Twitter’s biggest hits of the year

By Rudzani Mtshali Time of article published Dec 28, 2018

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LEBANI Sirenje deserves credit for consistently sending social platforms into a spin and producing a barrel of laughs with his paintings.

Sirenje, also known as Rasta, has paid tribute to late celebrities and prominent figures, including former president Nelson Mandela, Struggle icons Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and gospel stars Lundi Tyamara and Sfiso Ncwane. And each time, he took flak for his work.

Many also questioned his optical health, adding that he always painted his imaginary friends.

A lot happened during the year, and people always took to their gadgets to share their views or vent on social media, especially Twitter.

The #MarkFishChallenge really takes the cup. The former soccer star was paying tribute to late musician Bra Hugh Masekela, but tweeted a picture of Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse instead, starting a new trend that had many giggling.

The #JuliusMalemaChallenge was also a big deal for a very long time. The EFF leader spoke fondly about Mama Winnie during her funeral service and further vented at detractors, enemies and even party comrades, saying he wanted to send a message.

This statement: “Mama, you never told me how to treat them when they come here. I’m waiting for a signal, Mama, on how to treat them,” stood out for most and spawned the challenge, which trended for weeks.

Then there was the #IdibalaChallenge. Although it did not hang around the social media streets for too long, it had many eating out the palm of King Monada’s hand.

In videos shared rapidly on different platforms, fans took videos of themselves simulating a fainting spell.

The challenge came after Monada’s latest hit song Malwedhe about a person who gets a disease when their partner cheats, resulting in the person fainting.

Next entered the #KupeChallenge. Here, a video of four men from France doing choreography to Ghanian-born singer Ebony’s hit song Kupe stirred up the internet and people went bananas over it.

While most dance challenges were quick to become old news, the #KupeChallenge remained the talk of the town for a while -largely due to the four-man squad’s good looks.

It was announced that the source of listeria had been tracked down to an Enterprise Foods factory in Limpopo, leading to the immediate removal of processed meats, including polony, from many stores’ shelves.

And as South Africans rushed to return their food, Mzansi had zero chill and flooded social media with memes and witty videos.

Shamba the Lion had social media users in a frenzy after he was put down. He was shot and killed after attacking his owner Michael Hodge in May.

People were so dejected they even held a memorial service for the lion, saying that shooting him was cruel.

Many people were left in stitches during that time by all the memes doing the rounds.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s leaked sex video deserves a mention.

Gigaba might have apologised to his family for the embarrassing them, but Black Twitter was having none of that and reared its humorous head.

Musician Lady Zamar should not be left out because of the outfit she wore to the Miss SA pageant in May.

It got the Twittersphere judging, commenting on her looks and saying they were disappointed that she had attended the country’s biggest social event looking like her neighbour had designed her jumpsuit.

Then there was that Bonang Matheba tax saga. She was charged with tax evasion and appeared at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court several times, before settling the dispute with Sars after admitting her guilt and paying a R30 000 fine.

Let’s conclude with former president Jacob Zuma deciding to “move with times” and join Twitter. Tweeps conceded that 2018 should end following that announcement.

Tweleb Taka Tina should be credited for having more than 110000 followers. Dubbed the “King of Threads”, the Port Elizabeth tweleb also kept people entertained.

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