Newspapers in Africa have fallen for a spoof story about heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson becoming a transgender woman.
The article, which was originally published by UK-based satirical website NewsBiscuit in November, reported the former world champion would now be called Michelle.
The author who goes by the name of Uncle Bertie wrote that the 16-hour gender reassignment surgery at a Beverly Hills clinic was a ‘complete success’.
However, not everyone got the joke and African publications including Zimbabwe’s Standard, Zambian Watchdog and SpyGhana websites all running with the story as a serious news piece.
NewsBiscuit told the BBC that their article has been viewed more than 50,000 times over the last few days, with a disproportionate amount of hits from Africa, and the website kept crashing yesterday (12 December) as a result.
As well as claiming having his first menstrual cycle would be a ‘dream come true’ for Tyson, the spoof story also claimed the US sportsman kept his surgically removed penis in a jar by his bedside.
‘Some people might think it strange that I’m now a woman,’ NewsBiscuit quoted him as saying.
‘But even at the height of my career, when pound for pound I was regarded as the best fighter in the world, I never lost touch with my feminine side and knew that one day I would grow breasts and have a vagina.’
Last month, the Chinese Communist Party’s official website fell for a spoof story in US satirical website The Onion which claimed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was the ‘sexiest man alive’.