Humor

Here is the TikTok resistance; humor and ridicule as a political weapon

If you have a work day ahead of you, it is advisable – to a very good extent – ​​not to open your TikTok; the Ugandan TikTok to be exact.

Of all the social networks, TikTok is the one that allows creative plunder in its processes. It takes little notice of copyright, allowing creatives to borrow from different sets of content to create their own.

Being the social media marketplace of the Wild West or Kisekka, anything goes!

There are plenty of TV public affairs commentaries that are carefully edited, scripted, and presented in circumstances that make them funny. There are clips, dozens of them, of Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, looted from their more serious context, they were uttered and featured in meme culture to further a joke or to reinforce some form of ridicule . Then there is an account there; “meme.junkies” which rewrites key national moments and redistributes them for use as meme videos that are both humorous and derided. For an outsider, it’s all to further the ends of humor. You can often catch a Kenyan or a Tanzanian using the same thing for their own situation, but underneath this culture that has been bred on TikTok is real organized public affairs ridicule.

TikTok itself is most prominent in countries with heavily divisive politics, the kind where participation in political affairs is about picking a side and fighting for them until the last box office is closed.

In Uganda, TikTok flourished as a banal resistance to the political establishment. He did not spare the enablers of the political establishment; churches, Saccos, etc. He targeted the manners of these institutions – those who are the most expensive and ridiculed them. You can find, on Ugandan TikTok, a church hymn reduced to “Binyanyanya” with people funny dancing to it.

There’s also no limit to the swear words that are dropped there. They come hot, fast, hard and concrete.

In a country where young people barely have a platform to respond to the establishment, TikTok’s duo feature enables an immediate response. It also allows for humor and comedy as a coping mechanism for the general helplessness that many young people find themselves in.

So Uganda’s TikTok revolution, which was built on ridicule, copyright plunder and political resistance, is now becoming a voice for many. Because where people can’t find words, or where those words would be accompanied by a drone, a TikTok video serves the purpose perfectly. Where state agents crack down on political rallies and lock up opponents, TikTok offers a community of challenges that can be shared between community and generated humor.

It’s a form of resistance guns and money can’t repel – and that’s the beautiful thing about it. That this is a resistance that will take real political work to undo – if it is to be undone anyway.

Bring a good pair of Ugandan TikTok ribs, but if you must, pack a good pair of political lenses too.

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