South Africa’s wireline and wireless telecommunications provider Telkom has come under fire for using photos of white women who probably are not South Africans to commemorate the women’s day of August 9.
The communication company has in what appears to be yet another social media misstep, released a message on its Twitter account this morning wishing women a happy Women’s Day, but the stock photo they chose probably didn’t even come from South Africa.
The image features two white woman, what could be a Chinese or other Asian model and someone who could pass for anything from Hispanic to (maybe) a South African colored woman.
Obviously, what the image fails to take into account is that black women happen to be not only the largest group of women in South Africa – they are actually the largest single group in South Africa statistically.
Among those who came up in criticism of the company is the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema who is known for his fight for what he called the “South African black rights”. He referred to Telkom’s post as a “misrepresentation”.
@TelkomZA and then this misrepresentation?
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 9, 2016
Next to Malema’s comment is another commentator who interpreted the message by saying that maybe there had been a black woman around but she was off making “tea for the madams”. While another responded by providing the company a “suitable picture”and said “you could have used this”
@TelkomZA I guess she’s making tea for the madams…
— How I lost a Milli.. (@Royal_Boiketlo) August 9, 2016
— A (@InsaneCreature) August 9, 2016
Following how the misstep is trending on twitter for the wrong reasons, the company is expected to issue a public apology in a short while especially as South African women are celebrated today.
This will be the second time Telkom has come under fire for misrepresentation. Earlier this year, the company was criticized for choosing to use Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt to market one of its products despite the fact that South Africa has a world champion athlete of its own, who will be going for gold at the Olympics this month, Wayde van Niekerk.
Meanwhile, the EFF has issued a message to all women in South Africa as they celebrate their day. In the message posted on the party’s website, the party encouraged women to work harder to ensure that women are not left out in the economic, political and social changes that the country undergoes.
The party however reminds women that South Africa attained political freedom as a result of women struggles and sacrifices and implores the SA society to be guided by the wisdom of the revolutionary President of Mozambique the late President Samora Machel.