This article delineates the material relations, routines and sensorial responses inhabited by people in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. It grounds views on a discourse of behavioural change while exploring how Ugandans, Kenyans and Rwandans responded to COVID-19 messages populated on selected official government Twitter accounts. The article is a mixed methods study that employs a numeric and discursive analytic approach, with the nudge theory proving particularly congenial. Findings show that a civic nationalism was enunciated in the hinterland. The nomenclature evoked in the wake of enforcing pandemic restrictive measures is both politically and socially repressive. Far from presuming fixed identities, the conceptual thread that is knit together during the pandemic oscillates from broad support to a problem of behavioural fatigue.
Nasaba, R. M., & Sembatya, N. A. (2021). Is we they? A cross-cultural study of responses to covid-19 updates in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Journal of African Media Studies, 13(3), 351–366. https://doi.org/10.1386/JAMS_00053_1