How to capture the best Twitter memes in South Africa

Apparently, I take the best Mzansi Magic Twitter memes, an accolade I accept with humility. I have often been asked how I capture my memes. So, to save myself the trouble of explaining the same things repeatedly, I have decided to write this tutorial.

Picture quality

A good meme is like a well-rolled blunt, it is supposed to be shared. Puff-puff, pass. So, if a meme is going to be shared, it must retain its quality. This therefore means that the meme originator must take the best possible picture quality so that even after the meme has gone through several replications it retains its clarity. Most of my Twitter memes are screen grabs from Mzansi Magic channel on DSTV. To ensure good picture quality, you should use a high-definition television as well as the best camera setting. If you are going to capture Twitter memes from a mobile device connected to DSTV or Showmax, make sure you project the device screen to your television. Trust me, memes captured on a phone are often not the best picture quality.


Constantly producing great Twitter memes does not happen by accident. Okay, sometimes the best memes do happen by accident but, as the saying goes, success is when luck meets preparation. When you have been shooting memes for as long as I have, you already know your best meme source, i.e. favourite TV show. Ahead of the show, clean your source screen, this makes a difference between an A grade meme and an ordinary meme. Position yourself directly in front of the screen – the TV at 12 o’clock and you at 6 o’clock position – and have your camera fully charged. You don’t want to start running around after the show has started.

Know your actors

If you have been following a TV show, you will already know which actors are the most memeable, that is the TV personalities who give the best memes. On Mzansi Magic, actors like Moshe Ndiki, Themba Ndaba, Zandile Msutwana all possess the most expressive faces. Their hand gestures also make for a gold mine of Twitter memes. Once you identify your best memeable actors, you should always be ready to hit the camera button.

Where to find the best Mzansi Twitter memes

The best memes are those that are relatable. As far as South African Twitter goes, local is lekker. The best TV channel to harvest memes are local stations; SABC1-3, Etv, Showmax and all the DSTV channels. But here is a little-known fact; the social media platforms also offer great memes. On YouTube, Mzansi Magic channel posts regular video clips where the pause and rewind buttons are perfect for screenshots.

Things to avoid

Capturing top-class Twitter memes is not just about pointing your camera at the TV screen. There are bad photography habits to avoid.

Sunlight may be good for taking selfies out in the garden. But glare from the window can bounce onto your TV screen, ruining your image quality. To keep out glare, use the darkest available curtains/blinds. If you cannot control glare from the sun, aim to capture your memes when the sun isn’t interfering with your picture quality.

Symmetry is everything. Avoid holding your camera askew or shooting from the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position. For symmetrical memes, you should be at the 12 o’clock position to your TV. Below is a perfect example of what not to do!

For perfect symmetry, see below:

Avoid subtitles. Even though subtitles are necessary for people with hearing impairment, any screen text could clash with the message or mood of your memes. If subtitles are unavoidable, always try to crop them out of your meme or use a picture editing app. You could also conceal the subtitles with your personal watermark.

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Featured image from Twitter