Was This Picture Taken in Nairobi as Claimed?

By Thomas Mukhwana

This photo shared on May 8, 2022 is claimed to show pedestrians in Nairobi walking on concrete barriers to avoid flooded walkways. This tweet gained over 3,700 likes and 850 retweets at the time this article was published, eliciting angry reactions from Kenyans online.

A reply to this tweet placed this image in a Kenyan context with assumptions that this is one of the roads in the country. 


As recently as February 22, 2022 Nairobi had been experiencing flash floods that rendered many roads in the city unusable, causing traffic snarl-ups. This sparked heated responses over the poor state of roads in Kenya’s capital city.

Four days after these floods, the same image was shared on Facebook with the caption ‘Nairobi watu wanacheza Squid Game’.  Translated as; ‘In Nairobi, people are playing Squid Game,’ referring to the photo showing pedestrians walking on barriers to avoid flooded roads.

May be an image of 7 people, motorcycle, outdoors and text that says "Nairobi watu wanacheza squid game FB/IG:Mimi Sipendi Ujinga"

One Twitter user commented; ‘Moi made sure we are so oppressed that we don’t know how to stand up and ask for our rights’.

While these might show the concerns of Kenyans on social media, the legitimacy of this image remains questionable. 


A reverse image search of the image leads to a tweet shared on  February 24, 2022. This tweet from Uganda shares the same sentiments as the tweet from Kenya.

 “It’s squid game in town now,” it reads. 

An article by The Observer indicates that Kampala, Uganda’s capital, experienced torrential rains on February 24, 2022. Images in this article depict just what the city experienced on that day.

For privately-owned vehicles or motorcycles, number plates have black characters with a white background. Just at the top left of the number plate, Uganda’s national flag is equally inscribed. Now, this is evidently seen in this image. One of the motorcycles with its headlights on shows a Ugandan number plate (UG 141Q). 


Claims that this photo was taken in Nairobi are FALSE. 

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