One of the best hashtags ever! Remember?
The hashtag grabbed the attentions of millions of people. I was certainly one of them.
It all started in July 2015.
Guess what, people ARE STILL Tweeting it!
This Tweet came in 24 hours ago.
Siyanda Mohutsiwa, a 22-year-old writer and satirist (raised in her father’s native Botswana and born in her mother’s home, the Kingdom of of Swaziland, born) —Twitter@SiyandaWrites— started the hashtag, creating a unique conversation for hip, trendy Africans to comment on each other in a lighthearted, introspective way. The conversation highlights stereotypical mannerisms of various African nationalities. Like, Nigerians are typically portrayed as the rowdy money hoarders and Tanzania is depicted as a spender who can’t afford to pay for what he’s spending.
Siyanda is cool! Her Twitter bio: “I didn’t come here to be governable.” #Love
She’s written pieces for Mail and Guardian and Za News. If you haven’t, check out her Tedx Talk in Amsterdam where she explains how #IAfricaWasABar kicked off.
I like when Siyanda says, people were using the hashtag “to make fun of the countries that don’t think they’re in Africa,” making a reference to this audacious Tweet:
Siyanda is eloquent. I like the way she thinks. You MUST watch her Ted Talk. She talks about Lumumba, Sankara, Biko.
“People were using the hashtag to connect. People were connecting over their African-ness,” Siyanda says.
It’s all about pan-Africanism.
Quick shout out to photographer Benedicte Desrus for this photo of busaa (a local beer) in Kenya
About Siyanda, Mail & Guardian writes: “Everything about this 22-year-old distills the contradictions, complexities and potential of being young (and digital) in Africa.”
The Atlantic’s Uri Friedman commented on the hashtag too writing, “There’s something maddeningly reductive, but also surprisingly instructive, about trying to sum up a country, a complex collective of thousands or millions of people, in just a few words.” Then of course, CNN featured the story as well. Mashable . Buzzfeed noted that there is a lot of truth in satire.
Here are some of my favorite #IfAfricaWasABar tweets
Can I just say #PharmaceuticalColonialism on this one?!
by Chika Oduah