IN SHORT: A video circulating on social media in Kenya shows a brazen midday mugging on a busy street, which passersby seemingly ignore. But it’s no evidence for the reported increase in crime in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. It shows a crime in the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa.
A video posted on an Instagram account with over 231,000 followers appears to show a man being mugged by three others on a busy street in broad daylight.
The 30-second clip shows a man walking on the pavement carrying white shopping bags, when suddenly three men behind him attack. One of them holds the victim in a rear chokehold.
The man drops his bags and attempts to free himself, but one of the muggers appears to swing a handheld weapon towards his right hand. Soon after, his body goes limp.
The muggers then frisk the man for valuables and melt into the street crowded with street vendors and white minibuses.
At the top of the clip, are the words “Stay safe hii Kanairo”. “Hii” is Kiswahili for “this” and “Kanairo” is urban slang for Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. Contextually translated, the sentence means “Stay safe in Nairobi”.
The caption reads: “We are on our own”.
The clip was posted on 11 November 2022, around the time when a crime wave was being reported in Nairobi, including a surge in daytime muggings.
Similar dramatic videos have been shared and quickly debunked.
But was this video from Nairobi?
Clues about the origin of the video
As the camera pans away from the victim and follows one of the muggers, it captures a distinct branding on a minibus, and a sign with the words “Clover” and another with the words “Bliss”.
We checked the screengrab with the minibus on Yandex reverse image search and it led us to a video from South Africa, which showed a minibus with similar branding. We also found a photo of a minibus with the branding on the website of the City of Johannesburg.
In Kenya, passenger-carrying vans like the one in the video are required by law to have a 15-centimetre thick broken horizontal yellow band on the side, not the thinner continuous line used by minibus taxis in South Africa.
We then searched the words “Bliss” and “Clover” and “South Africa” on Google. We found matching logos for Bliss Holdings, a South African firm, and Clover, a South African food and beverages manufacturer.
Video from South Africa
Next, we searched the keywords “man, mugged, Joburg” on Google’s video tab in an attempt to find the clip or a related reliable news article.
On the second results page we found this exact clip, posted on 9 February 2022 on Twitter by an account which shows other videos of crimes caught on camera in South Africa.
The caption reads: “A man got stabbed and robbed of his belongings by 4 suspects in Johannesburg.”
All the clues point to this video being from South Africa, not Kenya. There is no evidence the video is related to the late-2022 spate of muggings in Nairobi.
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