Capital tags along on Fools Day

April 1, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Capital FM marked April Fools\’ Day with a number of goof stories and delayed bulletin broadcasts throughout the morning session.

Listeners and early Internet birds who logged on the website were greeted by sensational news that besieged Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi was at a secret location in Kenya seeking asylum.

"Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is reportedly holed up in Kenya, Capital News has reliably learnt. The Libyan leader is said to have entered the country through neighbouring Uganda where he is said to have met a government delegation," the station morning bulletins reported in a story that was also uploaded online.

"Government sources who did not want to be named due to the international sensitivity of the matter say that Mr Gaddafi is in Kenya in an attempt to secure a meeting with the visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to brief him on the situation in Libya," the fictitious account went on.

The item that topped bulletins in 6, 7 and 8 O\’clock preyed on the ongoing conflict in Libya where international pressure is being piled on the Libyan leader to quit office through military means and the fact that the oil rich nation has significant investment in Kenya fronted by the Gaddafi family.

Among many comments posted on Capital\’s FaceBook page on the piece include, "Welcome, pamoja hatuendi Hague (together we are not going to The Hague)," posted by Gavana Kamau Gatwechi while Samuel M. Theuri read the goof and posted, "Real fools are good fools for Fools Day."

Another fabricated headline item seized on the Kenya case at the ICC by stating the court\’s prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo wanted to indict another five leaders.

"The International Criminal Court is set to summon five more leaders wanted for planning or financing the 2008 post election violence. A statement posted on the official ICC website says those to be summoned include two from the Party of National Unity, two from ODM and a senior police officer," the ruse read in part.


It went on, "In the statement posted last night, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo says he has been investigating the five leaders and he now has reason to believe that the suspects have a case to answer."

In sports, a number were led on to believe that Harambee Stars captain, Denis Oliech, had quit the national side in a huff.

"This is the hardest decision I have made but I feel I have done enough for my country."

I\’m enjoying much playing time at my club and I want to cement this hence the decision I have taken to retire from international football," Oliech reportedly said from his base in France.

"Oliech has retired? Or is it an April fool joke?" Citizen Television reporter, Terry Ann Chebet posed on Twitter.

The clocks were adjusted during the Capital FM morning show with everything airing seven minutes behind schedule, including news and yet presenters acted like it was normal as listeners got confused about the time.

The Breakfast Show capitalised on the radiation fears after Japan\’s Tsunami by airing that the Kenya Bureau of Standards had detained a ship in Mombasa which arrived with cars imported from the country. The officials "impounded" the cars after high radiation levels were apparently detected.

Worldwide, major media outlets and blue chip companies posted a number of April Fools\’ articles.

Budget airline, Ryanair announced that the Irish airline would be offering child-free flights beginning in October. "When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people\’s little monsters when travelling. While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into \’adult\’ and \’family\’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding," said Head of Communications Stephen McNamara.

Tech giant Google was goofed in TechCrunch that reported, "The internal war at Google continues, as Google Places is officially filed under "spam", and removed from Google search.

"Google Chief Revenue Officer Nikesh Arora was even spotted on Demand CEO Richard Rosenblatt\’s yacht, Adsense. Marissa Mayer was even quotes as saying, "Screw the webspam team", and "It\’s not like people are going to start using Bing."

Google also unveiled the \’autocompleter\’ which many rated as the best April Fools\’ plank of the year.

"Every day people start typing more than a billion searches on Google and expect Google to predict what they are looking for. In order to do this at scale, we need your help … As a Google Autocompleter, you\’ll be expected to successfully guess a user\’s intention as he or she starts typing instantly. In a fraction of a second, you\’ll need to type in your prediction that will be added to the list of suggestions given by Google. Don\’t worry, after a few million predictions you\’ll grow the required reflexes."

You Tube said they would be reverting its videos back to what it would have looked like around 1911, complete with grainy, sepia video footage, no audio tracks (save for piano accompaniment), and title cards in place of the site\’s normal comments.

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