TikTok star, Azziad Nasenya (@azz_iad), was doing her usual uploads when she posted her first Utawezana Challenge video to TikTok on Saturday, April 4th.
Azziad must have had so much fun with the first video that she decided to post a follow-up (now viral) part two of the same challenge a few moments later.
First of all, I need you to understand that Azziad was already a force to reckon with on TikTok, with a healthy amount of followers and a verification badge to her name. All ingredients to turn any Tom, Dick and Harry into an entitled “influencer” on Twitter.
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about Azziad’s TikTok stardom, but the issue at hand being her viral video and how quickly things turned bile despite her melting the hearts of thousands of Kenyans online.
As I mentioned earlier, Azziad posted a two-part innocent video jamming to Femmi One and Mejja’s Utawezana song. The videos made their way to Twitter and that’s when things blew up – literally.
At first, praises, sweet words and the usual harmless ufisi vibes were thrown at Azziad. Her heartwarming smile and jelly-like waist movements had won the hearts of many – men and women alike.
Mtu atapataje usingizi after watching this aki pic.twitter.com/goZbAzkHiD
— Jobart ? (@JobArtography) April 4, 2020
Like every other thing that goes viral on Twitter, Azziad utawezana challenge video made it’s way to Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp (I saw it in the family group) for all to see, judge and unfortunately share their unsolicited opinion.
Before we get to the bile, the video’s virality came with its own blessings in disguise.
Before her sudden online fame, Azziad had only but a few hundreds of followers on Twitter. Within a few hours of virality, her account had surpassed 20,000 followers. The blessings didn’t just come to her, the original song on YouTube also got renewed attention with thousands of views streaming in from Saturday through Sunday – people attributing their views to Azziad’s video.
Toxic Twitter ?
As has been the new trend on Twitter, a section of KOT (Kenyans on Twitter) don’t like to see happiness and the bile started flowing in.
Random people started digging up Azziad’s old photos, body-shaming her and even comparing her looks for comical purposes.
It didn’t stop there, somehow her phone number was shared publicly and the cyberbullying moved from social media for a few likes and RTs to personal attacks on WhatsApp and calls.
This is not the first video that Azziad has done and will not be the last. She enjoys herself and puts a smile on our faces. Trash talking her doesn't diminish the value of her art. It doesn't change who she is but it is hurtful. Be respectful unless you're just insecure.
— Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) April 5, 2020
It Needs To Stop
This trend of issuing hateful attacks on random people has become a toxic trait on the platform. Kenyans on Twitter have turned cyberbullying to an art of gathering likes and retweets.
While Azziad is just the latest victim, Kenya’s COVID-19 patient zero (Brenda) was on that hot seat just a few days ago. With news anchor Yvonne Onkwara getting the same treatment for sharing her opinion on Brenda’s cyberbullying.
In this unfortunate cycle of bullying, no one is spared. From innocent people like Azziad who’d care less about Twitter to people who wouldn’t be who have made a name for themselves on the platform such as Crazy Nairobian and the now-infamous “at least you’re funny” tweet.
Kenyans on Twitter need to come together to fight this toxic trait that threatens to stain a good thing in the name of clap-backs and chasing clout. Enough is enough!
The funny part is that, she didn't even post the First video on Twitter. It was posted by someone else. Then instead of some people just enjoying the moment, you start focusing on none-issues. This behavior has to Stop. At some point enough is enough.#IStandWithAzziad
— BRAVIN YURI (@BravinYuri) April 6, 2020
Featured Image Courtesy Twitter
*The opinions shared in this article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect on Gadgets Africa.