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Kenyan President's #DabChallenge Backfires After Critics Create #DabOfShame

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Elections, Music, Youth

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) dabbing at State House. The photo has been widely shared on social media.

A campaign by Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, #UhuruDabChallenge, to motivate young people to register to vote went awry after social media users took the opportunity to point out misplaced priorities in his administration.

The challenge requires youths to “dab” —  a type of dance move that resembles sneezing into your elbow — in voter registration centres and share photos and videos of themselves doing it on social media. Kenyans will go to the polls on August 8, 2017.

A tweet [1] from the official account [2] of Uhuru Kenyatta about the campaign said:

The winner of the Dab challenge, whether it is a group or individual with the most retweets at the end of the remaining five days of voter registration, will be rewarded for their patriotism, including visiting with me at State House.

And as part of the campaign, Kenyatta recorded a video of dab moves [3] at the State House with a popular local dance group called FBI.

However, Twitter users inspired by the hashtag started publishing criticism under #DabOfShame. Kenyans wondered how the president could find time to record a music video while the country is going through major social and political problems such as hunger, drought, cattle rustling and nationwide strikes by university lecturers [4] and doctors [5].

Following the backlash, tweets and photos related to the campaign hashtag (including the one mentioned above) were deleted from President Kenyatta’s Twitter account [6].

Despite deleting the tweets, some Twitter users such as Dikembe published screenshots, which they are mockingly sharing them online.

Showing his disapproval of the challenge, Master Chengo posted two images showing the difference between a presidential dab and a common citizen's dab:

The video below from Kenya NTV shows president Kenyatta dancing with FBI dance group:

Elia Muriuki noted:

#UhuruDabChallenge in for a rude shock after being turned down by pissed Kenyans. It turned into #DabOfShame Work hard #Sir_presidente

Mark Wuon Odhis complained:

Kenya is experiencing severe drought, which the president has declared [19] a national disaster.

Silas Okumu joked:

Twerking [21] is a type of dancing in which an individual moves to music in a sexually provocative manner.

While Kibii Eliud asked the president:

There have been a series [25] of clashes [26] in Kerio Valley [27] associated with banditry and cattle rustling that have left several people dead.

A parody Twitter account purporting to be that of a fictional son of Kenyatta joked:

However, there are Kenyans such as Yobra Silver who was in support of the campaign. He wrote:

Another Twitter user wrote:

And Annie made the following observation: