Like money, social media has a funny way of peeling the layers off a person, revealing the individual hiding behind the flexing or generosity. It’s said that with great power, comes great responsibility and it’s in how one utilizes that “power” which tells you wassup.
This is in light of Lasizwe Dambuza’s distasteful post in which he patronised people he supposedly bought electricity for, saying they should use ugesi weR100 wisely. As if he was dangling his phallus, he included notifications from his banker about the purchases he made with each person’s meter number in the open for his 637000+ followers to see yesterday morning.
While some of his followers lashed-out at Khanyi Mbau’s younger brother, he was equally applauded by people who said he’s acts will encourage other celebrities to do the same. Later in the evening he tried, cringingly so, to amend for the callous behaviour in the morning with a post of himself using his electricity wisely, by switching off lights he doesn’t need. This at a time when Eskom isn’t so desperate for allies.
I don’t know Lasizwe personally, but I can only assume the naivety of youth bullied him into a corner. But influencer philanthropy has become commonplace in South Africa with the growing number of social media users in the country. Thus presenting levels to this giving-game being played.
While Lasizwe might be viewed as a boorish philanthropic influencer, Somizi Mhlongo and his lover Mohale Motaung would be seen as the classier version. The newly-weds launched their Somhale Foundation last week and by Sunday they were in Ekurhuleni giving out grocery vouchers worth R500 to 400 families. The foundation has already partnered with government, with the Somhale Foundation present when Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzawandile Masina and Premier of Gauteng David Makhura launched the Ekurhuleni Food Bank.
Their collaboration with the government further helps in distributing necessities to families in need. It doesn’t reek of erraticness, which often leaves recipients of the goodwill feeling less than human. There’s planning.
One could blame them for publicising the charity work, but what’s interesting is that they’ve encouraged Somizi’s three million Instagram followers to donate whatever they have-be it blankets, food, clothes- to the Somhale Foundation so that they’ll disperse in the areas they’ve identified. You have to admit it though, if you believe the couple is doing this to boost their egos, they’re sure putting in a lot of work.
Bonang Matheba’s Twitter timeline is littered with gratitude from people she’s given grocery vouchers to. This is the generic nauseating stuff of celebrities on social media. It does not look sincere when throngs of people on her TL detail their struggle, like beggars, looking for the mighty Queen B to come to the rescue. In her defence she did encourage people to Directly Message her, but it’s tasteless to have those exchanges on social media for people to see.
But it’s something we have to make peace with, the growing number of pseudo-donors because such acts are just consequences of living in a capitalist society where the environment encourages people to put themselves before others…even when giving to others.