Aurora Magazine

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Published in Nov-Dec 2016

The Top 5 WTF Moments of 2016

From Aurora's 'Top 5ives – 10 Pros in Top 5 Mode' Series.

1. The old man and Sindh

Shocked at Brexit? Pulling your hair at the Trump win? Ha! While most Pakistanis sat on their high horses laughing at the Brits and the Yanks and preaching sanity, their own elected government pulled a Trump on them by placing a 78-year-old man, who needs to be assisted to walk, in the office of the Governor of Sindh. That to me was the mother of all WTF moments for 2016. But given the year it has been, I will not put it past 2016 to pull something even more stunning before the sun sets on December 31.

2. The first Pakistani bull run

Spain might be famous for its ‘Running of the Bulls’ festival but Pakistan now has its own such event that hopefully will be celebrated annually with zest and fervour. On October 28, Sheikh Rashid ran through the narrow streets of Lahore with the government’s ‘bulls’ chasing after him. The Twitter sphere went mad as he negotiated lanes to reach Committee Chowk. Now hate him or love him, if this isn’t worthy of an annual celebration, I don’t know what is.

3. The Orange Pumpkin Revolution

Although it’s been talked about to death but a ‘top 5 WTF moments’ list is not complete without talking about the first ‘orange’ president to be elected by the US. There are many reasons why Halloween will now continue for the next four years, but from a digital perspective we have to admit Twitter helped him get there. The very thing that everybody said would destroy him, helped Trump connect to millions of like-minded people in America. A scary thought because it gives you an insight into what America is today.

4. From London with love

Although video feeds from London are known for their ever frequent lapses in judgment, the Aik pappi idhar and aik pappi udhar episode broke new grounds in the cringe worthy zone of digital content. Never before have I sat frozen in a chair praying for the horror to end. Possibly the greatest local fodder for memes since Aamir Liaqat’s Ghalib.

5. The ‘Great Zapya’ episode

Surprisingly, Pakistan has more than the average share per country of weird when it comes to digital content. A lot of credit for this accolade goes to Waqar Zaka who single handedly steered this country into global WTF waters. The Zapya baby promo is a great example of WZ’s unenviable skills and a good way to end my list of five WTF moments of 2016.

Syed Amir Haleem is CEO, KueBall Digital.