Encountering African political philosophy and geopolitics through TikTok

Mihle Kambula (Guest Blog)

21 April 2024

News outside the mainstream

The first TikTok page belongs to a gentleman named Godesulloh J. Bawa (@vibesestvida). I came across his page about two years ago and I discovered that he has some fascinating takes on African philosophy, Ubuntu, and politics in general. I watch his videos as often as they pop up on my FYP (For You Page) and I look into his videos when I would like to know more about African philosophers and their theories. He is not my typical news source as I prefer listening to the 702 radio station in the morning and reading current affairs from websites like AlJazeera.

His channel is more for leisure because I believe he has valuable insights into the dynamics and political realities of the African continent.

Credibility questions and strategies

In terms of his credibility, I would like to think that his views are valid because he mentioned that he has an African Studies Degree and he shows the books that he read which makes the audience see how his ideas are formed. By doing this, we do not only rely on him but on other credible political African scholars.

I would not use videos as references for my essays per se but I do think he somewhat shapes my thoughts and opinions on some African political theories and realities.  What he talks about is relevant to my course, especially since this term we are doing African Political Thought which covers colonisation/neocolonialism, pan-Africanism, and the black consciousness movement so I would say his content is helpful to a certain extent. Some of my favourite videos of his are labelled “Development,” “How Colonialism preempted modernity in Africa,” and “Afrocracy II.”

The second TikTok I came across more recently by a woman named Amani Dube (@amanidube1). Her content covers geopolitics, macroeconomics, as well as South African current affairs. Since I only discovered her page a couple of months ago I have not fully explored her content but for now I can say that I enjoy the way she presents current affairs. She, like Godesulloh, is not a news source but I watch her TikToks as often as she pops up on my page. She presents the news by green-screening articles from credible resources like Business Day and AlJazeera while summarizing them to make it easier for viewers to understand. Since I am relatively new to her page, I have not yet decided on how credible her content is but from what I’ve seen so far, her content seems quite legitimate as I sometimes refer back to the articles she green-screens. Her content helps provide current affairs while I randomly scroll through my FYP which is especially important for my politics and economics modules. So far, I enjoy that she entertainingly provides current affairs, especially in her most recent video under the “South African Affairs” playlist.

Mihle Kambula is in her second year of study towards a BA in Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg.