When it is all said and done and life has finally left the body, you really do want the departed to rest in peace regardless of how much you loved or hated them. My notification ringtone buzzes, the LED blinker blinks, and the notification bar displays the blue bird facing to the right. I pull down and tap; it reads me to the hashtag, #RIPMugabe and by evening, “Mugabe” is trending with hundreds of thousands of tweets.
As I scan through the various tweets and comments, three thematic emotions emerge (and boom! I am thematic analyst just like that). While I attempt to analyze those three thematic groups of people, I am happy to see that they all end with the RIP thingy. Now, I understand that the RIP thingy on Twitter and other social media platforms has multivariate and totally distinctive meanings that often result in confusion of meaning thereby allowing subjective interpretations. I shall be as subjective as is humanly possible because I feel like the spirit of Uncle Bob is watching me! Back to the three thematic categories of tweeting about Uncle Bob’s death. I have classified them as the Mugabmirers, the Mugabigots, and the Mugabaddles.
The Mugabmirers are those who express sheer admiration for the fallen anti-imperialist. Tweeps in this category are truly mournful that their icon, hero, and self-grabbed son of the soil is indeed headed back to the soil (oh well, at least his characteristic philtrum beard will). Mugabmirers largely comprise extremist anti-white-occupancy, anti-colonial, and anti-imperialist pan-Africans who feel that the man did such great service to Africa by fighting for her liberation. They are facing a severe social media bashing for mourning Uncle Bob’s departure from the second category. Yet, they are hell-bent and adamant for their love is as one-sided as their subjectivist opinion. They blame imperialism for standing in the way to African sovereignty and they have no love for the African traitors who wine(d) and dine(d) with the colonizer, the slave master, the Johnny… Mugabmirers‘ tweets hail the, “Keep your Britain I keep my Zimbabwe” and, “The Security Council should be reformed” kind of anti-imperialist messages.
Make no mistake though! They are not at a total loss; they just want their legend to sincerely RIP while everybody else takes stock of his legacy – particularly the taking away of land from the White colonial masters and giving it to the Zimbos irregardless (see UK’s life) of how that went down. It was not Uncle Bob’s fault according to the Mugabmirers. In fact, some prefer him over Mandela because Uncle Bob left the Zimbos with land while the latter left poems and quotes.
There are generally more Mugabigots and Mugabigotic tweets than there are Mugabmirers and Mugabmireric tweets. The Mugabigots hated the man alive and hate him more while dead – while he has no capacity to hate back really. The man is dead and they are hating his deadliness too. They do not like how he crippled the once-stable Zim. They are mad that the man’s approach to governance left Zim a Currency Displaced Nation with unemployment rates competing that compete with oxygen molecules in count. If they could, I figure they would resurrect Uncle Bob just to pluck his nostril hairs, slap the man dead again and cast him into the hell they want him to be already in with no hope of resurrecting on the millionth let alone the third day.
If it were up to Mugabigots, Hell fire on the Bob guy would impatiently ignore the rules of the apocalypse and the Armageddon – it would come sooner just to take him and, if it had to delay a bit, that would be because it would be warming up (call that heating up) in readiness for Bob. Surely, goodness and mercy would not follow Uncle Bob’s soul if it were up to the Mugabigots. Their tweets are full of spite and their comments towards the tweets posted by Mugabmirers are rebuking and castigating for they see nothing worth applauding the man about. They equate his character mainly to greed for power and riches. They see no good in glorifying any of his achievements and actually question his guts to stand up against White imperialism.
Then there are the Mugabaddles. These ones are utterly addled about whether Uncle Bob is a hero or a villain. They might appear to be the more objective kind that does not contain a whole human person under a single blanket cover of admiration or condemnation. They see his land reforms as heroic and his call for African sovereignty doubtlessly pan-African. Sure, they question his casting of doom over the once prosperous Zim. They also cannot understand why he held on to power so long, but they are not very unforgiving. They neither label death cruel for taking Uncle Bob nor do they thank death for taking him out. Their RIP is more resigned and with little emotion. Mugabaddles are watermelonic and would wish that Uncle Bob would have lived a little longer if only to help them come up with tantalizing memes.
Whether you are a Mugabmirer, Mugabigot, Mugabaddle, or anything in between or around that, you simply want that soul of Uncle Bob to rest in peace. Mugabmirers will certainly not want to chant praises to a spirit. Mugabigots would definitely not want him alive especially considering his history of not dying as soon as they may have wished death on him – I mean, Bob had steel balls to oppose anything including death wishes by Mugabigots. As for the Mugabaddles, we wouldn’t want them more addled or would we….?