New York– When we got our invite to a philanthropic social media panel held by She’s The First, a philanthropic organization founded by Tammy Tibbets, we couldn’t be more excited. As avid fans of Twitter and Facebook, we are well aware of how organizations and individuals from the Continent and Diaspora are making impact and creating change.
What we didn’t know was that one such individual, Alek Wek, was also doing the same. Ms. Wek was on hand during the event, last week, to talk about how she’s using social media to make a difference back home. Thanks to event organizers, including Stephanie Scott, and Ms. Wek’s publicity team we had the distinct honor of interviewing her prior to the conference. Check out our Q&A below.
Africa Style Daily: We didn’t know you had such a love of Social Media! What sparked it?
Alek Wek:I must admit that I’m still new to social media, having just joined Twitter in November of last year. So I’m still on a bit of a learning curve and I have to remember to make time to update my followers on what I’m doing. But what sparked my interest is the ability to get and receive information so quickly. It’s amazing really and I enjoy getting fun, and sometimes very important, information from Twitter.
ASD: How have you been using the platform to connect with your fans?
AW:I’ve been connecting with them in so many ways. Some people just ask what I’ve been up to, some ask for advice, and some people just want to let me know how I may have inspired them. I’m always so touched by their genuine outreach to me. It’s funny because just the other day I was walking my dog in my neighborhood and someone who recognized me came up to say hello. We chatted for a bit and next thing, I see her on Twitter moments later talking about the fact that we’d met. Social media is really a fantastic tool and platform.
ASD: We see that you’ve also been using it as an activist platform, tell us more?
AW: Yes, it’s been great. I’ve just agreed to go with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on a mission back to my native land in South Sudan in July on the 1-year anniversary of it being an independent nation. I’m very excited about this and I don’t want this to just be my journey but it is a journey for everyone who cares about what’s going on in Sudan and helping the people. So UNHCR and I launched a Facebook page – see it here – that will be used to keep people updated on the trip and I’ll be posting from South Sudan throughout it.