Cape Town - A new report dissecting how social media conversations might deepen understanding of gender-based violence (GBV) has looked at the killing of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes which triggered several tweets about the abuse allegations against him.
The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change HeCareZA programme is aimed at engaging and supporting men to effectively promote gender equality and to dismantle the cycle of gender discrimination
The report looked at conversations between the sexes online with a view to facilitating discussion on attitudes, perceptions and practices on gender roles and expectations.
The primary source of data for the report was the Twitter platform in February this year. The top topics of conversation in February included the killing of AKA and his friend Tebello “Tebz” Motsoane as well as that of two young women, Ntokozo Xaba and Nosipho Msithini.
The conversations focused on the absolvement of abuse allegations in death and as it relates to celebrity status, as well as gendered behavioural roles and cultural norms and practices.
The report said AKA’s death reignited the abuse allegations against him pertaining to the death of his fiancée, Anele Tembe, who died after allegedly jumping out of the window of a hotel room in Cape Town.
Other social media discussions around AKA’s death centred on his family dynamics, including his coparenting relationship with his daughter’s mother, the dynamics of dating people who have children and the cultural practice of mourning the death of a partner.
The social media conversations surrounding the deaths of Xaba and Msithini included topics tackled by the HeCareZA project, including GBV and dynamics between men and women pertaining to relationships. Comments were found that placed blame on the victims. One comment that received 33600 views mentioned young women at university making themselves “res wives” and dating men for their money. Another called out men for their abusive behaviour and insecurities, while yet another said: “This will never end, until our justice system starts working for the victims.”