The art of Gasaing
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.