Africa and The Single Story

When many people think of Africa, they imagine this corruption-rampant, war-prone, disease-laden land mass occupied by primitive individuals who are charity cases. For a long time Africa has been portrayed in the media as the dark continent that has mastered the art of producing one tragedy after another. Many a journalists arrive in African countries to cover a story with most of the article already written. All they need to do is add a few local names and interview some sources to plug into their narrative. To them, the story of Nigeria is the story of Kenya, let’s ignore the fact that the two are in completely different parts of Africa. Africa is not perfect but neither is it this single story.

There are many stories about Africa that remain untold. Some of these include the stories of the positive strides that are being made towards the betterment of countries. The successes range from the growth of businesses, to improvement in healthcare and innovative mobile banking solutions among others. Africans are also increasingly using social media and ICT to find solutions to daily challenges. We have become active participants in and taken ownership of our own progress. Sure we have corruption, disease and conflict but those are issues that we are actively tackling.

Even in the successes it is important to remember that the model is not singular. Africa is very rich in diversity and each country follows its own development script.

I came across this documentary that shows how Africa is not and will never be a single narrative. Enjoy!



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