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The Best African Memes of 2017

Laugh with us into 2018 with our best African memes of 2017.

You know your social media timelines and meme folders on your smartphones aren't complete until you come across some African memes.

It's still mind blowing to think about how quick young Africans turn trending topics and current events around to make our stomachs hurt in laughter.

This was very difficult list to narrow down—but with the help of a few of our contributors, take a look at our favorite African memes of 2017 below.


African #SaltBae started off 2017 right.

Remember when the internet went wild over Turkish chef and restaurant owner, Nusret Gökçe, when he took thirst trapping to a whole other level with meat, salt and his killer knife skills? The parodies followed suit, including this one by Kenya's Seth Gor that went viral in January.

Not only does he show off how he works an avocado, he made it known that he's Africa's own #SaltBae.

-Antoinette Isama

Whose Congolese mans is this?

This Congolese commercial went pretty viral mainly because of how uncreative it was.

-Ludi Nsimba

Once Mugabe stepped down, the memes commenced.

After 30 years, Robert Mugabe was (kind of, sort of) forced to step down from power. The memes that came after had us in stitches, though.

-Audrey Lang

The #UhuruChallenge was something else.

Kenyans on Twitter continued to have no chill as they made fun of President Uhuru Kenyatta's extra enthusiasm for "launching" projects.

-AI

Drake was peak African uncle in this outfit.

African Twitter showed no mercy to Drake after Twitter user Bizzle Osikoya told the internet to add a caption to his African uncle outfit. Click through the Instagram slideshow to cackle.

-AI

Folks love them some pondu.

Pondu is cassava leaves and it's a well known Congolese dish. Some parts of the DRC call it "sombé," which is Swahili for cassava leaves. Congo Republic calls it "saka saka." Pondu to us is like jollof rice to Nigerians.

-LS

This Habesha mother is all of our African moms.

Watch 'til the end.

-AI

You can't have a meme list without Michael Dappah a.k.a. Big Shaq.

Michael Dapaah going viral with his character Big Shaq was the best thing on the internet in 2017. Full stop.

-AI

New Edition's always on beat.

This was a mashup you didn't know you needed.

-AI

Speedy Darlington is not regular.

Speedy Darlington is a Nigerian artist with viral chops behind the phrase "BangDadaDang" with confidence for days.

-AI

This is hilariously true.

You can always count on vintage P-Square for a solid meme.

-AI

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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