NAIROBI, Kenya, July 23 – Kenyans used #SomeoneTellCNN on Thursday to showcase @BrandKenya in response to CNN’s description of Kenya as a, “terror hotbed,” ahead of US President Barack Obama’s arrival on Friday.
Kenyans who revived the trending hashtag to neutralise the negative impression created of the country by the network package that ran for several hours almost on loop rallied around Kenya’s attractions in its defence.
— Carol Samantha Njeri (@SamanthaDulchez) July 23, 2015
A number of Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) uploaded images of the wildlife Kenya is traditionally well known for with @vonniliciousxx tweeting, “these terrorists you mean?” to an image of a woman petting a lion.
@KFuppi went with Kenya being home to one of the seven new wonders of the world: The Wildebeest migration.
— I am a Creative (@KFuppi) July 23, 2015
“#SomeoneTellCNN Kenya has the most beautiful Lakes in the world! #MagicalKenya,” @Isaiah_Langat tweeted.
@mumirah tweeted: #someonetellcnn this is a “hotbed” of unprocessed tea.
@hillamo_ took the battle to the track tweeting :
— hillamo hotinoe (@hillamo_) July 23, 2015
“We claim no ownership of terrorism,” Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed responded to the CNN package via Capital FM News.
“I think that the sooner everybody realises that we had New York and we had Boston and we had Paris, and we had London and we had Madrid and we’ve had Russia, the better,” she said.
KOT didn’t hesitate to name-drop Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyongo and even Richard Branson who apart from owning a lodge in Kenya, plans to further his investment in the area of green energy.
— Johnpaul kyule (@Jpkyule) July 23, 2015
Ahead of Obama’s opening of the first Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be held in Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya has through the #ChooseKenya digital campaign, attempted to showcase the very best it has to offer as a way to showcase Kenya as a safe, ideal tourism and investment destination.
And while CNN’s rehashing of the Westgate and the Garissa University College terror attacks may have been unwelcome and poorly timed, it did have the unexpected positive effect of giving KOT, a common foe.