I, like many South Africans, have been fascinated by the meteoric rise of Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif, popularly known as Sho Madjozi. This young lady who is proud of her African roots, and especially her Tsonga culture that is fused into her colorful fashion sense, was born in Shelley Village, Elim, in Limpopo.
Until now, I knew very little about Madjozi’s background, limited to the 2 South African Music Awards and 1 BET award that she received earlier this year..
I have now learnt that she has travelled the continent and the world, and achieved a lot more for her young age of 27.
But the release of her latest song, titled John Cena, captured the biggest attention yet. This feat inspired this blog post.
So, you don’t know who John Cena – the American professional wrestler, actor and television personality who calls himself the “Prototype”? You obviously don’t follow the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on one of ZA’s free TV channels .
Sho Madjozi’s #JohnCena song became a global success in less than 2 weeks
Here are the tweets that plot the main events that saw the #JohnCena song become a global success:
Sho Madjozi launches the #JohnCena video on Youtube.
A new wave takes the #JohnCena trend to the next level, with #JohnCenaChallenge
John Cena’s fans from across the world take part in the challenge, some singing and many others dancing to the Sho Madjozi tune. The Mzansi Youth Choir’s #JohnCenaChallenge dance takes the cake for me.
The WWE publishes an article about the song on the official Website.
The Youtube video hits 1 million views.
Mzansi’s mass media catch wind of the trend, and join in the fun.
As I publish this blog post, 2 weeks and 1 day since the #JohnCena video was published, it has been viewed 1,833,622 times! This is well-deserved for one of South Africa’s rare talent. I am officially one of her big fans.
The overwhelming love shown to Sho Madjozi is captured in the social media stats
The growth of Madjozi’s followers and enthusiastic interactions (likes | replies | comments | shares) across her 3 main social networks for the period 12 to 28 August 2019 say it all.
All there is to a Engagement Rate (ER) is an indication of the extent of involvement of one’s followers. Not surprisingly, Instagram and Facebook have higher ER than Twitter.
The growth of followers is more pronounced when broken down into daily movements in the graph below.
When Sho Majozi published her Elle cover on the 23rd, follower growth spiked across her 3 social media accounts.
While #JohnCena was blowing up globally, Sho Madjozi’s Limpopo Provincial government did not seem to take interest
Well, I say this because the Provincial government did not participate in the social media euphoria, which peaked between the 21st and the 23rd of August. Even the excuse that all this happened Women’s Month did not move the Office of the Premier to want to say something about one of Limpopo’s best female entertainment exports.
Using Twitter’s advanced search feature reveals that there has never been a mention of @ShoMadjozi from the official Provincial government handle. Ever.
To give credit where it is due, the Limpopo Tourism has tweeted about Sho Madjozi. But even this account did little to leverage the #JohnCena trending topic. The only form of participation was a retweet of this tweet .
3 reasons why the Limpopo Provincial government must get involved in the success of Sho Madjozi?
In addition to her rising star, Sho Madjozi wears the fact that she comes from this Province on her sleeve, literally.
Hers is a great story worth celebrating at the highest levels of public office by a Province that has recently been suffering from repeated bouts of negative news, including the VBS saga.
On an equally important point, just type “Limpopo” in the Twitter search window and see which handle tops the list .
Real-life stories by ordinary citizens achieving extra-ordinary things help to make governments relevant to their citizens. They help the political office to connect. They help them to communicate the message that they are “in the know” and “in with the crowd”.
When the former President Zuma joined #TheDabChallenge at he height of this dance move years ago, this gave another side to him. It made him human, like he is “one of us”, like he is in touch with what is trending.
In rural Provinces such as Limpopo, government plays a big role in the lives of ordinary people. The absence of the political support, or at least endorsement, of Madjozi is concerning. This may mean that some of the citizens in the Province potentially do not have knowledge of one of their own who is setting the global entertainment industry on fire, due to Government not playing its role in the spreading of this great story far into the deep rural areas of the Province.
Limpopo Province can learn from the best
As the tweet from the usual suspect here below shows, there is a lot the Province could have done to leverage the recent achievement by its patriotic citizen.
So much can still be done
If I were Premier Stan Mathabatha, I would make a big splash about Madjozi’s achievements and her commitment to promoting her culture on world stages. I would go as far as bestow the Freedom of Polokwane – the Province’s Capital – on her.
Claim her now, Mr Premier, while her star is still rising. But do this only for the benefit of the people of Limpopo.
Nuff said about the missed opportunities.