• What if Africa was a bar? This is the question that has taken Twitter by storm in Africa with over 61 000 tweets answering it in spectacular fashion.

    The trending hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar consists of an array of humorous posts which satirically place African nations in a bar with their behaviour being determined by their varied political, economic, social, and cultural situations.

    The hashtag was started by Siyanda Moutsiwa, a 22 year old writer from Gaborone, Botswana and has since erupted on twitter.

    Africans have used the hashhtag to playfully talk about African issues and stereotypes from their own points of view resulting in light-hearted and educational debates on socio-economic and geo-political characteristics of African nations.  The hashtag has not only proved that African people can be humourous but has also served to unpack the complexities of African geo-politics and create a better understanding of prevailing stereotypes in Africa.

    Although filled with satire, the hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar has served as an opportune platform for African people to share their own experiences of their nation and the various perceptions they have about their country’s diplomatic relations with other African and international nations. If one follows the #IfAfricaWasABar hashtag they can capture a glimpse into the psyche of African people concerning themselves in relation to the rest of Africa and the world.

    The dominant understanding of Africa as perpetuated by international media has been in the context of African politics, conflicts and economy. However, hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar opens the world to an understanding of the social relations and character of African people.

    The hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar carries on the trend of uniquely African hashtags used by African people to counter stereotypes created by the international media concerning the continent. It comes on the back of the hashtag  #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou which has had over 70 000 tweets up to date and is still active.

    Social media in Africa is thus gaining momentum in being a platform through which Africans can tell African stories and share African experiences from their own points of view and this trend is likely to continue as the continent continues to gain more internet users.

    Read a few tweets below.

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    (Header Image Credit: Executives in Africa)