Elsie Kibue, a Kenyan citizen living in the United Kingdom, was recently going about her daily life, when her husband showed her a woman’s picture circulating on WhatsApp claiming she was a Ugandan national who had died of coronavirus. The woman in that picture was her — Elsie Kibue.
Expectedly, Kibue was shocked by the “news”.
Her husband, identified only as Robert, had received the photo from his friend, who wondered whether his (Robert’s) wife was indeed dead.
“Hi Robert, isn’t this your wife? Somebody sent it to me and said that she is Ugandan,” read the sender’s WhatsApp message.
“[Uploads laughing face emoji] who sent you that picture? I am sure that is my wife. If not, she has a twin sister in London [whom] we do not know of,” replied Kibue’s husband.
When Kibue’s spouse showed her the conversation he had with his friend, she was shocked that someone somewhere would falsely claim that she was dead, yet in reality she was still alive and healthy.
“This is one person experiencing this. I cannot imagine other people who have experienced this, or probably do not even know this is happening to their identity, you know?” said Kibue in a video posted on BBC Africa website.
“My picture being used for something that is not true.”
The message that did the rounds online accompanied by her image was that Kibue was the fourth person to have died of coronavirus in Uganda.
“I am Kenyan; I am not Ugandan, I am alive and well, and I am in the United Kingdom,” she said.
“The last time I was in that part of the continent (East Africa) was in 2013. Sitting here knowing that I am alive and well, I do not care. But, having said that, I should care, actually, because it happened to me. It could easily happen to anyone of us,” added Kibue.
“The people doing this, can you stop and think about what you are putting out there because not only are you putting out false information, but are also affecting the moods of people’s households while you are doing this. And it is not right at all.”
Kibue said the picture that was widely shared alleging she had died, was taken in 2012 in London.