Kenyans on Twitter, popularly known as #KOT, Friday dedicated tweets of hope to the other side of Somalia.
In their tweets, they sought to showcase the positive image of Somalia in the context of culture, history, art and prosperity.
#TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout trended on Twitter in the better part of Friday through to Saturday as Kenyans On Twitter exchanged the positive side of the country that was ravaged by civil strive for over twenty years since the fall of Siyad Barre regime in the early nineties.
Abdikadir Ahmed Ore is a member in the Kenyan parliament elected from the northern county of Wajir. He was vocal in his tweets about his adoration for the Somali culture and history. Somali by ethnicity, Mr Abdikadir Ore tweets attracted a barrage of re tweets in support of his tweets.
“#TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout. By 1990 Somalia had largest tarmac road network in Africa,” he tweeted five hours after the hashtag was first tweeted.
Then he added some more:
“#TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout.Somalis are the most enterprising community in the world.
#TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout.The Country with the largest telephony network despite its instability.”
A twitter user that goes by the handle @SomPundit said in tweet that Somalia produces a large chunk of graduates than ten years ago.
“Our universities produce 1000s of graduands every year. Talk of education sector recovery.”#TheSomaliYouNeverHearAbout.”
That tweet was re tweeted by over ten twitter users as a sign of support.
@ProudtobSomali showcase the medieval structures in the coastal towns of Somalia that is can only be found exclusively in Somalia.
“#TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout the ancient medieval heritage cities, houses & buildings!”
On Liido beach: “I refuse to reduce my country to war and misery. Look at this! What a beauty.” #TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout
Moved by the new page being turned over by Somalia, a tweep (a twitter user) that appears to have no prior positive image of Somalia was suddenly moved by the tweets that were majorly accompanied by real-time images. She tweeted: “ I’m a hopeless romantic. Somalia, I have fallen in love with you all over again thanks to #TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout “
On the flip side, however, the hashtag was infiltrated by Shabab supporters who used the platform to advance their agenda, but was harshly rebuked by other users.
As the tweets trickle in thick and fast, we recommend that you follow the hashtag #TheSomaliaYouNeverHearAbout that is currently among the trending topics in Kenya.
The gesture comes barely a fortnight after Somali-based militant group Al Shabab attacked a university in Garissa where they massacred 147 Kenyans, mostly students.
This trending hashtag is seen as sign of tolerance given the general feeling among Kenyans after similar attacks.