NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Global energy drinks giant Red Bull has sparked off a major spat with Kenyans on social media platforms after it posted a video which seemed to imply that Kenyans were backward.
The video clip features South African rider Brian Capper who starts off by expressing his shock at how many people speak English in Nairobi.
“I’ve been blown away with the amount of people that speak English. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from that point of view; just about everybody I spoke to spoke English, which was really surprising for me,” says the rider.
“They are unbelievably knowledgeable….they know what’s going on with the rest of the world.”
The drinks giant posted the video on Facebook on Wednesday starring Capper who visits various places, mainly universities and colleges to demonstrate motorcycle stunts as part of his ‘Trails of Africa Tour’. His comments, however, did not go down well with many, judging by the comments on the Facebook page.
“Seems like a nice guy and cool video, but seriously, what era is he and the Red Bull crew living in! Surprised about the English and saying 3rd world country, eyes need to be open to 2015 Kenya! And the dude is from SA as well, so should really know better,” commented Chris Howarth.
Atash ole Atambo said: “Don’t you just love the ignorance of these people! Surprised that Kenyans speak English? We speak better English than you dude. All in all, great biking skills! Now, go back to school..”
“Next time don’t forget to come visit my hometown where we live in caves and on trees, speak in signs coz we’re too dumb to speak English and hunt fellow beings for a living..Nkt!” reacted Ken Mbugua.
Greg Aldous: “I’m always amazed how little South Africans know about Africa. This is just patronising.”
The reactions were reminiscent of a similar outcry in 2012 after Korean Air termed Kenyans ‘primitive’ in an online advertising campaign to launch direct flights to Nairobi.
The advert read in part: “Fly to Nairobi with Korean Air and enjoy the grand African savanna, the safari tour, and the indigenous people full of primitive energy.”
The words ‘primitive energy’ annoyed many Kenyans on social media who forced the airline to retract and issue an apology.
Red Bull’s campaign features the trail biking athlete Brian Capper as he tours various parts of Africa. His visit to Kenya was filmed in November 2014.
The Red Bull website says the “Trails of Africa” project consists of experiencing the local culture heritage through the eyes of Brian while riding his bike in key locations and showcasing breathtaking stunts.