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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Viral Pakistani friendship break-up meme sells for $51,530 in NFT auction

In the 2015 viral post, a Pakistani man named Muhammad Asif Raza Rana had mentioned that he was ending his friendship with his best friend as he had become selfish and proud.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 5, 2021 11:28:15 am
Pakistani meme, Pakistani meme auction, meme nft, pakistani memes sells for nft, auction of pakistani meme, trending news, indian express trends, indian ExpressPakistani meme vent viral in 2015. (Facebook/Muhammad Asif Raza)

The words ‘break up’ are universally associated with the ending of a romantic relationship. However, in 2015, a Pakistani man’s breakup announcement took social media by storm because it was about his best friend! Years later, the post which had become a popular meme, was auctioned off as a NFT (non-fungible token), and sold on Friendship Day.

Muhammad Asif Raza Rana, a Gujranwala man immortalised the sad saga of his friendship through a photoshopped post titled, ‘Friendship ended with Mudasir’. The Facebook post had gone viral and earned global headlines before becoming an all-time favourite meme.

The post explained how Rana found a new best friend in Salman Ahmad Naqash after taking away the title from Mudasir Ismail Ahmad, who had been his best friend until then. Informing people about the major update about his life, Rana alleged that Ahmad was selfish and had an attitude problem.

Now in 2021, the announcement-turned-meme was auctioned as one of Pakistan’s first meme NFT, selling for $51,530 or 20 ethereum by Alter, which conducted the sale on the digital art marketplace Foundation, the world’s largest platform for NFT listings.

After the platform fees, the major portion of the auction earnings will go to the creators – Rana and his friends – with a minor split going to Alter. After the success of this post, the man has plans to create similar memes to put up for auction in the near future, VICE reported.

“I would never have known that [the post] would go so viral and that it would spread all over the world. So many news agencies interviewed us. We’ve even had a cartoon made about us,” Rana told the news outlet. “The people of Poland love it so much. I received Polish visa offers from two or three people. They even wrote my name on the walls there,”  he added.

“Simply put, this was just the beginning of the ‘Friendship Ended’ saga. Inadvertently Raza generated one of the biggest friendship circles we have ever seen,” Foundation described the viral post on its website. “Raza’s post gathered upwards of 47,000 reactions, 56,000 shares and 27,000 comments on Facebook,” it added explaining its popularity.

Zain Naqvi, Alter’s Co-founder told SAMAA Digital why they selected this particular Pakistani meme for their friendship day auction. Naqvi explained that while a majority of the local memes are about local events, Rana’s meme had a larger appeal to the international audience and has greater relevance in that context. People have used this meme in political discussions lasting over three American presidents, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump and Joe Biden, he told the news website.

And while most might think that Rana’s public demotion of Mudasir would have ended their friendship, the reality seems to be quite different. In Rana’s latest livestream on Facebook after the auction featured his “past best friend” as well, as he tagged both his friends. “We all are together and we meet at times as well,” he said.

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