It all started with this tweet:
If Africa was a bar, what would your country be drinking/doing?
— Siyanda-Panda (@SiyandaWrites) July 27, 2015
Ever since then, #ifafricawasabar has gone viral with over 60,000 tweets and counting. The jokes, sarcasm, reality checks, and outrageous memes keep pouring in. It’s all about Africans revealing how they perceive other Africans.
What stands out though is the way new writing, ideas, and perspectives can be generated from something as simple as a tweet.
22 year-old Botswana Writer, Siyanda Mohutsiwa who inspired this hashtag is passionate about Pan Africanism. Looking for a lighthearted, but educational way to start a conversation on perspectives of African countries, she sent out that first tweet in faith.
A BBC, CNN, and a Le Monde feature later, the anecdotes show this discussion was appropriately timed.
The struggles facing African countries came to the fore in these 5 tweets that touch on issues of identity, self-perception and a sense of belonging.
Here is a small selection of tweets for your enjoyment:
#IfAfricaWasABar Cameroon would go home early cus France said so.
— Somachi ChrisAsoluka (@SomaKudi) July 27, 2015
#IfAfricaWasABar Egypt would be that colored girl that refuses to dance with black guys
— #KINGSVILLA (@TheBoyAsaph) July 27, 2015
#IfAfricaWasABar Lesotho would be that person who nobody really knows but is always in the pictures.
— Stina Knowles (@PILLAY_CGLM) July 27, 2015
#IfAfricaWasABar you know Mauritius, Seychelles and Cape Verde would be sitting up in the VIP, judging the rest of us.
— Nanjala Nyabola (@Nanjala1) July 27, 2015
#IfAfricaWasABar the Nigerians manning the toilets would be making more money than the bar itself
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) July 27, 2015
With this twitter experiment, Siyanda finds herself in the ranks of contemporary author, Teju Cole who has shared engaging narratives through this medium.
Image by no rain corp. via Flickr