Swapo to use TikTok in campaign to charm Gen Z

Swapo presidential candidate Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says the party will use social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter (X) and YouTube, as part of its campaign to reach voters and move with the times.

The party will also use its website, radio programmes on Radio Energy and Namibia Today. Nandi-Ndaitwah said this when she launched the party’s campaign instruments in Windhoek yesterday.

Namibia Today stopped printing in 2015 under editor Asser Ntinda, but Nandi-Ndaitwah relaunched the online newspaper yesterday, saying its importance cannot be over emphasised.

“Namibia Today will resume its vanguard role to provide authoritative accounts and analysis of social, political and economic events,” she said

She said the newspaper will provide feature articles, commentaries and editorials from the vantage point of Swapo.

“It will expose and debunk fake news and misinformation and provide a credible narrative about the Swapo party, the presidential candidate, other leaders and party members,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

Two weeks ago, Swapo central committee member Paulus Kapia said Namibia Today will expose what people do in their bedrooms.

According to Nandi-Ndaitwah, the radio programmes will focus on various policy issues of critical importance.

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) spokesperson Moses Shikerete says given the fact that society is currently controlled by technology and the flow of information has migrated to digital platforms, Swapo has to move with time.

Moses Shikerete
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah

“This will help us reach our members and aspiring members. There will be a direct link and access to party information. Over 70% of our population is the youth, hence this is a one-stop center for them to engage with the leadership,” he says.

Shikerete says SPYL is involved in the process.

According to Shikerete, Swapo has demonstrated that the future of the party is in the hands of the youth.

“The question of beneficiation is no doubt. The youth will benefit fully from these platforms if they become highly innovative and smart,” he says.


Political analyst Ben Mulongeni says Swapo’s decision to use social media platforms to campaign is long overdue.

“It’s a normal thing that they should have done long ago. Even small organisations have their mouthpiece,” he says.
He says social media will play a big role in garnering the youth vote.

“Speak the language the young people want to hear. Their needs are housing, jobs and so on,” Mulongeni says.

He says Swapo should do away with expired politicians because their ideas are outdated.

Political analyst Rui Tyitende says any politician that talks of “prosperity”, “youth empowerment” and all sorts of buzzwords without qualifying and quantifying how and when they will be realised, ought to be taken by the electorate with a pinch of salt.

He says it is election season, thus most politicians should be expected to say things they do not mean or understand.

“How can Netumbo be taken seriously on youth matters if she recently lamented that she will increase the old age grant to N$3 000 without a tangible and elaborate commitment to young people she purports to care about?” he asks.

Tyitende refers to this as another case of the old governing the young in the interest of the old.

Henning Melber

Political commentator Henning Melber says the tools announced for the media campaign are designed to create visibility at different levels and they make sense in an election campaign.

He says, however, Namibians tend to vote by political and even emotional affinities shaped beyond the messages in these forms of communication.

“In the case of Swapo, the reanimation of Namibia Today most likely seeks to appeal and revoke feelings of former, more glorious days. This will only work with the elderly, who most likely remain the segment of society most loyal to Swapo,” Melber says.

He says the performances transmitted by modern electronic communication tools (in particular TikTok) will most likely not convince many members of the younger target group to vote for Swapo, unless they had made up their mind before.

“The same might apply to YouTube, maybe less so on Facebook, which is similar to Namibia Today and more a means of messaging of yesteryear,” he says.

He says parties are measured by their daily performances and the ideology and history associated with them, or in the case of newcomers, by the hope and expectations vested in them and their promises.

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