By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Ghanaian celebrities including Glo Ambassador Van Vicker through the use of the various social media platforms were able to galvanize an appreciable number of Ghanaians from all walks of life to stage a peaceful street demonstration in Accra at the weekend, against the current erratic power supply in the country.
The frequent power outages nick named in a local Akan parlance “Dumsor” meaning ‘Off, On’ has been going on for almost a year in Ghana, affecting businesses and evening forcing some manufacturing companies to lay off its workers due to the unprofitability of running operations on fuel.
Although the government on a number of occasions has promised to solve the problem, no or little commitment has been seen on its part to address the crisis. Patience has run out for the government as lots of Ghanaians especially celebrities took to their twitter, whatsapp, facebook and instagram platforms to express their frustration and anger against what they described as the government failure to end “Dumso” in Ghana.
Ghana’s celebrated Actresses Yvvone Nelson, Lydia Forson and famous Hiplife Artiste Sarkodie together with Actor and Glo Ghana Ambassador Van Vicker spearheaded a night vigil protest against “Dumsor” using their social media and the response to their call was overwhelming. It all started with #DumsorMustStop, which got retweeted 27.4 thousand times and is still trending.
A lecturer at Ashesi University, Dr. Esi Ansah said in an interview that the peaceful protest which attracted majority of well meaning Ghanaians from different backgrounds attest to power of social media and the immense influence it have on people of all ages. She noted that it’s a wakeup call to Ghanaians especially the government communicators not to underestimate the power of social media platforms hence the need for them to effectively use these channels to communicate meaningfully to the populace.
Credible statistics from a one of Ghana’s leading digital marketing agency PopOut revealed that #DumsorMustStop got about 43,545 mentions on various websites and social media platforms. It indicated that it also had about 7 million impressions and 2.5 million reach on twitter as at 18th May, 2015.