Nicholas Anakwue

Thesis Title:

Identity Formation and Mobilisation: The Influence of Hashtag Activism on Protest Movements in sub-Saharan Africa


n recent years, the proliferation of social media platforms and the widespread adoption of smartphones have provided a new avenue for political activism in sub-Saharan Africa. The digital has emerged as a particularly interesting tool, allowing marginalized voices to be amplified and mobilizing collective action. However, the emergence of collective political identities and the role of the digital in mobilisation, especially in Africa, is complex and not well understood. This proposal seeks to address this gap in the literature by examining the role of hashtag activism in identity formation and mobilisation in protest movements in sub-Saharan Africa.

To address this research question, the proposed study will employ a mixed-methods approach, including both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, with a case study analysis of two specific hashtags that have been associated with political change in sub-Saharan Africa: #EndSARS in Nigeria and #ThisFlag in Zimbabwe.

Overall, this proposal seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the role of the digital and hashtag activism in the formation of collective political identities and mobilisation in sub-Saharan Africa, and to provide valuable insights for those working in the fields of communication, sociology, and political science.

First Supervisor:

Dr. Peter Brett


Anakwue, N. (2017). Nietzschean will to power and the politics of personalities in public diplomacy. SocialScientia Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(3): 1-15.

Anakwue, N. (2018). The African origins of Greek philosophy: Ancient Egypt in retrospect. Phronimon: Journal of the South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, 18: 167-180.

Ogbechie, R. & Anakwue, N. (2018). Ethical principles and practices in Africa. In U. Uzo & A. Kinoti (Eds.). Indigenous management practices in Africa: A guide for educators and practitioners – Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 19. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishers.

Anakwue, N. (2023). Re-centering Africa in the study of ancient philosophy: The legacy of ancient Egyptian philosophy. In M. Ward. & M. Umachandran (Ed.). Critical Ancient World Studies: The Case for Forgetting Classics. London: Routledge Publishers.

Social media: LinkedIn –

X –

Pathway: Pathway 13: PPPG