We live in an era where social media is at the epicentre of everything we do.
On the mainstream front, apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok keep techno-savvy users pretty busy.
That’s not taking into account the deluge of less-popular platforms as well.
Connecting with others locally and around the globe can be positive in that you get to interact with like-minded people, build your network, are privy to breaking news stories, check up on what’s happening in the life of your favourite personality or self-help guru, learn new things and the list goes on.
But the benefits are not without drawbacks. There’s trolling, cyber-bullying, doxing, and attention-seeking to contend with, too.
Celebrities, influencers and regular folk are all connected in this new way of life. And this is where things get interesting.
In this society, where likes and followers are a sought-after currency, egos soar and, in so doing, the devil-may-care attitude of certain individuals.
While cancel culture is a minor deterrent for celebs and influencers, the truth is that it is a terribly short-lived reality and many continue forging ahead in their careers.
As such, many fearlessly cross that fine line between being outspoken and attention-seeking.
I know I’ve rolled my eyes plenty of times when I stumble across certain posts. The more controversial they are, the more eyeballs they attract, though.
Of course, when it is plain insensitive or in poor taste, said individuals get dragged.
Should the flak prove unbearable and/ or costly (as those highfalutin lifestyles don’t pay for themselves), they backtrack and apologise.
There are, of course, a few repeat offenders who seem to get off on the attention.
Mazwai rules the roost when it comes to finding fault with industry heavyweights. In fact, few have been spared the poet/musician’s wrath to date. Or maybe their time is yet to come.
Her litany of insults – some admittedly bordering on the absurd – go back several years.
Remember when she threw shade at Pearl Thusi for trending after she landed a key role in the US series, Quantico?
Mazwai felt she overshadowed the late Winnie Mandela’s 80th birthday. She also attacked Die Antwoord for “appropriating Xhosa culture”.
This year, she didn’t hold back. She went after DJ Zinhle after she launched Hair Majesty.
In her thread of rants, she chastised celebrities for glamorising and selling booze and foreign hair.
She also likened the sales of weaves of peddling drugs.
Her defamatory comments on embattled former radio personality Thato “DJ Fresh” Sikwane resulted in him obtaining a restraining order against her.
She also challenged EFF’s Julius Malema over his lack of leadership in lockdown.
More recently, she took a potshot at Queen B.
She tweeted: “Rihanna is not self made. She is a character like a Bonang. Where whites inject money and sell their projects thru them.”
Even Thuso Mbedu was criticised for being “over-hyped”.
Former radio host and podcaster MacG is guilty of slamming (and shaming) celebrities. Earlier this year, he got heat from the LGBTQI+ community for his transphobic comments. His slut-shaming of Boity Thulo didn’t sit well with the Twitterverse either.
And not long after, he infuriated Bonang Matheba with defamatory comments made on his show and she retaliated with a lawsuit.
As for rapper Cassper Nyovest, is there anyone he isn’t beefing with? Now that AKA is keeping a low profile since the tragic passing of his fiancé, Nellie Tembe, he has moved on to other artists, Prince Kaybee and Riky Rick being among them, as well as his detractors on social media.
No one is spared his clap backs, which he clearly feels entitled to.
Thusi, on the other hand, seems to get into trouble for her bad timing more than anything else. Aside from her twars over colourism, she put her foot in it with a “Happy Lockdown” post and for an inappropriate response to a post on the passing of Khanyi Mbau and Lasizwe’s father.
Even popular social media influencer Mihlali Ndamase felt the heat with an insensitive post about “looting Merc” while the country was in the throes of violent pillaging in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Every now and then, Gareth Cliff ruffles feathers on a topical issue. His standpoint, while defended to the hilt, are never popular.
Radio and TV personality Anele Mdoda’s unrelenting diss of Kelly Rowland saw her dragged through the mud. Generally, I don’t mind her comments. She keeps it real. But, for some reason, she was really salty towards the American singer. I still don’t get why, though.
And, last but certainly not least, there is Kelly Khumalo. She is without a doubt one of the most trolled personalities.
Generally, she defends her life choices. But when she tires of the lambasting, she hits back like she did earlier this year when she told gospel fans to unfollow her if they took issue with her lifestyle.
The bottom line is, sometimes rants are a necessary evil for celebs.
But when inflammatory posts are put up on a regular basis, it stops being a point of view and becomes a self-serving initiative to stay relevant.
These individuals have a platform where they can affect positive change and address pertinent issues.
But it is marred by their sour grapes attitude. And, that for me, is what’s truly sad!