Hate her or love her, Sheilah C Gashumba is proving to be a powerful social media influencer. This is an undisputed fact! Her recent wanton tweets have no doubt reset the agenda for many Ugandans on social media.
Without holding an expensive international conference with specialists of labour rights, ethics in journalism, or fair employment, she has singlehandedly recast the issues of just remuneration, minimum wage, journalists’ meagre pay, oppressive employers, abuse of journalists’ rights, challenges of working in the traditional media in Uganda, etc. Without calling a press conference, Sheilah has opened Pandora’s box on fair pay for media workers – freelance or salaried. Without organising a protest march, she has mobilised online fighters and hacktivists to dissect, discuss, debate and dwell on the shitty pay that presenters receive from multi-billionaire TV stations in Uganda.
The issues of Sheilah’s incomplete education, her lack of traditional qualifications, her youth, her parentage or family background, her height, her dance strokes, or her publicised sexual history do not efface or diminish the powerful articulation she makes. Not even her brazen style of expression negates her ability to reshape the agenda on social media here in Uganda.
And so; yes! This loud mouthed PhD is saluting, ululating and clapping hard in praise of Sheilah Gashumba. I am recognising the achievement of a young woman who raised her voice against oppressive employers in Uganda, Africa, the world. Sheilah is teaching communicators how to firmly reset the agenda and fire up national discussion. Those with ears must listen! Study her strategy to learn how she has achieved what many spend forty years trying to do.
Dr Stella Nyanzi is a human rights activist
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