A viral claim stating that Columbian singer Shakira gave computer lessons to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is found to be fake. The hoax suggests that Shakira also encouraged the philanthropist to never give up.
Bill Gates and his foundation Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are frequently involved in one or the other controversies. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, several conspiracy theorists have linked Gates with its origin.
What's the Mystery Behind the Claim?
The recent hoax claim originated following a tweet from a user @HouseMebarak with the handle "The Mongoose". The tweet, which appeared on February 23, read; "Shakira in 1995 was giving Computer lessons to a kid, she said to him 'never give up to your dreams' that kid was Bill Gates."
It also carried a picture of Shakira meeting Bill Gates in 2012. In another picture the singer is seen sitting in front of a computer and standing with an unidentified child.
The picture of Shakira and Gates dates to 2012. Sharing the image on Twitter the singer had written: "Bill Gates is tackling some of the world greatest problems, guided by the belief that all lives have equal value. Shak."
The tweet has been retweeted over 53,600 times and received over 402,000 likes. Newsweek reported that the post was also shared on Reddit where it received hundreds of responses. 'Shakira and Bill Gates' was also one of the trending topics on Twitter.
Social Media Users Fall Prey to the Hoax
Though Gates was born long before Shakira, in 1955, there were many who fell prey to the viral hoax. Those who understood the joke, soon expressed their opinion on the microblogging site. "How is that possible if Bill Gates is 21 years older than Shakira?" wrote a user.
"The problem with this "jokes" is that most of the people believe it, and that is how fake news become the "true" for so many," tweeted another user.
"That must be Shakira Senior, because Bill Gates has to be at least 20 years older that Shakira Jr." opined another.
"Shakira was born in 1977 whilst Public Health and Infectious Diseases expert Bill Gates' born year was 1955," a user wrote while responding to the original tweet.