A fake story posted online alleging that the Eritrean government has passed a law forcing men to marry at least two wives or go to jail has prompted funny memes from Twitter users across Africa.
The story claims that the law was passed due to a shortage of men because of heavy casualties during the war with Ethiopia. The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from 1998 to 2000.
Sahara Reporters, a New York-based, Nigeria-focused news site, spoke with an Eritrean government representative at the Eritrean Mission at the United Nations in New York, who denied the rumor.
The website also spoke with Eritrean expert Awet Weldemichael, an assistant professor at Queen's University in Canada, who denied the story as well. Eritrean government officials have since refuted the story.
While it is not clear exactly where the story originated, many of the news sites that have published the hoax have yet to retract it.
Twitter users found fodder for memes in the hoax story. Here is a sample of hilarious tweets after the story appeared online:
When Yoruba guys heard about new two wives per person law in Eritrea! pic.twitter.com/fqAmuh64FN
— SPYDR (@iamSPYDR) January 26, 2016
Spotted at Eritrean Embassy in Nairobi today. Men struggling for a visa to Eritrea. After hearing men must marry ✌. pic.twitter.com/VG8qJFaJJo
— ChairmanCorruptionKE (@nangutikevin) January 26, 2016
Ugandan men after hearing that Eritrean girls only want Muslim men Eritrea pic.twitter.com/gYi6AmQPJS
— polycarp (@PolycarpRalson) January 26, 2016
— Upright Citizen (@NEPpundit) January 26, 2016
When your Eritrean wife is celebrating her birthday and you surprise her with a new co-wife pic.twitter.com/nFCRWTYPXQ
— Masaku (@masaku_) January 26, 2016
The first Nigerian to pick up his two wives from Eritrea. He told the press, “If I could do it, so can you.” pic.twitter.com/r3NbeooXF8
— Dr. Njakiri Damages (@DrDamages) January 27, 2016
— Maboshe™ (@Charlie_Fin) January 27, 2016
— Fredrick Tumusiime (@tufre80) January 26, 2016
When i heard the news from Eritrea….heading to the embassy for my free Visa like… pic.twitter.com/bSWkMUHzQw
— Igbo Angel (@SlimDandyMUFC) January 26, 2016
My passport is missing. I suspect my wife knows about #Eritrea
— Tsodiyo (@tokelonhlapo) January 27, 2016
— gaetano kagwa (@gaetanokagwa) January 28, 2016
Girls be adventurous and surprise your Boyfriends this valentine with a passport to Eritrea
— ★ ★ShΘώNΆ MΘήTΆnΆ★ ★ (@Ashli_Mcmuzo) January 27, 2016
— #KRYS_UG (@ChrispusAbaho) January 28, 2016
— #BestOf2015 (@TVYangu) January 26, 2016
When you hear your VISA to Eritrea is cancelled pic.twitter.com/LYKNgQU0Rr
— JOHNNY GACHANJA (@JohnnyGachanja) January 27, 2016