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Are You Really a Social Influencer?

Lazola Pambo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of South Africa. He loves all things artistic.

Woman in black long sleeve

Are You Really a Social Influencer?

What really is a social influencer? Do you believe it to be what you think it is?

How discouraging to realize our state of consciousness regarding such a term. Many regard social influencers as individuals, who devote their time on media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and you name it.

All in the name of promoting products for businesses in many instances. Now, I am not here to advocate that people should stop using social media but I am primarily sharing my point of view regarding what I have raised above.

A real authentic social influencer, is not somebody who captures the minds of people, by remaining in hideout for the whole day, in the comfort of his or her home, texting messages or uploading pictures for all to see.

The argument is that we have lost touch with regards to defining the role of a social influencer, even though surprising enough, the phrase speaks for itself.

Society is in the state of chaos that it finds itself in because the real social influencers: who have the duty to serve the community for a positive outcome, somehow vanished or are the same individuals who are in hideout.

Often we reflect back on history in order to understand the balance and imbalance of our future. What I mean by this is that: whenever you go back to the golden age of the leaders in Africa, you find yourself appreciating their social influence within their society at large, alongside people who lived in it.

By the way, I know that human beings sometimes hate facing the truth and often come up with extravagant excuses. Some are quick to say, ‘but those were the days and now the times have changed.

We can no longer carry the torch like the same way our forefathers did before us’. Now this is where my frustration begins because yes, I do admit, we are no longer facing that monster called apartheid, nor are our fellow brothers and sisters being taken hostage as slaves in some deserted island, but the fact remains, we have dropped the baton and we are not of social influence.

Our social influence is rather clumsy in most cases. We find ourselves being infamous martyrs in clubs, taverns, horse racing events and God knows what else? I still maintain, I am not here to tell you how to live your life.

Of course, life has to be enjoyed and that is totally understandable, but for how long do we go on a drinking spree and forsake our communities?

To be a social influencer is not necessarily about politics but is about the

Humanity, towards other fellow human beings. Africa finds itself in a bending position.

Many prominent individuals of our continent, who possess the ability to bring change in the rural and urban areas, are fixated with the concept of being a media social influencer that has a million followers.

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All to find out that the same followers, are just riding on an empty band wagon, trying to imitate the same individual, whom they have subscribed to.

Instead of posting ‘Likes’, why can we not go to the burdened communities and draw liking by feeding and clothing the ones in need?

Instead of posting ‘Emoji’s’, why can we not go light up our elders faces, by trying all means to get safety for them: in order to see no upset faces.

We talk about social influencers as if we know the meaning behind it: when it goes to show that many of times, we confuse the phrase with our interpretation.

You cannot tell me that you are a social influencer, by virtue of posting pictures or videos of a toothpaste brand.

You are in fact an isolated influencer because those very same toothpastes, should not dangle in the atmosphere, but they should reach the hands of the communities in need.

Yes, I understand that many media social influencers, are mainly in the business of promoting these various products, in order to feed their families.

I have no issue with that but my issue which I will not deviate from is that: to be a social influencer, we all have to play a role within the communities.

Why do you think we celebrate our past heroes and heroines? No, it is not because they were political leaders or acquaintances of religious movements, but it is primarily the case of their actions as uncontested social influencers.

True, you may argue, that they did not live in the age of social media.

The point of the matter here, is that we are not talking about social media but we are raising issues regarding social influence within our communities.

How does it help you to defend a gadget or an application that is limited on a play store?

What we should be concerned about; is our contribution to the high stakes in our society.

While you are busy social media influencing, remember there are children in the rural areas and townships, who find no joy in cellular phones but are happy to play ball with empty stomachs.

It’s also not about the children not being your responsibility or not being your flesh and blood because one day, the very same child, we have neglected all this time, could be the same child, who is voted into power and we as citizens, would have played no social influence in the outcome of that child.

So I ask you once again: do you really understand the meaning of a social influencer?


© 2022 Lazola Pambo

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