Unlike other awards ceremonies, users don't have to dress up and head to a venue. They simply show up on "Twitter red carpet" in the comfort of their own home.

Fikile Mbalula's tweet
Fikile Mbalula's tweet

"Everything happens on Twitter, on the timeline. [Last year] there were even tweeps who would quickly go home [from work], change and take a picture and say this is what I'm wearing," he said.

The event has grown so much that sponsors have now come on board to support a few of the 18 categories, including the Couple of the Year, Tweep of the Year and the Funniest Tweep of the Year.

Couple of the Year winners will be treated to a weekend away at the Kone Boutique Lodge in Limpopo.

For those on social media platforms, it only makes sense that users such as Taka Tina and lawyer/influencer Karabo Mokgoko are nominated in the Tweep of the Year category.

Other categories include Photographer of the Year where renowned entertainment lensman Austin Malema is a nominee, Brand of the Year, Controversy of the Year, Feminist of the Year, Troll of Year where former police minister Fikile Mbalula is a nominee as well as Scandal of the Year where former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba is nominated for his sex video.

Taka Tina
Taka Tina
Taka Tina's tweet
Taka Tina's tweet

"This year we've got a new category called Skaba Hemisa award, which is basically a newcomer, somebody who has achieved so much. It could be an influencer, it could be somebody who is young who got a breakthrough on television, on radio or wherever," said Nzawumbi.

Millions of local users subscribe to the Black Twitter narrative which has, among others, changed perceptions and forced big brands to reconsider their stance.

Recently, insurance company Momentum bowed to Black Twitter pressure and made an about turn to pay out a R2.4m life cover claim that it had rejected for alleged non-disclosure.

"We're also change agents in South Africa. When I say we challenge the status quo that is exactly what change agents are about."

Some of the nominees

Funniest Tweep of the Year: Taka Tina1, Vuyo Unchained, Lenohang Tlokana, Kelz @coconut

Photographer of the Year: Austin Malema, Lwando Mxutu, Neo Baepi, Bra Daki

Brand of the Year: Dijo by Las De Chef, Tshepo Jeans, Sinous Lines Design, Corium SkinCare

Troll of the Year: Mbalula, Adv. Barry Roux

Controversy of the Year: Jackie Phamotse, Ntsiki Mazwai, Masechaba Ndlovu, Adv. Barry Roux

Skaba Hemisa Award: Mihlali Ndamase, Moshe Ndiki, Kaya Dlanga, Lasizwe Dambuza

Best Threads Awards: Mbali Ndlela, Dr Sindi Van Zyl, Taka Tina1, Karyn Maughan

Scandal of the Year: Malusi Gigaba, Masechaba Ndlovu vs Babes Wodumo, Skinny Sbu, VBS Bank

Twar of the Year: Anele & Uyanda, Bonang and Phil Mphela, Dr Tlaleng & Flo Letoaba, Redi Tlhabi & Malusi Gigaba

Photographer of the Year: Austin Malema, Lwando Mxutu, Neo Baepi, Bra Daki

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