Transnational hashtag protest movements and emancipatory politics in Africa : A three country study

This study explores three of sub Saharan Africa’s hashtag movements: Zimbabwe’s
#ZimbabweanLivesMatter, Es watini’s # Es watiniLivesMatter and Nigeria’s #EndS ARS hashtags.
Theore tically, we rely on the transnational alternative digital public sphere and hashtag activism to
understand how social media acted as a meeting place for mobilization and building cross bounda-
ry pollination and unitary movements. This investigation relied o n a combination of virtual ethnog-
raphy and purposive sampling as methodological approaches. Thematic analysis was the analytical
tool employed with four themes informing this investigation: democratisation and human rights,
transnational solidarity, states ’ response to hashtag movements and use of parody accounts as a
counter hegemonic strategy. The study found that these hashtags and movements achieved a modi-
cum of ‘success’ by forcing some of Africa’s enduring dictatorships to make piecemeal concessions
of varying degrees.


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