Twitter Diary and COVID-19 Survival: The Case of @acielumumba

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10412

Keywords:

Twitter, COVID-19, text, diary, identity, narrativisation

Abstract

This article examines the Twitter diary of Lumumba William Gerald Mutumanje, popularly known as Ace Lumumba in Zimbabwe, which chronicles his experiences of being COVID-19 positive, his recuperation and survival from the contagion. I argue that the Twitter diary attempts to create a resilient and survivor identity for Lumumba and at the same time underscores the fact that everyone is vulnerable and susceptible to the virus. The diary further complicates our understanding of a text and how meaning is generated given that meaning is no longer localised to the immediate (con)text as inferences have to be drawn from and made to other (con)texts. Twitter largely relies on intertextuality and the reader (prod-user/prod-sumer) needs to demonstrate an awareness of intertextuality if (s)he is to have a holistic appreciation of Twitter texts. Lumumba’s Twitter diary also extends debates on the role of social media and infodemics in health advocacy and community education, especially in times of COVID-19.

Opsomming

Hierdie artikel bestudeer die Twitter-dagboekinskrywings van Lumumba William Gerald Mutumanje, beter bekend as Ace Lumumba in Zimbabwe, waarin hy sy ervarings opteken rakende COVID-19-positief wees, sy herstel en sy oorlewing van die siekte. Ek voer aan dat die Twitter-dagboek poog om 'n lewenskragtige oorlewende-identiteit vir Lumumba te skep. Dit onderstreep ook die feit dat almal weerloos en vatbaar vir die virus is. Verder kompliseer die dagboek ons begrip van 'n teks, en hoe betekenis geskep word gegewe dat betekenis nie meer gelokaliseer is tot die onmiddellike (kon)teks nie, aangesien gevolgtrekkings gemaak moet word op grond van ander (kon)tekste. Twitter steun grootliks op intertekstualiteit en die leser (prod-gebruiker/prod-verbruiker) moet 'n bewustheid van intertekstualiteit demonstreer om 'n holistiese begrip van Twitter-tekste te kan hê. Lumumba se Twitter-dagboek dien ook as uitbreiding van debatte oor die rol van sosiale media en infodemia in aanbevelings oor gesondheid en gemeenskapsopvoeding—veral in die tyd van COVID-19.

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Published

2022-03-16

How to Cite

Musanga, T. . (2022). Twitter Diary and COVID-19 Survival: The Case of @acielumumba. Journal of Literary Studies, 38(1), 15 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/1753-5387/10412