Back to Africa Check

‘Don’t believe everything you see on the internet’ – photo shows journalist reporting on Nigerian floods in 2022, not in Kenya in 2024

IN SHORT: Some social media users claim that this photo shows journalist Larry Madowo dramatically reporting on floods in Kenya in 2024. However, it depicts flooding in another African country in 2022.

Kenya has been devastated by heavy rains since March 2024, causing hundreds of deaths and affecting thousands of people, including through displacement.

There was also severe damage to infrastructure, including schools and health facilities.

Amid this crisis, a dramatic photo of CNN journalist Larry Madowo interviewing a woman circulated on social media. Users claimed that he was reporting on the flood situation in Kenya.

The photo shows Madowo submerged in water up to his waist as he interviews a woman. It also shows a cameraperson sitting in a boat, seemingly filming the interview.

Madowo’s coverage of the floods has attracted considerable attention, particularly in Kenya. He documented the aftermath of the devastating floods in April 2024 and shared his experiences on social media, including images of himself navigating through flooded areas to speak to those affected.

His style of reporting has been criticised by some Kenyans who argue that it dwells too much on the negative and fails to highlight the positive stories amid the hardships.

Madowo has defended his approach.

The photo in question also appears here and here.

But does the dramatic photo show Madowo reporting on the 2024 floods in Kenya? We checked.

Nothing but the facts

Get a weekly dose of facts delivered straight to your inbox.

KenyaFloodsPicture_False

Photo taken in 2022 in Nigeria

A Google reverse search of the photo in question revealed that it was taken in October 2022.

Commenting on the viral photo, Madowo clarified its origin. “A picture of me waist-deep in flood waters went viral again this week. It’s from a story we did in southern Nigeria in October 2022,” he wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, where he has 2.5 million followers.

“Don't believe anything you see on the internet,” he added. Madowo also posted the original story.

The post claiming to show Madowo reporting on the flood situation in Kenya also appears here and here.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on africacheck.org.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.