It’s never too late to tweet
The First Lady of South Africa and the wife of the Kenyan Prime Minister took to the stage at #socialgood today and made social networking history. The moderator of the conversation was Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a famous performer who sang her first question to Madam Tobeka Madiba Zuma (South Africa) and Dr. Ida Odinga (Kenya.) It was a gorgeous, uplifting moment to start a conversation about beginnings.
Dr. Odinga replied graciously that she would not be singing her answers, but talked about the importance of social media for her particular cause: cancer. “Now that cancer is being addressed at the UN, we hope that it will get the attention it deserves.
Social media is taking over communications for people – you can raise so much more awareness,” she said.
Madam Tobeka Zuma also talked about her foundation, which focuses on empowering women to promote health initiatives and education about diseases. They both noted that networking is an important way to promote their causes.
It was an easy segue from earlier in the day, when the Social Good Award had been presented to the President of Tanzania. President Jakaya Kikwete noted that he believes mobile technology is the only way his country has been able to make huge improvements in maternal deaths, and in the general economic health of Tanzanians.
He told the UN Foundation’s Peter Yeo that Tanzania planned to connect 11-thousand kilometers of fiber optics to connect every district hospital, pharmacy, and other services. He promoted e-education, e-health, and e-government. President Kikwete said: “It’s good, but not good enough” at this point and looked toward securing better services to his people with the use of ICT.
Though the two distinguished women had terrific understanding of the social media sphere and its power, neither one had ever logged on to Twitter or sent a message. Call upon Hans Vestberg, who had two Sony Ericsson Xperia phones in his pockets and helped them send their first tweets.
From @unfoundation, they wrote: “happy to send my first tweet and support” and “I tweet to ensure every woman is healthy + able to take care of herself + her family”
Thus social media history was made. Remember the feeling of your first video phone call? You feel about as proud of yourself as when you learned to ride a bike. And like riding a bike, once you’re up and running, you just go with it. I hope they continue to tweet to spread the word of their worthy causes.