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FACT CHECK: Viral 17-Yr-Old Hawker and Singer Salle: Publicity Stunt or Lies?

salle rihanna amanpour hawker singer

A viral video of a talented 17-year-old Nigerian street hawker named Salle, whose purported unrehearsed freestyle rendition to a random beat left every listener amazed, could have been scripted, new findings suggest.

Salle’s video emerged online last week. She was seen carrying a tray, suggesting she was a street hawker before singing, with an angelic voice, to a random beat. Her interviewers were voices in background of the footage who sounded stunned at her talent.

The video seemed genuine at first. After celebrities like Donjazzy and Tunde Ednut posted her video afterwards on their pages, it went viral. Her story seemed relatable in a country were many budding talents are unknown because they come from the poor divide of the society. Hence, it was easy to radiate with many and sold out quickly among Nigerians.

However, emerging facts now suggest her story could have been part of a publicity stunt to make her popular. A line of thought she further made believable with lies that CNN’s Christiane Amanpour requested to have an interview with her.

salle rihana amanpour
Fact Check: Viral 17-Yr-Old Hawker And Singer Salle: Publicity Stunt Or Lies? 9

Did Amanpour and Rihanna Contact Salle?

After the video of her went viral, her new social media accounts amassed over 200,000 followers combined overnight.

Her Twitter account then made a tweet of a screenshot claiming that American superstar Rihanna called her and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked her for an interview on her show.


When REPORT AFRIQUE investigated this, no trail of the conversation in her screenshot was traced to Amanpour’s verified account on Twitter. She had made all that up and the screenshot was photoshopped.


The story of Rihanna contacting her and Amanpour inviting her for an interview have also gone viral with many popular Nigerian blogs spreading it without verifying. A frontline newspaper in Nigeria, The Nation, published her lies before deleting the article after realizing it was “fake news”.

Salle fooled her new fan base. Her publicity team lied her way to fame and the public is buying it without a second guess.

A Facebook user named Josh the Netblaster wrote:

“In all you do in life, pray for GRACE. it takes you over years and times of labor with no result. Remember the hawker girl (Salle) that trended on the socials a few days ago, she has been transformed and report has it that Grammy winner, Rihanna has reached out to her. Even Christiane Amanpour of CNN also asked for the privilege to have her share her story on her show..”

It is the same storyline on many social media users’s posts or comments. They think her sudden rise to fame is as a result of a divine work of God.

Salle and her publicity team are clearly winning but with lies and fake news.

Salle: Nigerians React

After uncovering Salle’s lies, some Nigerians have come to the conclusion that Salle’s video was a publicity stunt to make her popular. Some said she may also not come from a poor background as depicted in the video.

A Facebook user, Chukwunonso Ezekwe wrote:

“I have shied away from putting this out but for folks that see any content that goes viral and jump on it without due diligence, think a little bit before Re-sharing.First, when you see any content that goes viral and it originates from one of your IG influencers, the possibility of it being a paid PR stunt is on the high side. Salle is a mad-ass talent, blessed with the Gen Z rhymes and tone but the way and manner she came into the limelight were all sponsored. Secondly, she never had any convo with Rihanna or Christine Amanpour, that was a photoshopped image. Thirdly, she’s not 17 years as claimed in different quarters. N.B: This is not to undermine the fantastic prowess of that soon-to-be music goddess, but an information worth sharing as there are lots of Fake News out there.”

While Salle’s image continue to rise, her team must understand that while her video may pass for a publicity stunt, faking a tweet from a personality like Amanpour or claiming to receive a call from Rihanna may have consequences that bothers on the integrity of her brand now or in the near future. Threading within a safe zone should rather be considered.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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