The first time this word mobilization made an impression acutely during the election campaign for 2009 election in our country. It is a word that continually makes the rounds in the lips of the center as it rallies support towards its goals. Undeniably other cliques utilizes it when they lead heir affiliates towards mass action to see their agendas to fruition.

In the context of the 2009 elections it was often employed to incite the citizens of the republic to rally behind the ideology of democracy by going to the polls; we can anticipate spat of mobilisation the word gazillion times with the advent of the municipal polls in the new decade (the teens). Let us observe the structure of this word. It is an eleven-piece letter word; it can be broken down to the root word mobile. Interestingly when it is brought to this simplification it gets closer to the word mobil (by omitting [e]) which has a closer connotation to the name Mobil which is the name of an American oil company. Sticking to the word mobile [an adjective] we can a whiff of such gadgets as cell phones, laptops, camera and mp3 players. But then again these entities have been merged. It is possible to get them bundled into one device. Witness the tablet.

Let us reroute back where we began. In essence Mobilisation is derived from the word mobilise [verb] (its opposite Immobile [adj.]); the political connotation of the global word mobilisation is closely related to the rallying of the masses towards a particular goal often with promises for a better outcome. There are of course spontaneous mobilisations (plural) that occur when the society is incited by dissatisfaction.

In such incidents we often witness organised or disorganised groups spring up to rally themselves against the manner in which they are being governed. The spontaneous mobilisation of the masses can range from mild to extreme often at the destruction of the meagre resources that might have sparked the very mobilisation in the first instance.


10 December

© Mmutle Arthur Kgokong 2010


1. I particularly have in mind protests that usually occur due to poor services by the public sector. i.e. the protest against open a air toilets in the Western Cape in 2010.

2. See also the article The Centre’s Loss of Plot at


Dear reader the author does not claim to be a linguist neither does he move towards philosophy through his writing; the writing is a meditation on the ‘word’ as it makes its presence in the author’s psyche; while the writing tries to locate the word in its presence popular usage