We perish because we know not… #TLENews
A photo of Robert Mugabe falling down the stairs has spread like wildfire online after the 90-year-old Zimbabwe president took a tumble after appearing to miss a step outside Harare airport, where he had been speaking to supporters.
Some of the press photographers who captured the scene said they were forced to delete their pictures by security personnel.
Mugabe is one of Africa’s so-called presidents for life, and during his 34-rule Zimbabwe has consistently ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for civil liberties. Human rights have accused the police of “outdated and abusive” law to control freedom of expression.
But any attempts to control the media’s attention to this particular incident were in vain: the pictures were picked up by news agencies worldwide and a cut-out image of Mugabe’s tumble was soon turned into memes and shared on social media using the hashtag #MugabeFalls.
Some imagined Mugabe’s sporting prowess as he joined the midfield of a Liverpool vs Chelsea football match, surfed the barrel of a wave, hit cricket run and lined up against the world’s best sprinters.
Others, presumably impressed by his style, portrayed him as a key mover and shaker. One imaged placed him at the center of a house party, another questioned how his moves would go down on American contest Dancing with the Stars and some someone showed us what Beyonce’s Single Ladies video had been missing all along.
There was also a play on the hashtag with people renaming Victoria Falls, which sits on the Zimbabwe-Zambia border, in honour of the president, opened by the president surfing down it of course.