He is a banker with a black belt in karate. And he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his tweets. The opinionated Sentletse Diakanyo shares some of his thoughts about Twitter.
What won’t you tweet about? And why?
I generally tweet about current affairs. It is what is out in the public domain and what generally is of interest to most people. I deliberately do not tweet about my personal life or interests. I don’t believe it is of anyone’s business or interest. And also because I am tweeting to strangers. There still has to be some level of acknowledgment that we are not communicating with our best friends.
You have more than 30k followers. Do you know who these people are? Who do you imagine them to be?
I know a few of my followers personally and some have gotten to know them online. The large majority of them I don’t know and will most likely never know. I do not concern myself much with who is following me and for what reason. There is nothing that I tweet that is not already in the public domain. It may be my commentary on such issues that may be slightly different. We all don’t think and interpret events the same, after all.
When you tweet, who do you think is listening? Do you keep any particular people in mind when composing tweets?
I honestly just tweet what I’m thinking at a particular point in time, or what I have come across in newspapers or on TV or Radio. I do not compose a tweet with the aim of targeting an “audience”. Unfortunately they are not paid tweets
How and why do you think you became such a hit on Twitter?
I suppose because I ‘speak’ my mind on issues and sometimes express an opinion that others may restrain themselves from expressing. Also things that I tweet about are generally topical and of interest to most. But I know that some are often not happy with my view on particular subjects, e.g. Religion, abortion, traditional circumcision, etc. I do not think there should be any subject that should not be tackled, if needs be.
Which of your tweets have gotten the most reaction, good or bad?
I once tweeted that Jesus was gay and Christian fundamentalists on Twitter wanted to lynch me. It was a view I expressed after reading certain gospels about Jesus which supported it but obviously it was something that most people weren’t ready to hear. Also, a blog I once wrote that whites are not Africans caused a stir on Twitter. The reaction wasn’t expected but it generated a lot of interesting debate.
Have reactions to your tweets prompted you to change your behaviour on Twitter?
No, not at all. I do not tweet to please anyone or seek validation from strangers.
What do you think makes the South African Twitter landscape unique?
We have diversity and that transcends into our social landscape. We pretend to unity as a nation, but generally we are very divided on majority of issues. Even among Africans, we are not united on issues of culture and its traditions, etc. We are divided on the future of the country. We are divided on the transformation agenda, etc. All of these divisions often play out on Twitter. We all have opinions on one thing or the other. And I like that we are not afraid to disagree and often passionately so.
- Read an article about Diakanyo on the Mail&Guardian’s website: #AngryBlacks: Twitter champ banks on controversy.
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