#ThisFlag: Social media and cyber-protests in Zimbabwe

Shepherd Mpofu, Admire Mare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This qualitative study demonstrates how Zimbabweans are rejecting and appropriating certain national identity icons and reclaiming others as a way of challenging the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)‘s contested stranglehold on power. In a context where the ruling elite have deployed patriotic history and other related nationalistic paraphernalia, the creative use of the national flag by #ThisFlag protestors suggests that ordinary people have the agency to mount an oppositional and revisionist historiography. The chapter also argues that digital media technologies have made it possible for cyber-communities to sprout and gain traction as ordinary citizens in the diaspora and mainland reclaim their country. It also interrogates the ambivalent roles of the clergy in postcolonial Zimbabwe given the cooptation and demonization tendencies of ZANU-PF towards those who critique its ruling style.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 2
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030326821
ISBN (Print)9783030326814
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • #ThisFlag
  • #ZimShutDown
  • Cyber-protests
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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