I am Leinyuy Marie Clair Bongkireh . I am a Cameroonian from the western part of Africa. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Presently, i am a masters student of public relations at the university of Greenwich.As a lover of politics, I look forward to specializing in political PR after my masters studies. My blog will be analyzing the use of social media by the 23 presidential candidates in the 2011 presidential elections in Cameroon and other political issues in Cameroon.
How political candidates navigated the social media landscape during the 2011 presidential elections in Cameroon December 8, 2012
Ekindi and social media December 4, 2012
Ekindi, the famous “lion hunter” of the 1992 presidential campaign is an old hand on the social media scene with a long, albeit irregular, presence on Twitter and Facebook. Ekindi also had a website, which was not particularly geared toward the 2011 election.It is amazing the way he used social media.
Paul Abine Ayah
Paul Ayah did not have a website or a Twitter handle, but his campaign team was very active and present on Cameroonian e-groups and Facebook. In fact, Ayah had two Facebook accounts; a Facebook profile with over 5000 friends and a Facebook page with only 13 fans – a sign that Ayah’s dynamic campaign team had not fully understood how Facebook works – A Facebook profile is a personal account which, by default, is only visible to friends. Facebook pages, on the other hand, are visible to anyone on the Internet by default, and are therefore more appropriate for public figures who want to create a solid and authentic public presence. Although Ayah’s Facebook profile is open to the public, his campaign would have been more online visible if he had used his Facebook page as his primary campaign tool.
Ben Muna was one of the newest arrivals on the social media scene, but he hit the ground running with a flashy bilingual website, a regular updated Facebook page, and twitter timeline which was quite active during the presidential campaigns since his candidacy was officially confirmed by ELECAM. Most significantly, Muna was the only candidate with a dedicated YouTube channel.
There were at least four Facebook profiles and one Facebook page dedicated to the SDF Chairman, although it is doubtful that any of them was officially sanctioned by the Chairman or the SDF. In short, the SDF/Fru Ndi had no Facebook presence – an indication that the party is in dire need of a new generation of leaders and activists at ease with modern communications tools and strategies.
An SDF-News Twitter account was created towards the election but it did not seem to be part of any concerted SDF communications or campaign strategy since it carried little or no SDF campaign-related information (at least, as of Sept 16). It is not clear if the profile was created by an SDF party sympathizer or by the party. There is also an SDF website which as of September 16 had not been updated since August 2011. In short, the SDF seemed to be a very reluctant player on the social media scene, if at all.
Edith Kabang Walla 45 popularly known as Kawalla was the lone female presidential candidate for the 2011 presidential elections.
Her campaign was run under the slogan ”The time is now”.Her main campaign activists were young people. She targeted mostly women.She tried to rouse their support as she said during her visit to Bamenda,the North West region of Cameroon that ” women are excited about having a woman candidates, but the challenge is to get them active .We need to see them register ,vote and seek to be voted across all political party lines”
In addition, there are dozens, if not hundreds of videos of and about her on YouTube and elsewhere thanks to her vast network of supporters. Surprisingly, Kah only established a Twitter account during the elections but rarely tweeted, thereby missing out on a chance to interact directly with some of the political and media powerhouses who could have given her campaign additional visibility.