Siyanda Mohutsiwa is a writer, satirist, TED Speaker, Pan-Africanist and former aspiring mathematician who is obsessed with the Internet.
Equally renowned for her political satire as for her thought-provoking stance on weightier matters such as the online radicalization of members of the racist, misogynist movement associated with radical white supremacy, Siyanda Mohutsiwa has gained a loyal following.
She describes her journey from the slow realization of her multi-faceted Africanness to the success of her twitter movement — #ifAfricawasabar.
The movement was inspired by Siyanda’s own personal experience, her travels in Africa, her readings of African intellectuals and the dawning realization that, in her words, “many Africans know even less about other Africans than some Europeans do about Africa as a whole.” The continent has a young population bursting with creative energy and with good ideas, but shaky governments and institutions could lay the potential to waste.
She details how through Twitter and other online platforms, young Africans can discuss the future of their continent in real time without the restrictions of watchful government, borders and finances.
When Mohutsiwa’s hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar exploded on Twitter, the viral thread (which pondered the hypothetical bar mannerisms of various African nations) became a platform for everyday Africans to unite in a playful exploration of the complex geopolitics between countries and a witty dialogue on national differences.