No, this video of parachutists crash-landing in a stadium wasn’t filmed in Uganda
Issued on: Modified:
Social media users in Kenya have been laughing at a video they say shows a number of parachutists crash-landing into a crowd during celebrations marking 60 years of independence in neighbouring Uganda. However, it turns out that this video was actually filmed in the Central American nation of Honduras, back in September.
If you only have a minute
Social media users in Kenya have been poking fun at a video they say shows parachutists in neighbouring Uganda crash land during a celebration of the country’s 60-year anniversary of independence.
The video has been so widely circulated that the spokesperson for the Ugandan Ministry of Defense actually made a statement, explaining that the video was fake.
We ran a reverse image search and uncovered the true context of the video – it was indeed filmed during independence day celebrations … but in Tegucigalpa, Honduras not Uganda.
The fact-check in detail
Kenyan social media users have been having a laugh at a video showing parachutists crash-landing into the stands during what they said were celebrations marking the 60-year anniversary of independence in neighbouring Uganda on October 9, 2022.
The video appeared on Facebook (examples here, here and here), Youtube and TikTok (here or here), with users in each case claiming the incident took place in Uganda. One tweet by former Kenyan senator Mike Sonko garnered 90,000 views. Like many others on social media, Sonko made fun of the video.
“They are the people who want to take over Nairobi in a week?” Sonko asked in his tweet.
These are Ugandan paratroopers. They are the people who want to take over Nairobi in a week? Instead ya kuland at the centre of the field wanaland juu mabati ya stadium na kwa jukwaa ya raia. pic.twitter.com/41zm9sseCc— Mike Sonko (@MikeSonko) October 10, 2022
Sonko was referring to another Twitter scandal. On October 3, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the then-commander of the Ugandan Army and the son of the president tweeted, “It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, 2 weeks to capture Nairobi.”
The day after Kainerugaba’s tweet, his father, the president, removed him from his function and apologised to Kenya on October 4, 2022.
In any case, back to the parachutists. Turns out, this video was not actually filmed in Uganda. We did a reverse image search using a screengrab from the video (follow this link to find out how you can do the same). This pulled up an article in Spanish published on September 16 about the celebrations marking independence day in Honduras The article features a screengrab along with the caption, “A parachutist fell spectacularly into the stands.”
We then did a Google search using the keywords “Honduras”, “parachutist” and “2022” in Spanish. We quickly pulled up several videos and articles about the incident, including a video from the Spanish-language CNN channel entitled “Parachutists fall on the crowd during celebrations marking Honduran Independence Day.”
These media reports feature the same scene as in the original video. “You make me happy, Honduras” is written on the grassy field (“Vos me hacés feliz Honduras” in Spanish), which is the slogan often used to mark independence day.
The fact that this video went viral, associated with the wrong context, led the spokesperson for the Ugandan Ministry of Defence to make a statement. It turns out that Uganda did indeed have an independence day celebration recently and there were parachutists there.
However, the spokesperson said that this video couldn’t have been from the Uganda celebration. Firstly, he said that the crowd in the video was just too big – there were fewer people at the independence day ceremony in Kampala on October 9, largely because of Covid restrictions. He also said the parachutists in the video didn’t look like the ones who performed in Uganda.
Our attention has been drawn to a video doing rounds on social media purportedly to be a video of UPDF paratroopers that performed a tremendous job on Independence Day. Therefore, ignore this video because it is fake.— Defence Spokesperson (@UPDFspokespersn) October 13, 2022
It’s true that videos of the Ugandan ceremony shared by the Ugandan and Kenyan media look very different to the celebration in the viral video. For one, as the spokesperson said, there are fewer people in the stands. Moreover, Kololo independence grounds in Kampala, where the Ugandan celebrations took place, are essentially made up of a large field surrounded by bleachers while, in Honduras, the celebrations took place in a stadium.
Also, there are several videos that actually show the parachutists who took part in independence day celebrations in Kampala. And while both events did feature one blue and white parachute, the rest of the parachutes in Honduras were white and those in Uganda were a variety of colours.