The art of Ga­saing

CityPress - - Opportunity index - TO Molefe’s Twit­ter pro­file pic­ture

Last year, re­searcher, an­a­lyst and writer on gen­der, po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural is­sues Nom­bon­iso Gasa (@nom­bon­iso­gasa) took then-sus­pended Cosatu gen­eral sec­re­tary Zwelinz­ima Vavi to task about his sex­ist slur against his sex­ual as­sault ac­cuser (in which he re­ferred to a grown woman as a “girl”). She did so in a dizzy­ing se­ries of 34 num­bered tweets.

Just more than two weeks ago, she broke her own record and sent 80 tweets (in just un­der three hours) re­gard­ing the let­ter re­ceived by AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo ask­ing him to step down. Gasa is not the first Twit­ter user to make use of num­bered tweets as a mini-lec­ture, but she is cer­tainly one of the few to use them as a tool to ar­tic­u­late long and of­ten com­pli­cated thoughts and ideas, hence the term “Ga­saing”.

Ga­saing refers to the ex­haus­tive use of num­bered tweets, of­ten to set another user straight. Last week, writer and colum­nist Tlot­lang Osi­ame Molefe (@TOMolefe) chan­nelled the spirit of Gasa when he “ser­monised” about how black­face is never okay.

Although Ga­saing has the po­ten­tial to be used by cy­ber­bul­lies, when it’s in the right hands, it can be a force for good.

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