Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula Picture: Twitter
Johannesburg – If there is one minister who has managed to win the hearts of social media users, it is Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Apart from his political credentials, Mbalula has earned popularity through social media, boasting 660 000 followers on Twitter and 432 000 followers on Instagram.

Besides the occasional Twitter war, or Twar, Mbalula has mastered his “social media public relations strategy”.

Some of his recent clap-backs include tweets about a story line on SABC2 soapie Muvhango and a follower told him to watch Mzansi Magic series The Queen on DStv instead.

“Fikile Njayam, stop watching that rubbish!! And watch The Queen!!.”

Mbalula clapped back and told the follower to stop bragging about a DStv package that only cost R29 a month.

“That rubbish is watched by 5 million more people than those who watch The Queen, suzenza betere with your R29/a month DStv. HASKA”.

It is without a doubt that Mbalula appeals to both young and old, perhaps because of his bubbly personality. He is outgoing, often seen rubbing shoulders with South African and international crème de la crème of the entertainment and sporting industries like DJ Tbo Touch and Floyd Mayweather.

Although his social media etiquette has been labelled un-ministerial, the minister has earned the “cool” title.

His fluency in popular culture and understanding of the unwritten social media rules make him invincible against trolls, entertaining and fun.

One thing South Africa agrees on when it comes to the minister, is his ability to use social media to draw interest to sport. Making his portfolio attractive and relatable even to those who have little interest in sport.

When Independent Media approached him for an interview, he declined to comment.

“Look I am not eager to do this honestly. It doesn’t fall with our strategy of communications,” he said.

PR and brand strategist Simphiwe Majola agrees that social media is important as it increases brand visibility.

“It creates social currency and increases brand visibility. People know about you through social media. It promotes the brand and can work as a marketing strategy. Social media can also make or break a person’s reputation, depending on what he posts."

Sunday Tribune