Seen Zimbabwe's coral reefs? Twitter joke takes Zim by storm

2016-09-16 09:57


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Harare - Seen these gorgeous turquoise waters and coral reefs in much-maligned Zimbabwe? Don't worry. Neither has anyone else.

Zimbabweans on Twitter have been making fun of themselves this week despite growing anger and discontent with President Robert Mugabe's government.

In the process, they've been poking fun at a few of us who take things perhaps a little too literally.

Following a wider internet trend, the joke kicked off on Monday with a picture posted to Twitter (in fact, a mini-collage that's now been deleted) of a scuba diver weaving his way through Eden-like waters against a background of a huge rockface.

User @KanguruKenneth suggested it was a place in Zimbabwe that the media would never show. Locals caught on with delight.

Supporters of Mugabe's government routinely complain that both Western media outlets and privately-controlled Zimbabwean ones ignore 'positive' stories coming out of the troubled southern African country, focussing instead on poverty, the president's health and of course the rising tide of protest that the authorities are desperately trying to stamp out.

User @tinyRu responded with a retweet of more glassy tropical waters, teasing: "Another spot in Zim?".

'A locked country'

But not everyone saw @KanguraKenneth's joke first time round. A journalist based in South Africa tweeted sternly that the reason why the media wouldn't show the pictures was because "it's the Palawan islands in the Phillippines." (He later explained that Zimbabwe was a "pretty serious" issue for him these days and many will sympathise with him).

Another well-known Africa analyst explained that Zimbabwe is actually "a landlocked country".

The joke gathered steam. A picture of a magnificently-smooth new road over blue waters was posted in a jibe perhaps at Zimbabwe's sometimes potholed highways. One Zimbabwean joked that it was the road to Luveve, a suburb in Bulawayo.

Another asked: "Mugabe bought a whole sea?"

Publisher @joeblackzw tweeted pictures of pink landscapes on Mars, again saying the images were "the Zimbabwe the media will never show you".

Delighted Twimbos responded with comments like "It's out of the world" and "Mar-ondera", a nod to a town 66km from Harare.

But a Zimbabwe ambassador did check nervously: "Where is this?"

Just goes to show you can't trust everything you see on Twitter. Especially in Zimbabwe.

Read more on:    twitter  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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