Back to Africa Check

Viral graphics don’t show Kenyans queuing to sell dollars as Kenyan shilling gains

IN SHORT: The Kenyan shilling has made significant gains against the US dollar in 2024. Two graphics suggesting that Kenyans are scrambling to sell their dollars before further losses against the shilling are fake.

“Kenyans queue outside NCBA bank to sell dollars,” reads a graphic circulating on social media in Kenya.

It features an image of people standing in a queue on the side of a road.

The graphic is branded with the logo and web address of Standard Group Plc, the Kenyan media house that publishes the Standard newspaper

Another version of the claim, posted on X (formerly Twitter), featured the logo of Nation, a major Kenyan news site.

On 15 February 2024, the Central Bank of Kenya reported that US$1 was trading at KSh153.2, from KSh156.71 the previous day, marking one of the strongest gains in years.

It was trading at KSh160.24 on 15 January and had even reached KSh161.36 at one point during the month.

Major newspapers in Kenya have reported the development, with some even calling it the “strongest single-day gain in 12 years”. 

Some users claimed that the graphic showed Kenyans who were allegedly hoarding dollars, hoping to profit as the shilling lost against it, but decided to sell the dollars before further losses.

The graphics have also been posted here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But do they show Kenyans rushing to sell their dollars and are they legit? We checked.


Ignore old photos

While the image on the graphic with the Standard Group logo started circulating on Facebook on 15 January, a reverse image search showed it had been online since 2017. 

We found the original photo, published by Kenya's Business Daily on 4 June 2017. Its caption reads, in part: “Kenyans submit job applications for government jobs last week”.

On 15 February 2024, the Standard took to Facebook and X to dismiss the graphic as “FAKE”.

“FAKE NEWS ALERT: This is NOT a genuine post from the Standard Group PLC or any brands under the media stable. Be cautious NOT to fall for propaganda and deep fakes,” it posted.

The image in the graphic with the Nation logo is also old. It first appeared online in 2018. It was captioned: “Graduates queue in long lines at Wabera Street waiting for a chance to get a job interview at the Sarova Stanley which was conducting massive recruitment for the hospitality department.” The interviews took place on 26 May 2018.

The Nation also said the graphic was “fake”.

The NCBA bank also tweeted the graphics on 15 February 2024, cautioning the public against falling for them.

The graphics are fake and should be ignored.

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

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.