Heat wave sparks social media jokes

Friday March 25 2016

Some of the images posted on social media. The country has been experiencing unusually high temperatures in the past few weeks. PHOTO | FILE

Some of the images posted on social media. The country has been experiencing unusually high temperatures in the past few weeks. PHOTO | FILE  

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A wave of heat-related jokes has hit social media over the past one week, driven mainly by rising temperatures across the country.

On some days, temperatures have hit 32 degrees Celsius in Nairobi.

Last week, there were reports that they were expected to rise to a high of 40C in Mombasa.

One of the most hilarious ones was a photo — shared on Facebook on Tuesday and Wednesday — showing two polythene bags of ice blocks attached to an instant shower heater head, the point being that the person who had put them there hoped that the ice would sufficiently cool the water in the shower.

Alvina Gachugu and Joyce Kimani also shared on Facebook a post about how people were airing their maize in the sun before taking it to the mill for grinding.

Kidogo kidogo, mahindi ishakuwa popcorn (gradually, the maize turns into popcorn),” they wrote.

A post on WhatsApp said: “Hii joto ni collabo ya Redsan na Jua Cali (this heat is a collaboration between [singers] Redsan and Jua Cali)”.

In one photo, a woman, apparently in Kisumu, is taking a siesta in a freezer. In another post, Allan Olingo said those who did not have fans in their homes might want to consider taking a motorcycle taxi ride to cool off.

There have also been photo-shopped images of bank notes, featuring a shirtless President Jomo Kenyatta.

In another posting, a bottle of water is added, showing Mzee Jomo Kenyatta taking a swig.

For me, however, the post that took the biscuit was one showing the Statue of Liberty, Washington DC, before and after the heat. In the first post, the statue looks fine in its flowing robes but in the next photo, the robes are off.

There was also another image, apparently taken in Malaysia, showing an egg frying after it fell on the hot ground.

Meanwhile, the Embu County Assembly has relaxed its Standing Orders  for MCAs, due to the soaring temperatures. Speaker Kariuki Mate bowed to pressure from the MCAs, who had asked to be excused from wearing jackets during debates in the chamber.

He said he took seriously the advisory by the Meteorological Department  that warned of heightened temperatures over the next few days.


“Staying and working in comfort borders on an inalienable human right,” he said, acknowledging complaints by members about the high temperatures in the chamber. However, he challenged MCAs to observe decency in their dressing so as to preserve the dignity of the assembly.

Male MCAs had asked to be allowed to swap ties and suits for T-shirts.

Mr Mate stated relaxation of the dress code was not equal to permission for skimpy outfits.

“Mr Speaker Sir, with all due respect, even as you have issued the communication, the tie is the problem since it restricts the heat (sic),” said  Mr John Mwangi.

However, the Speaker ruled that Mr Mwangi was out of order because he didn’t have a tie on.

At one point, most MCAs walked out of the chamber to enjoy a breeze in the parking lot.

Runyenjes MCA Steve Simba asked the county government to install air conditioners in the chamber.

“We don’t want to be removing clothes every time there is heat,” he said.

Meanwhile, arid regions in Makueni County experienced the highest temperatures this week, according to records at Makindu Weather Station.

On Monday, the weather station recorded 35.40C, marking a peak of temperatures that have been soaring steadily since January. 

“So far, this is the highest temperature we have recorded in this station since it was set up in the 1920s,” the station’s head Mr Mathew Wambua told

Additional reporting by Pius Maundu