Minenhle Radebe (20) is a second-year politics and economic history student at UCT. She’s also a quirky Twitter activist. She recently used her 140 characters to lobby for a hip-hop tent at this year’s Rocking Daisies. Earlier this year, she shut down the Tiger Tiger relaunch in Cape Town.
Mini is outspoken and “in your face” on Twitter. Her witty posts, satirical memes, and healthy dose of shade, caused a ruckus on the Rocking The Daisies and Tiger Tiger social media accounts. In real life Mini’s shy demeanor surprisingly contrasts her online persona.
@miniradebe vs. @RockingTheDaisy
Mini went to Rocking The Daisies (RTD) for the first time in 2015. The absence of hip-hop at Daisies, a festival dominated by genres like EDM and rock, made the festival seem centered around white entertainment. “I thought it would be great to have a whole tent for hip-hop,” she says.
So earlier this year, while sitting in a political sciences tutorial she started tweeting about how awesome it would be to have a hip-hop tent at Rocking The Daisies. Little did she know that her artist suggestions, satirical memes, and incessant tweets to Rocking The Daisies would result in a trending hashtag #HipHopRTD2016. Eventually, Rocking The Daisies released a statement expressing their dream of one day having a hip-hop tent which was later followed by the announcement of Pop Bottles, a popular hip-hop events company, teaming up with them to launch the festival’s first hip-hop tent.
@miniradebe_ vs. Tiger Tiger
In June, Mini also lobbied Tiger Tiger to postpone their relaunch in Claremont, Cape Town. Tiger Tiger, a franchise club, is known for being a hotspot for racist, sexist, and homophobic club goers.
One of the issues that female Facebook users expressed was being asked to dress up, or “dress to impress”, while their male counterparts were allowed to arrive any way they wanted. This double standard is said to have been one of the ways sexism reared its head at Tiger Tiger.
Not liking the idea of a place opening with so many acts of discrimination being ignored, Mini got to tweeting.
She had never been to Tiger Tiger, but she wanted to spread the stories of those who had been discriminated against. She felt that Tiger Tiger had not truly addressed the real issue of discrimination at their club which fueled her incessant posting on their page along with other Facebook users. “People think I’m aggressive, but I just don’t think what people are doing at Tiger Tiger is right,” she says.
The power of social media
Her lobbying for the hip-hop tent made her aware of just how far her reach was on social media. She joined Twitter in 2011, but only really saw her following increase towards the last few months of 2015 when she started to use the platform more. “I’m there 80% for learning, especially coming into my understanding of feminism,” she says.
She believes social media can be used to improve the lives of others. “It seems like a bit of entitlement, or a God complex, to diminish social media activism because someone is on the ground versus online,” says Mini. Even though some people online think of her as an activist, Mini struggles with fully taking on that identity.
She is just a girl who speaks out online about what she thinks is right or wrong. She may make the country laugh while posting memes to shade wrong doers, but she understands the power of social media and the responsibility that comes with it.