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The Hashtags, Memes and Gaffes That Drove Africans Crazy on Social Media in 2015

Perhaps you spent 2015 in that vicious cycle of procrastination called ‘social media’ and had your finger on the pulse (keyboard) ready to let loose on Facebook, Instagram and all the rest at a moment’s notice.

But we know you missed some, you probably even sulked… your razor-sharp tweet a couple hours too late to jump on the Twitter bandwagon.

And if you were too busy doing more productive stuff, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a curated handy list of some of the best social media hashtags, memes and gaffes that got Africans going crazy.

1. #MugabeFalls

We all take tumble every now and then, but when Robert Mugabe does the whole world took notice.

When the Zimbabwean president missed a step when visiting supporters in Harare, someone helpfully took to Photoshop to start #MugabeFalls. The rest is history.

 

Mugabe on a horse, Mugabe bowling, Mugabe playing Quidditch with Harry Potter… the only restricting element of the trend was the Twittersphere’s imagination – which did not disappoint.

Africans took it a step further:

No chill.

 

2. #KenyansVsZimbabweans

One thing we learnt this year is that you don’t mess with Kenya on Twitter. Remember what happened when CNN called Kenya ‘a hotbed of terror’?

So when The Spectator (wrongly) attributed a hateful rant to Uncle Bob Mugabe against Kenya, that included, ‘they qualify as the best thieves’ and ‘you can even think that there is a subject in their universities called Bachelor of Stealing’, Kenyans concentrated their finest talent on the hashtag #KenyansVsZimbabweans.

Zimbabwe wasn’t spared Kenya’s wrath. One tweet led to two, three, then a furore of thousand others laced with obscenities and rage towards all things Zim; from their currency to their women all under the hashtag #SomeoneTellMugabe and #KenyansVsZimbabweans.

3. Obamania bruh! This mania cray!

Obama’s visit was nothing short of a media plague that spread through Kenya.

In fact, the mayor of Kenya, in last minute preparations of Obama’s visit to Kenya, gave the grass an ultimatum of two days to grow.

It’s a known fact that US president has roots in Kenya and it was a humbling moment for a son of the soil to return as a visiting president of the greatest nation in the world.

Obama’s visit was documented by holders of flashing rectangles, lights beaming in their eyes. Until next time!

4. #SecShoolInNigeria

Nigerians had their fair share of shinning on social media, devoid of Kenyan bullying. They reminisced about high school and the oddities that made the experience worth a memory under the hashtag #SecShoolInNigeria.

If there was anything striking about these, was the experiences in Nigerian high schools were proximate with those in other African countries’. You be ready to laugh so hard and roll on the floor.

5. #BeingFemaleInNigeria

Talking of which, Nigeria’s celebrated writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche broke Twitter with her banter. It has elevated her to international stardom and has attracted a cult of ardent feminists.

The hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria burst stereotypes against feminism and was also used to share challenges women face in their day to day lives. Forget about cheeky eye sprays used to avert attackers, feminists this time around went bare knuckles.

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6. #IfAfricaWasABar

I had never seen Africa as an entire continent so united on a topic the way they were on #IfAfricaWasABar.

Africans invited other Africans to give them views about their countries. And social media erupted in puns. There is something special about bars and liquor that creates a unification factor and eerily relaxes the patrons regardless of what they have been going through.

Perhaps the next time, African countries are baying for eachother’s blood, we should challenge them to spell the name Jack Daniels, and hopefully by the time they finish, maybe ideas of combat would also have effervesced.

7. #WhatWouldMagufuliDo

John Pombe Magufuli, from the time he assumed office of president in Tanzania on November 5, 2015, has been in the news for nothing but the right reasons. It’s enviable

His model is to improve service delivery and cut out the redundancy that comes public offices. He has cut apparent irrelevant spendings, fired incompetent leaders, and heck he suspended the nation’s independence day celebrations in favour of a nationwide cleaning fete.

It was a party for with no ceremony or pomp but just cleaning and more cleaning of the nation’s spaces and surroundings.

8. #PopeInAfrica or #PopeBars

#PopeInAfrica trended the world over as it covered the pope’s busy itinerary in minutiae. Remarkably he prayed for a 24-year-old HIV-positive student in Uganda (who apparently got healed); he prayed in the mosque with imams in CAR; and rebuked corruption in Kenya.

But it was one hashtag, and one gangsta pose, that really got social media talking:

https://twitter.com/Flareseh/status/675425713990688768

9. #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

No commentary needed for this one. This one’s sure to keep on going and going.

10. #FeesMustFall became #ZumaMustFall

#FeesMustFall was probably the most successful activist hashtag of the year. Could #ZumaMustFall rule in 2016?

Welcome to 2016!

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Written by PH

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