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Ugandans Are Using Sharp Humor to Criticize Their Country's Social Media Tax

The controversial social media tax has gone into effect in Uganda and citizens are using humor—and social media itself—to challenge it.

On Sunday, the Ugandan government put into effect its highly controversial social media tax policy, which charges each Ugandan social media users the equivalent of 200 shillings ($0.05) to use sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.

The policy has caused a public outcry, as many Ugandans believe that the law impedes upon their free speech, and is another government attempt to silence media critics.

Ugandans have widely criticized the implementation of the tax, which Museveni has claimed will help curb gossip in the country, as well as provide the government with more revenue to payoff national debt.


Some are finding creative ways to avoid paying the tax—mostly by using VPNs which make it appear as though sites are being accessed from another country—but others have had to make electronic payments before entering what the government refers to as Over the Top (OTT) sites, BBC Africa.

Several have taken to social media to express their discontent with having to pay to use social media, and it appears that some are trying to initiate a #NoDataWeek in protest of the levy.

As always, many are responding to the social media tax with wit and humor, and are taking jabs at the president, even referencing his infamous "the mouth is for eating" rant. Check out some hilarious comments below.

















Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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