The problems with the image of Africa 

 

How many view Africa as an exotic land of safaris or deserts filled with bone bare severly malnourished thin children holding round bowls for begging and food?Many I’ll say.I was checking YouTube the other day on famous and beautiful cities in Africa and in the comments section,one man said something about the beauty and splendid nature of Africa and that ‘we’ should admire that than want to talk about the sprawling cities.The cities made by man’s efforts that produces him respect for his hard work.I pondered deeply on this,the “African nature” that has been pushed and preached by foreign media or the adverse poverty of Africa pushed by same media.Africa as a continent has about 54 countries,all independent nations of their own.Even with this know information,people still feel the need to categorize Africa as one.Of course many African countries and cities are rich and developed but no one from the western media has interest in showing that.

They rather show the  few places in Africa consisting of poor people who lack clean water and food most times crawling on the ground,animal like and dusty.JUST imagine if you have never been to any country in Africa what would you think?!JUST Imagine if the images of the western world were that of focusing on the slums and homeless people of America,or those people on welfare, how would foreigners feel about such western countries without even stepping foot in one,say America for example.Now let your imagination trail on,to if the beautiful trees and cotton-candy looking skies in England was emphasised over all the achievements of the country,showcased over Cambridge and Oxford.If people turned a blind eye to the populated middle class and the rich who own their own cars and apartments,tell their own life stories.Or yes, even the poor who own their cars as well and tell stories of struggling to make it and working hard towards it.

Yes, people of such status and stories are ignored when it comes to the western media telling/showing African “news”,why?Because they have the power to do it,Africans having no control over their own story other than what the western world wants and NEEDS to see and hear about them,so as not to break the illusion or fallacy.That is why foreign interviewers would go to isolated and dirt poor villages to interview them,they becoming the face of Africa,than interviewing those in cities similar to their western world.The world now has these specific generalized untrue pictures of Africa.When a western celebrity comes to Africa you can picture them around an array of darkskinned children smiling,amid hunger and poverty reaching to touch their western saviour.And as you’ll find out you can see many of this pictures on the internet.

When mark zukerberg came to Nigeria,the CNN reported it as “sub Saharan Africa” not bothering to mention the country.To make matters worse as I was moving around Twitter, I saw a white man post the same caption with the picture of           an imporverised looking, peasant African man with bloodshot eyes carrying a sewing machine ,instead of the real pictures, while Nigerians were the ones who posted the real images of Mark in computer establishments, with African computer programmers adults and some children who come constantly to learn at the institutions smiling and talking with them,and intellectually discussing with them.Assuming you were looking from a western perspective,  you would think that Mark Zukerberg came to do charity work in ” Africa” instead of smart business and investments.

This article would involve reading in between the lines a good deal.But one thing is certain is that many truths are hidden closer to the surface than as expected.The fault lies in both hands ,western and African;Africa for its inability to control their own image that is being broadcasted to the world.Their lack of power is the blockage for positive images of African diverse stories of various middle class people and rich alike.I’m not saying the poor should be shunned or ignored but I say that we should not allow constant lies to be fed to the world,In a world were exploration and illumination is open to all.You can find the real numerous,awesome stories of Africa with those eyes.Those eyes just has to be opened.

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