Ask Helen Zille Gets Global Twitter Recognition
We don’t know who started it, nor why. But a uniquely South African Twitter trend has gone global.
Edit – We do know now: It all began with local musical comedian Daniel Friedman, popularly and Twitterly know as @Deepfriedman who tweeted: “My new advice column, ‘Ask @helenzille’. In which Helen Zille helps answer life’s difficult questions. Or ignores them.”
DFM then asked the first, of what has subsequently become thousands of, #AskHelenZille questions: “I’m afraid of the dark. Is this normal for an adult, or should I feel ashamed?”
The rest is all thanks to Helen Zille and the fact that she is one of the very few South African politicians who not only uses Twitter, but also knows how to use the micro-blogging service well.
Hundreds of tweets posing some rather bizarre questions to Madame Zille have been posted to Twitter over the past few hours.
#askhelenzille is the hashtag on everyone’s finger tips at the moment it seems, and the results are far reaching – it’s the first truly home-grown Twitter meme that we’ve spotted that has reached the top 10 Worldwide Twitter Trending Topics lists. And it’s climbing.
Far from being offended, upset or bitter about some of the more unnecessary Ask Helen Zille questions, the Twitter-savvy DA leader seems to be revelling in the opportunity to pick up a little free global fame:
Ms. Zille has even taken the time to answer some of the (more sane) questions that people have asked:
Love that last one! I wonder if she’d go with “Helen Zuma-Zille” or stamp her authority on the relationship immediately by going with “Helen Zille-Zuma”?
Good on you Madame Premier – a politician with a sense of humour who doesn’t want to ‘closer’ Twitter down. There’s hope for us yet!
PS: How do you tell when a Twitter Trending Topic has made the big time? When 3 out of 5 tweets using the hashtag are spam that’s how: