MUST READ: What Donald Trump didn’t say about Africa


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Did President-elect Donald Trump really call Africans “lazy fools”? The BBC’s Dickens Olewe looks at six comments he allegedly made about Africa which are doing the rounds on the internet.

‘Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and thuggery’

According to fact-checking website Snopes this claim was first posted on 25 October 2015 on Politica, a fake news website. It was later picked up by blogs and other fake and satirical news websites on the continent.

According to online magazine Slate, a 1991 book about Mr Trump by former employee John O’Donnel relates an incident where the billionaire reportedly blamed the poor performance of a black worker on laziness saying that it was a “trait in blacks”.

Fake news sites have tended to bolster their stories with comments Mr Trump did actually make. So some stories are quite plausible.

In the case of this article the intention seems to be satire. The writers used made-up Trump quotes to criticise African governments. For instance, this false quote attributed to Mr Trump is apparently trying to justify his comments:






“These are people who import everything, including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonised again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self governance”.


‘Nigerians to be deported’

A common thread with Mr Trump’s trumped up quotes is that they are inspired by a generic disparaging comment he has made about one group of people, which are then reversioned by fake news sites to appeal to their local audiences.

Cut outs of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are loaded onto a bus in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 7 November 2016
Most stories are reversioned to capture the attention of local audiences

In this case, the inspiration for the false story came from Mr Trump’s comments about Mexicans and Muslims, which were easily reversioned to capture the attention of Nigerians.

Several websites ran stories based on these made-up quotes:

“American Billionaire and Republican Presidential Front-runner, Donald Trump, has shot a subtle warning to the Nigerian Community in the United States, after he said all Nigerians would be made to leave the country ‘when he becomes President’. He made the ‘threat’ during a rally at Wichita, Kansas.”

Both the quote and the event are fictitious.

Fact-checking site Snopes says: “Trump did not have a rally in Wichita, Kansas, as alleged by the above-quote, at any point in January 2016.”


Pay legal fee for Cecil killer

The killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe last year sparked global outrage as people targeted their anger towards American dentist Walter Palmer who killed the famed lion in a hunt.

A fake story that Mr Trump had pledged to pay Mr Palmer’s legal fees was shared at the time.






‘Go back to Africa if you’re not satisfied with America’

Mr Trump was accused of using innuendoes and name calling during his campaign. He abused, derided and disparaged many people.

Demonstrators hold placards, including Racial tensions have come to the fore during the presidential campaign

These made-up comment were attributed to the president-elect to show that he does not approve of #BlackLivesMatter – a campaign by African-Americans to highlight deadly police shootings.

“If Black Lives Don’t Matter Here Go Back to Africa.

“If I don’t like the food the waitress brings me, I send it back to the kitchen. And I go eat somewhere else,” the false quote by Mr Trump says.

Some of these comments fail in their imagination but have fooled many because they are written in a highly shareable way and they exploit a wide array of Mr Trump’s comments which have upset many groups of people.


‘Kenyans are conmen’

This quote was attributed to Mr Trump following Kenyan athletes’ historic performance at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, 2015.

Kenya topped the table for the first time, winning seven gold medals.

Trump and Obama in Oval Office
A false article claimed Trump called Obama “a conman”

At the time, Mr Trump was still promoting a false narrative that US President Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was not born in the United States.






The article seems to take advantage of the news about Kenyan athletes’ win by concocting a quote from Mr Trump about the event.

The article falsely says that Mr Trump referred to Kenyans and Mr Obama as “conmen who dope and cheat on their way to the top”.


‘I will lock up Mugabe and Museveni’

This false story currently being peddled by various sites has been revived from a similar piece shared in January, with a threat that Mr Trump would “lock up” the presidents of Uganda and Zimbabwe.

“I want to reiterate here before America’s greatest heroes that I will not condone any dictatorial tendencies exhibited by dictators around the world, especially the two old men from Zimbabwe and Uganda,” the article says.

“Their days are numbered and I am going to lock them up in prison,” it adds.

This is another classic example of people concocting words and phrases to criticise African politicians and put them in the mouth of Mr Trump.

Now that he is set to be the next US president, there are likely to be lots more of these false Trumpisms so don’t believe everything you read.

Source: BBC Africa


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