Toes-for-cash? No, nothing is going on in Zimbabwe.
We descended into the realm of deception and false news to bring you this story, and we can now report that something is afoot in Zimbabwe.
This is all about the alleged toe-for-cash industry in the nation of southern Africa. According to the accusations, which were inspired by an internet video, some individuals were purchasing toes in Zimbabwe to be used by magicians in neighboring South Africa. The gentleman in the video said that he sold his baby toe and used the profits to purchase a pick-up truck.
The concept was appealing: you go to a dealer, he or she severs your toe, pays you, and you hobble all the way to the bank. You lose a digit, but you gain many digits in cash. It was a tense exchange, but the data floating about disseminated the tale more quickly than the athlete’s foot fungus.
A toe is said to cost between $30,000 and $40,000 per (Sh3.5m to Sh4.7m). Kenyans, in their customary habit of toeing the line when the opportunity to have a good laugh presents itself, have been pleased about this, exchanging jokes and fantasizing about unexpected wealth.
“I hear that in Zimbabwe, children are chanting, ‘Head, shoulder, knees, and dough (money),” tweeted Varity Fricker.
“I’m headed to Zimbabwe but I don’t know whether toes for the Gusii people are permitted because of the manner they strike against stones,” Dantex Kemmy said in a group for lovers of a Kisii radio station.
“Mama Gals and I are from Zimbabwe,” said musician Bob Odhiambo on Thursday. “We’ve arrived in Jamaica for a holiday.”
On Thursday, Shishi Silla posted a snapshot of slick vehicles with the comment, “Few hours after coming to Zimbabwe. In paradise, we shall be given a new body.”
“I hear there is a TOEnado in Zimbabwe,” Brian Omondo inquired.
However, as the phrase goes, blood will flow. Fact-checkers have exposed the trade news as a fraud. The BBC’s Disinformation Unit is one of them.
“(The unit) analyzed two films purportedly of persons who had sold or were in the process of selling their toes and thinks they were staged,” it stated in a Thursday report.
The BBC traced the source of information to a Zimbabwean site, which boasted that the transaction was taking place in a Harare mall. “The Gambakwe blog, published on May 28, alleged the ‘trade-in toes’ was taking place in Harare’s Ximex Mall,” the BBC said.
We inquired about the transaction in a WhatsApp group for journalists from around Africa. Brezhnev Malava, a veteran Zimbabwean journalist, said that it was a joke that began in his nation and spread to Nigeria as Kenyans and the rest of Africa jumped on it with both feet.
“These Harare street lads like joking around. It helps to dull the sting of a bad Zimbabwean life. “In Harare, people spend more time making jokes than addressing important political matters that might make a tangible difference in their lives,” observed the journalist.
“Needless to say, we’re still on our toes.” We have, however, introduced a new ClipToeCurrency. “I have a guy who used this new money to purchase a toe truck,” he laughed.