Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

There was a joke about influencers that circulated some time last year — although nobody knows for sure if it was a joke. At one of the local embassies (that I won't mention for obvious reasons), a team went to brief the ambassador and the senior staff on plans for an event they were hosting in a few days. Among other items on the agenda was "Guests," a list of people — laid out in groups — who had been invited to attend. And there came a time to discuss the item.

After a quick scan, the ambassador asked, "Who are these people listed as 'influencers'?" They are a group of young people in Kigali, a staffer from the communications department replied, who are famous and active on social media. And then the Excellency, who seemed amused by the idea, came up with another question: "Who do they influence exactly?"

As you can imagine, this is where things got more interesting.

Before the communication specialist went on to reply, another senior staffer interrupted. With a sharp tone, the executive, who sat close to the ambassador, took it to emphasise, "They influence themselves."

The meeting went on. And nobody knows if the "influencers" made it to the event. But if you've heard the story, like me, you're certainly praying for the joke to be just that.

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