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Why So Many Kenyan Celebrities…And Ladies Are Joining The #ChallengeAccepted Movement

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A quick login to Instagram and a user is greeted by a lot of black and white photos.

He or she will wonder why his feed is plastered with so many of those black and white photos before discovering that the photos (and posts on Instagram stories) are under the globally famous #ChallengeAccepted movement.

This new trend flooding even Facebook promises to utilise social media for good unlike the other challenges that have spiked negativity. It is so huge that the likes of media personalities Yvonne Okwara and Jacque Maribe had on Tuesday, July 28 joined female Kenyan celebrities in the global movement in support of other women.

“To all women, let’s take this challenge beyond the hashtag and support each other more meaningfully,” Okwara captioned her picture as she tagged several of her female colleagues. Maribe on her part simply put the hashtag as the caption.

Citizen TV Anchor Yvonne Okwara (left) and Jacque Maribe (right) taking on the #ChallengeAccepted movement. Source: Instagram

Citizen TV anchor Victoria Rubadiri also participated in the challenge using her own personal experience of women empowerment.

“I recall a time veteran politician Julia Ojiambo told me, ‘In my day, women were fighting for a voice.’ Today we have more than a voice. The question is, how are you using it? Amplify yours today to uplift and empower fellow women,” she wrote.

A spot check by 254News.co.ke observed that other personalities such as Marini Naturals CEO Michelle Ntalami, singer Avril Nyambura, Sage Chemutai, KTN’s Akisa Wandera, Jamila Mohamed (Citizen TV), Jane Ngoiri (NTV), Joyce Omondi (Switch TV), singer Mayonde and others too many to identify at once took part in the challenge.

But what is it really?

Michelle Ntalami (top left), Avril (top right), Sage (bottom left) and Mayonde (bottom right). Source: Instagram

It has already been used in the past as a hashtag for other social media trends, such as to build awareness of cancer.

However, according to an Instagram spokesperson, the current trend is “meant to celebrate strength, spread love, and remind all women that supporting each other is everything.”

According to a social media expert, the current use of the hashtag has been inspired by recent events in US politics.

But new information surfacing via Twitter on Wednesday July 28 appears to have offered the real meaning behind the challenge.

It’s A Turkish Women’s Rights Movement

The challenge began in Turkey, where a women’s rights campaign began as a way of rebelling against the huge violence women many Turkish face.

Protests in Turkey broke out after a 27-year-old woman called Pınar Gültekin was strangled, burned and murdered by her ex-boyfriend in the Mugla province on Thursday July 23, as reported by The Guardian.

File image of slain Turkish woman Pınar Gültekin. Source: Facebook

Femicide is a huge issue in Turkey, with 474 women murdered in 2019 – the highest figures in a whole decade. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 figures are expected to be even worse.

Therefore, women in Turkey are said to have began the Black And White Photo Challenge in order to raise awareness of the struggles Turkish women face, a meaning that has been entirely lost on social media.


The Real Meaning of #ChallengeAccepted

Many people on social media are fighting for people to remember the original meaning of the challenge when posting their black and white photos onto social media.

One Twitter user said: “Absolutely love all your posts, just wanted to draw your attention to the origins of the “challenge accepted” posts. It began to spread awareness in Turkey as they grieve the deaths of several women who are victims of Femicide. #istanbulsözleşmesiyaşatır.”

The hashtags #kadınaşiddetehayır and #istanbulsözleşmesiyaşatır were used by Turkish women as part of the challenge, but as it became more Americanised, the original hashtags were dropped.

They are said to roughly translate as #SayNoToViolenceAgainstWomen and #EnforceTheIstanbulConvention, and people are being urged to use these hashtags as part of the challenge.

How It Works

Women from all over the world have taken on the challenge of posting selfies with positive messaging about each other and the importance of supporting others.

Upon posing the images, the participants nominate other women to post their own black and white portrait which then creates a chain for others to be made aware and post their own.

According to Instagram analytics, over 3 million photos have been posted under the hashtag, with celebrities drawing attention to the online cause. 

Celebrities worldwide such as Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, Demi Lovato, Ruby Rose and many others have also taken part in the challenge.

Kerry Washington (left) and Hilary Duff (right). Source: File

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