Two days ago, after musician and TV presenter, Nandi Madida shared an image from a photoshoot that she and her husband, Zakes Bantwini had recently done - an anonymous Twitter account went on a rampage against Madida and other celebrities claiming that her husband was unfaithful to her and that she had witnessed it first hand.
Her claim immediately caught people’s attention and her follower count shot up within a matter of hours. People bombarded the anonymous social media user, begging her to “spill the tea,” which she later did in the form of a Twitter thread.
Said Twitter thread however was all claims, no proof, and yet people lapped it up. There were a number of users who dismissed the claims for their lack of proof but common sense is not as common as one may think.
In the days following her claims, she has since gone after other celebrities and made additional claims of cheating in addition to labelling certain South African celebrities as homosexual. Again, with no proof of her claims…
All the while, the ZAlebs team and other publications have been tagged in the anonymous tweeps’ claims (both by her followers and herself) in an effort to get us to “investigate” her claims and give them a platform to be seen by larger numbers of people.
There is a reason why there has been radio silence on her claims from all major publications - her approach is very dodgy.
She is using an anonymous account and refuses to make her identity known to the very journalists she wants to publish her claims. Journalists are bound by an ethical code that requires them to protect the identity of their sources so she has no real reason to hide from us. The only time a journalist is legally obligated to reveal the identity of a source is when a crime has been or is about to be committed.
In addition to all this, she has been changing the names of the people that she allegedly knows to be linked to these artists while openly sharing the names of other people she knows to be linked to artists - a clear sign of inconsistency.
It bears repeating that she has shown no proof whatsoever of the things she allegedly witnessed first hand.
Which poses a question for those who want us to investigate; if all this girl has done is make claims without giving solid leads, what do you want the media to do?
To hack Zakes Bantwini’s phone and hope for the best? (which is illegal). To follow Zakes Bantwini around and hope we see something? To repeatedly call the Madida family and hope they say something?
The media (especially publications such as ours) is subject to verbal abuse and criticism on a daily basis but no one takes cognizance of the fact that the audience is bloodthirsty.
Calls have been made for us to publish more “positive” content but those calling for said content remain silent whenever it is published.
They are nowhere to be found when; readers ask “who cares?” or when a social media user deflects from the positivity of a story by bringing up the past transgressions of a subject of a story.
When we commend celebrities such as Nomzamo Mbatha, Anatii, Gigi Lamayne and Ayanda Mankayi among others for their work with the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, the silence is palpable. But, when we report on AKA’s alleged mistress, the proverbial noise lasts for days on end.
The audience (as supportive as they are) are also incredibly blood-thirsty and the demand for more information regarding the unfounded claims made by this anonymous user are just a drop in the ocean of proof of this fact.
So, the next time you angrily wish to post one of those “the media” posts, always remain aware of the role played by the audience in this vicious cycle.
Main image credit: twitter.com/nandi_madida