Back to Africa Check

Statue of Kenyan president Kenyatta unveiled in South Africa’s Limpopo province? No, old photo of president Ramaphosa’s sculpture

A Facebook page shared a photo with the claim it shows a statue of Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta being unveiled in South Africa’s Limpopo province.

“Statue of Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled in Limpopo,” the caption reads. The claim was posted on a page with more than 88,000 followers.

Other users were quick to post the photo on their timelines, with the same claim.

The photo was also posted on Facebook groups with a combined followership of some 89,000.

But does the photo show a statue of Kenyatta being unveiled in South Africa? We checked.


No media coverage

Considering the significance it could have had, the photo would have attracted local media attention. There has been no local media coverage on the claimed unveiling. 

A reverse image search reveals that the photo has been online since at least 23 June 2019. It shows a sculpture of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. 

According to the South African, in an article published in June 2019, the sculpture is real but not new.

It quotes Thandi Moraka, the Limpopo provincial minister for sports, arts and culture, as saying the sculpture of Ramaphosa was crafted in 2018.

The publication explained that she said it was given to the Venda king, Toni Mphephu Ramabulana, as an honorary gift.

“The sculpture of the president was done last year by an emerging artist from Tshisahulu in the Vhembe District as a gesture to the president and also trying to showcase his God-given talent. All these artworks are at the Matsila Royal Kraal and the Chief did not even pay a cent to this artwork,” another publication, the Citizen quoted her as saying.

Republish our content for free

Please complete this form to receive the HTML sharing code.

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.