Did President-elect Donald Trump really call Africans “lazy fools”? The BBC’s Dickens Olewe looks at six comments he allegedly made about Africa which are doing the rounds on the internet.
‘Africans are lazy fools only good at eating, lovemaking and thuggery’
According to fact-checking website Snopes this claim was first posted on 25 October 2015 on Politica, a fake news website. It was later picked up by blogs and other fake and satirical news websites on the continent.
According to online magazine Slate, a 1991 book about Mr Trump by former employee John O’Donnel relates an incident where the billionaire reportedly blamed the poor performance of a black worker on laziness saying that it was a “trait in blacks”.
Fake news sites have tended to bolster their stories with comments Mr Trump did actually make. So some stories are quite plausible.
In the case of this article the intention seems to be satire. The writers used made-up Trump quotes to criticise African governments. For instance, this false quote attributed to Mr Trump is apparently trying to justify his comments:
“These are people who import everything, including matchsticks. In my opinion, most of these African countries ought to be recolonised again for another 100 years because they know nothing about leadership and self governance”.
‘Nigerians to be deported’
A common thread with Mr Trump’s trumped up quotes is that they are inspired by a generic disparaging comment he has made about one group of people, which are then reversioned by fake news sites to appeal to their local audiences.
In this case, the inspiration for the false story came from Mr Trump’s comments about Mexicans and Muslims, which were easily reversioned to capture the attention of Nigerians.
Several websites ran stories based on these made-up quotes:
“American Billionaire and Republican Presidential Front-runner, Donald Trump, has shot a subtle warning to the Nigerian Community in the United States, after he said all Nigerians would be made to leave the country ‘when he becomes President’. He made the ‘threat’ during a rally at Wichita, Kansas.”
Both the quote and the event are fictitious.
Fact-checking site Snopes says: “Trump did not have a rally in Wichita, Kansas, as alleged by the above-quote, at any point in January 2016.”