A Lonely Afternoon with a Facebook Clone

January 23, 2017
One lazy afternoon I got a Facebook Messenger greeting from what appeared to be one of my aunts. All the cells in my body had to sit up because, in my reclusive life, a message from an aunt usually means I have to prepare for a major event like a funeral, wedding or tombstone unveiling. It’s very rare that they just check up on my disappointing life.
Three interactions in, I started suspecting that my aunt had gone over the limit of her grape juice intake for the day. Her grammar was horrible and we skipped the introductory pleasantries too quick even for someone like me who hates such.
The “80,000.00 cashier check” was a clear sign that I was speaking to someone wearing a gold chain, gold tooth, crucifix tattoo and running multiple Facebook chats from stolen laptops. I had a long boring night ahead of me so I played along.

This dude sends me to a Facebook group which I think would look legit for a non-techie. If smarties can fall for MMM then this page was up to scratch. I mean who would doubt any of this after being shouted at with an “OKAY THANKS” to seal the deal right?

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Or miss an opportunity to be edited into this picture?

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I then launched a complaint/report to Facebook in the meantime, only to realise that it would take a day for them to bring this man down. That’s enough time to attack my aunt’s entire list of Facebook friends. Also enough reason to continue wasting his time…

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Small test to confirm whether this dude has any South African bone in him:

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The rest of the conversation was just me bouncing some startup ideas off him. He eventually gave up on me and probably concluded that I would be a crappy nephew to have.

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Social Media Prophet Going To Heaven Again

May 27, 2016

I received this ad through one of the WhatsApp chat groups I’m part of:

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This comes weeks after our own Pastor Mboro rejected claims (posted on Facebook) that he’d been to heaven and taken pictures with his Samsung Galaxy S5. It prompted me to investigate whether the ad was from another hoax or parody account. Never mind the fact that it was a boring Non-Phuza Thursday evening and I’d run out of chat buddies.

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Chat with Prophet – Part1/4

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Chat with Prophet – Part2/4

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Chat with Prophet – Part3/4

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Chat with Prophet – Part4/4

I also checked out the mentioned Facebook group and you can tell from the style of writing that it’s the same person. I even found a post that further narrates his experience in heaven. God bless the internet!

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My ItemX Is Better Than Yours

December 28, 2015

At the height of individual consumerism or the festive season, I’ve been paying more attention to my social media streams to see traces of Africa’s quest/hope to give the world a more human face.

What I’ve realised instead, is that it’s become popular to not only boast but self-praise with intent to belittle the reader. Common line: “My ItemX is better than yours”. This also ignorantly assumes that the reader has itemX to start with. In most cases, such posts generate more “likes” or “hearts” than a post that says “Think about those friends who don’t have XYZ during Christmas”. Both the performer and audience are ill.

These kind of posts could stem from what used to be innocent expressions of appreciation. For instance, saying that yours is the best mother is often done with no harm to those with dysfunctional families or no families at all. What concerns me though, is how this has evolved from #MySangomaIsTheBest to #MySangomaIsBetterThanYours, as if to direct it at someone.

The counter-argument can be that as much as I’m raising (I’m definitely not the first) the inhumane nature of Social Media, in real life people don’t boast as much or #ItsNotAboutYou. It can also be argued that it’s only the type of people I associate with that post such. Most of the people I follow on Twitter for instance are Tech or Business related and I’ve seen similar behaviour from the African select. I think I have enough of a sample to declare an ill and not be interested in counter-arguments or breaking down the diagnosis. I’m not going to present a prescription either.

I’ve been guilty of similar crimes in the past and am talking from no high-horse. All I request is that going into the New Year we take some time to reflect on what it means to be African to the world and whether our hashtags amplify that, as they should.

 

“We have to heal the Africa in us if we’re going to be whole again.” – Ben Okri