#Mugabefalls Memes showcase African internet Culture

Greetings Dotters,

I’m sure you’ve seen all the Mugabe Memes by now, but if you haven’t here are my favorites for your appreciation

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Race to the finish

The list of memes is so long I don’t think I can fit them all here. But i’m sure you get the point.
Since the internet went crazy over this yesterday, President Mugabe has asked “The internet” to remove the pictures. To me this is where things get interesting.

The problem African leaders and African brands are facing in this day and age is digital freedom of expression. The internet has allowed people without a voice to share their opinion on anything they want to discuss. You can’t ask millions of people to shut up because you don’t like what they have to say.

But the real importance of #MugabeFalls is the display of culture. Internet pop culture in Africa has been relatively evasive. According to the west, Africa’s internet culture is non existent. But Specific markets such Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa have created and mastered their own internet pop culture through blogging communities, and user generated content (Vine/Instagram videos, memes) to transpose offline event online to share with their community. This is a major step towards digital emancipation.

It might seem like a no brainer to some, but given the “low adoption rate” of internet in Africa, one can’t help but wonder who’s data is faulty. I’ve been arguing that the internet data provided by the major research company are flawed. You can’t base you understanding of how many internet users are present in a country when Cyber cafés are still the main entry point to the web in Africa (closely followed by cell phones). It’s time to rethink how we quantify the internet in Africa.

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