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Photo-editing fail wins Kenyan farmer's daughter travel pass

Online dream comes true after kind soul crowdfunds China trip

PHOTO-EDITING FAIL GOES VIRAL

Sometimes all you need is a dash of ingenuity and nifty photo-editing skills to make your dreams come true.

Kenyan woman Sevelyn Gat really wanted to go to China, but she unfortunately could not afford the plane ticket. Not to be let down by such a minor detail, the enterprising woman edited herself into photos of famous landmarks like the Great Wall of China.

The photos, of course, belonged to other people.

Her images were so badly altered that they started trending online soon after. Each post garnered thousands of comments and reactions.


One of the badly edited photos posted by Ms Sevelyn Gat that apparently showed her at the Great Wall of China. PHOTO: SEVELYN GAT/FACEBOOK

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It also inspired the hashtag #whereissevegatsnow, where Twitter users took it upon themselves to send the farmer's daughter all over the world.

So far, Gat has met the Queen of England, stood alongside US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, taken a wefie with Ellen Degeneres, gone skydiving and hung out with some rough-looking boys from South America.

Instead of making fun of her, Nairobi businessman Sam Gichuru decided to take to social media to raise funds for Gat.

"I wished I could buy you a ticket, but I can't afford it. The good news is that I have many friends," he said in a Facebook post earlier this month. "Get your passport ready because your dreams are about to come true."

Enough has been raised to send Gat to China, complete with four-star accommodation, travel insurance, pocket money and a possible meet-up with the Kenyan ambassador to China.

This stroke of luck has prompted Gat to actually apply for a passport. Through this episode, she also managed to wrangle an internship at a jobs database website.

As Mr Gichuru put it succinctly: "Gat, you better enjoy that trip. The entire world is rooting for you."

THE PRICE OF POPULARITY


Top YouTuber Chief Pat revealed that he has spent about US$30,000 (S$40,500) on mobile games - a sum he considers a worthwhile "business expense". PHOTO: CHIEF PAT/YOUTUBE

How much do you think an average person would spend on a video game? YouTuber Chief Pat revealed in a thread on social network Reddit that he has spent a whopping US$30,000 (S$40,500) on popular mobile games Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.

Both games which follow a "freemium" model are free to play, but upgrades cost money.

Chief Pat, who has 1.7 million followers on his channel, defended his purchases. "I've never regretted it because YouTube is my job. It's a business expense. I've got to show off all the coolest (things) for my subscribers," he said.

Certainly such extravagant spending might be warranted, when you consider how important it is for YouTubers who specialise in games, to be exceptional in their medium. Chief Pat is a top-ranked player in both games.

While his exact income is not known, third-party sites which analyse his traffic put his monthly pay cheque between US$15,000 and US$40,000. This is purely advertising revenue, and does not take into account other revenue streams like sponsorships and merchandise.

While Chief Pat's takings are nothing to scoff at, he pales in comparison to YouTuber PewDiePie, a 26-year-old Swedish comedian and producer whose channel has 43 million followers.

He reportedly earned more than US$12 million in 2015 alone.

Not too bad for a couple of guys who play games for a living.

#LAHOREBLAST

World leaders, notable athletes and celebrities took to Twitter over the past week to condemn the brutal terrorist attacks that killed 70 in a park in Lahore, Pakistan, last Sunday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to offer his condolences. He was followed swiftly by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose message of prayers for the victims under the hashtag #LahoreBlast, was retweeted more than 7,300 times.

#PrayForPakistan and #PrayForLahore were the other hashtags which trended this week.

According to Twitter, the top tweet this week came from Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who said: "We stand in solidarity against violence and senseless terrorism."

All in, there were more than 700,000 messages about the blast that targeted mainly women and children, Twitter said.

"Every life is precious, and must be respected and protected," said Nobel Peace Prize-winning education activist Malala Yousafzai.

TAKING PARODY A STEP TOO FAR?

A 27-year-old man in Ohio has been arrested for creating a parody Facebook page of a local police department. Anthony Novak allegedly spoofed the Parma Police Department and posted "derogatory" and "inflammatory" information.

One post, for example, said those interested in joining the police force needed to sit an eligibility test followed by a hearing test. It also encouraged minorities not to apply.

Besides posting made-up news, the page also delivered announcements like free abortions for teens using an "experimental technique developed by the police", and offered paedophiles a chance to become police officers if they pass a test.

But the arrest did not go down well with many netizens who felt their rights were being trampled upon. "This isn't an act for justice, this is an act for ego and pride. You are making police everywhere look bad," said one user.

"What if hundreds of us made our own fake page?" asked another.

Indeed, several other spoof pages have popped up following Novak's arrest. A crowdfunding site has also been set up to pay for his legal fees.

Novak is scheduled to appear in court next week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 03, 2016, with the headline 'Photo-editing fail wins Kenyan farmer's daughter travel pass'. Print Edition | Subscribe