Two military helicopters captured the attention of residents of Nairobi on Tuesday, April 21, as they flew across the city with banners.
One of the choppers flew a banner written ‘God Bless Medics’ in a nod to healthcare workers who are at the front line in the country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The banner flown by the second chopper read ‘Stay Home’ as it advised Kenyans to adhere to government recommendations to minimise movement in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
The choppers were first spotted by Kenyans in Embakasi, close to the army barracks in the area.
What followed was excited Kenyans in various city estates including Nairobi West, Nyayo Highrise and Kilimani sharing photos and recordings of the choppers which they sighted.
Many Kenyans took to social media to share their thoughts on the unique move by the government to raise awareness on Covid-19, with many particularly endorsing the message of appreciation to medics.
Barely two hours after the choppers were first spotted, the phrase ‘God bless medics’ was already among the top trends in Kenya on Twitter.
“In traffic, guessing at the skies and wondering what will become of the world then I see this helicopter flying with a banner; “God bless medics”.
“Man, it’s been a while since I felt this way. I smiled, teared up a little and quickly snapped this shot. God indeed bless our medics,” wrote one Phannie Kwega.
“A helicopter has passed by our office with a banner written “God Bless Medics” and coincidentally most of us were at the balcony for lunch! It has made all of us so much happy,” wrote T Nungari.
Not all Kenyans who spotted the choppers, however, were excited as some questioned the necessity of the move arguing that the funds used to fuel the helicopters could have been better spent in areas considered more essential.
Others sought to deconstruct the efficacy of the messaging chosen by the government arguing that, for instance, most Nairobians already knew it was important to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.
“This is how millions disappear in the name of fighting Covid-19. Meanwhile, police are busy extorting poor Kenyans,” wrote one Vongusos.
“God bless medics sounds encouraging but I bet you what would be better is if the government put in better effort to care for the medics. Protective gear, better salaries, more employment opportunities, better working conditions, sufficient equipment. Those would be blessings,” argued Alaka Eshiombo.
“Useless PR exercise, they should use the resources to bring back Kenyans stranded in China,” advised Wesley Bii.