Destiny magazine’s choice for its December cover girl, namely Wits SRC president Nompendulo ‘Ulo’ Mkatshwa, has spurred furious debate about the face of #FeesMustFall. AAISHA DADI PATEL explains.
After several tweets hinting at who the cover star may be, Destiny tweeted a shot of the cover early on Sunday evening. Their choice was not particularly surprising – Mkatshwa, together with other Wits student leaders, has been featured heavily in media coverage of the FeesMustFall protests in recent weeks.
— DestinyConnect (@DestinyConnect) November 15, 2015
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Destiny – as soon as the picture started circulating, Twitter was set aflame with people debating its choice of cover girl.
Part of the problem was the fact that #FeesMustFall has always aimed to present itself as a broad-based, non-political student movement, in which everyone’s voice has equal weight. To put a single student on the cover, many argued, ignored the contributions made by everyone else.
17. For @DestinyConnect to highlight ULO is failing to see that different leaders emerged within this movement.
— Impi isesendeni (@fistvoices) November 15, 2015
Her ANC affiliation was scrutinised by some, particularly as she was wearing ANC colours on the cover. But others pointed out that she’d never hidden her affiliation during the protests.
Some commenters argued that Destiny had made it appear as though #FeesMustFall had been led by only one person. Others argued that although Mkatshwa had been put on the cover of the magazine, no one was actually calling her the face of the movement.
My view point is one. Let us not victimize Ulo. I am under the view,however that our revolution need not a face.
— palo. (@ThisIsPalo) November 15, 2015
Radio host Redi Tlhabi pointed out that Mkatshwa’s contribution did not negate that of others.
And others pointed out the hypocrisy of armchair activists who now chose to criticise her for being in the spotlight.
Some yall were protesting while sitting in front of ur big screens watching Ulo match in the Sun, now you crying coz she’s on #Destiny ekse
— #MoAfrikaWaAfrika (@MolefeNthabs) November 16, 2015
Meanwhile, former SRC president Shaeera Kalla, another prominent student leader involved in the #FeesMustFall protests, failed to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s deeply saddening how ppl will now fight about recognition, who was there through it all & who wasn’t. Who cares?The struggle continues! — Shaeera Kalla #Oct14 (@shaeera_k) November 15, 2015
Is Ulo appearing on the cover of Destiny magazine on her own really that big a deal? As the SRC president, does she have the legitimacy to do so? Or is it a selfish move? Comment below, or tweet us your thoughts @thedailyvox!