Media in the Celebrity Culture Sphere and Other Essays follows Bertha Mkwelele as she reads the written academic materials of her late daughter Neema Edward Mkwelele, who unexpectedly passed away on February 21, 2011 at the age of 22, and contemplates her legacy.
Neema was born in Tanzania on January 5, 1989. She studied in Kenya, Canada and the United Kingdom, including at the University College of Falmouth, Falmouth, Cornwall (2007 to 2010), where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) in Broadcasting in 2010. She also went to study at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as an international exchange program student. The essays Neema wrote are about society’s issues, including safety and security concerns with online information sharing. We live in a period of time where discussions about social media safety and security are tied to the entertainment industry, the technology industry, and individual needs to socialize and network. On one hand, this is marvellous; on the other, it can have negative emotional impacts on vulnerable people. Neema’s essays share valuable information. She was a great thinker and writer at very young age. In her short life, she lived thoughtfully and intelligently and made an incredibly personal contribution to the ongoing discussion about the impacts of social media. In her work, she touches on the fundamental challenges of security and explores how society struggles under the tremendous costs caused by insecure information sharing. This book is a vehicle, an eye-opening tool to stimulate discussion about issues with social media that are as prevalent today as they were when Neema wrote the essays. Bertha (Neema’s mother) hopes that the whole world will read Neema’s work and treasure it, because Neema had an interesting perspective. Her work will make you think about social media differently. In this book, Bertha positions herself as one of the audience as she reads and studies Neema’s academic papers. She encourages other people to become Neema’s audience too.
This book will inspire you to stay objective in the world of social media. Remember, the media is our primary source of information and it is the main way we acquire knowledge, which is empowering. But it is also full of danger, just like the physical world.