Social media was awash with photos of African leaders addressing virtually an empty auditorium at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The most notable humiliations were Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Saadeddine Othmani of Morrocco, Edgar Lungu from Zambia and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
There was division among Africans who commented on the issue on social media. One section of the debate argued that African leaders had generally lost the goodwill of Western nations and the international community as they escalate human rights abuses back home.
Loss of goodwill
This was much more notable among Zimbabwean activists as Zimbabwe's President has come under fire for the alleged abduction of a union leader. It represents a shift in attitudes for a man who the world had hoped to be a reformist, however, as he nears his second anniversary as leader of a nation at the brink of collapse, attitudes and goodwill from his own people has shifted.
It is unfair to see Mnangagwa as an exception in the case of the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations. This is because of the uniform pattern in which African leaders were being treated. It would be naive to think the issue pertains to how the man has approached human rights within his country.
He who pays the piper
The snub of African leaders was in sharp contrast to the full house that USA President Donald Trump received. As the old adage goes, "he who pays the piper, calls the tune."
For years African leaders have always called for fair and equal representation within United Nations institutions. The calls made within the General Assembly from the days of Robert Mugabe to the voice of Paul Kagame which is growing by the day have not seemed to impact any change of heart with the body.
The snub is a depiction of how the voice and concerns of Africa seem not to matter to the rest of the world. For years Africa has had policy dictated from the West and it has been accorded the role of a follower. It remains to this day without a permanent seat within the Security Council.
Despite the aid and the peacekeeping efforts it funds, how does the UN remain efforts, is the United Nations still relevant to Africa?