April Fool’s Day article about Obama moving to Kenya fuels online misinformation

Multiple social media posts are sharing claims that former US president Barack Obama is relocating to Kenya, his father’s homeland. As evidence, the posts are sharing a news article purporting Obama has been deployed as an envoy to the East African country. But the claim is false; the article originates from a Kenyan news site that published it on April Fool’s Day, and has since labelled it as a joke.

On April 5, 2023, a tweet shared a snippet of an article from a website called Further Africa headlined “Former US President Obama to relocate to Kenya in June”.

The tweet, which has been shared more than 800 times, questioned why the former leader was allegedly suddenly relocating to Kenya, describing the move as “super sketch”.

“Why is Obama REALLY relocating to Kenya in June… this seems like one heck of a coincidence… fleeing the US?” the tweet reads.

Similar claims were repeated in this Facebook post.

On Instagram, this post alleged “Obama’s relocation” was linked to a corruption case involving Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.

The Instagram post came after US actor Leonardo DiCaprio took a stand in a Washington court to testify (archived here) in the political corruption trial featuring a 90s hip-hop star and a disgraced Malaysian financier.

Pras Michel, a member of the US musical trio The Fugees, is facing charges over allegations of helping to secretly funnel money from Low Taek Jho – the Malaysian businessman at the heart of the scandal – to influence US politics.

The Fugees’ Michel, prosecutors allege, secretly funnelled money from the businessman to then-president Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign via shell companies, hiding the donations’ origins.

It is illegal for foreign nationals to donate to US political campaigns.

Another Instagram post also claimed Obama was moving to Kenya and shared a video from Fox News in which commentators suggested that the media was focusing on former president Donald Trump’s recent indictment as a distraction from the corruption case.

“There are no coincidences, right?” reads a caption on the Instagram video.

But the claim about Obama’s relocation to Kenya is false.

Originally an April Fools’ joke

On April 1, 2023, Kenyan newspaper The Standard published an article (archived here) as part of an April Fool’s Day joke claiming the 44th US president was deployed as an envoy to his father’s homeland.

In the write-up, the Standard cryptically gave readers a clue that the article was an April Fools’ Day joke by printing “April Fool’s Day” backwards in one of the paragraphs.

“But it is increasingly appearing that Obama could settle in Nyeri with locals noticing a grand, highly secured, ultramodern block, cryptically labelled ‘Yad Sloof Lirpa’ whose use the county government could not disclose…,” the paragraph reads.

On April 2, 2023, the paper added a disclaimer at the end of the article specifying that it was an April Fool’s Day joke.

This is not the first time an April Fool’s Day joke has been used out of context to fuel misinformation online. AFP Fact Check has debunked several including here and here.

Related Posts

It’s true! Crossword Clue

We have the answer for It’s true! crossword clue if you need help figuring out the solution! Crossword puzzles can introduce new words and concepts, while helping…

Activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter Crossword Clue NYT

Activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter Crossword Check Activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter Crossword Clue here, NYT will publish daily crosswords for the day. Players who…

Contraband Police review — The choice is yours

Video contraband police murder mystery I’ve heard a lot of bluster from developers about how choices in their game matter. A lot of the time, players are…

Something that’s cracked and gross Crossword Clue NYT

Something that’s cracked and gross Crossword Check Something that’s cracked and gross Crossword Clue here, NYT will publish daily crosswords for the day. Players who are stuck…

Uses X-ray vision on crossword clue

Posted on December 25, 2022 at 12:00 AM Thank you for visiting our website! Below you will be able to find the answer to Uses X-ray vision…

John Mulaney: My ‘star-studded’ intervention ‘saved my life’

Video people at john mulaney intervention John Mulaney channeled his rock bottom into a new comedy special. The 40-year-old comedian detailed his addiction struggles, time in rehab…