No, there is no financial aid for ‘orphans’ on verge of dropping out

Image: Namibia Fact Check

A post that has been circulating since 2019 has re-emerged on social media, encouraging “orphans” to apply for financial aid by sending their personal details to an unverified email account.

The post has been going around in Namibian social media groups in September and October 2021 and has been especially viral in WhatsApp groups

The message that came to Namibia Fact Check shows that it has been “Forwarded many times”, and calls on “orphans” to send their personal particulars to an email address if they are on the brink of dropping out of university because of “financial difficulties”. 

The message in the viral post reads as follows:

The message in the viral post.

History of the post

Doing a quick Google search, Namibia Fact Check has traced the message in the viral post to an online message board titled ‘Nairaland Forum’, with the message dated 20 January 2019.

The earliest trace of the message appeared on a Nigeria focused message board.

The same message appeared again on 28 March 2019 when it was shared on Facebook with only 13 interactions. The message again appeared on Twitter on 5 June 2019 in a tweet by someone named Boniface Makuthi, who is stated as being a musician with over 35,000 followers on Twitter. Makuthi’s tweet had over 164 engagements. 

The message reappeared on Twitter on 7 January 2020, posted by an account that has over 31,000 followers and received over 688 interactions, including 475 retweets.

Any response?

Namibia Fact Check emailed the address in the viral post on 10 October 2021, but no response was received by the time of publication. 

Namibia Fact Check also tried to establish if the email address in the viral post is linked to an organisation or a person, but could not establish such a link. 

Namibia Fact Check has concluded that the viral message is misinformation. 

Namibians are cautioned not to provide any private or personal information, such as name, phone number, email address, or student particulars to unverified email accounts.

29th October 2021

Tia-Zia //Garoes

Tia-Zia //Garoes is a trainee fact checker and researcher with Namibia Fact Check.