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Insight/Opinions

Africa through the Western Media’s Eye

Koshie shut her door to drown the sound of the radio her father had blaring at full volume. Flipping through each channel was likened to painfully watching the evils fly out of Pandora’s Box. The sad part was that the crowd was more interested in the circles that the spirits were running in, than in attempting to push them back into Pandora’s Box.

She stared at the screen unblinkingly; each scroll felt like plunging into a labyrinth of grotesque images and disturbing words. Images of kids with protruding rib-cage; images she’d been seeing for years now. It was as if the internet was a family house for continents, and African’s framed picture was of an African child with his rib-cage on display and 900 bones in sight with just one layer of skin.

And this picture has been hanging above the mantle for years; no growth, no change, same bones and sunken eyes and depleting flesh. And that image of Africa is the information that is being subconsciously etched into the world’s heart. A twisted metaphor.

Koshie’s fingers itched with a sense of apprehension. She was almost sure if she Googled synonym for Africa, ‘chaos’ would pop up. That was the beleaguering condemnation Africa had been stereotyped to….

Femi was born outside Africa. He’d never set foot in Africa. His mother was from Taraba State and his father from Kaduna. His grandparents lived in Lagos as storekeepers. Yet his fear of coming home was overflowing; for he feared there were evil spirits lurking in Africa and would devour him the minute he set foot in Africa. He’d heard of their primitive ways and how logic dwelled far away from their land.

Awiti just joined his brothers in the states. He spent an entire month convincing his new classmates he didn’t live in the jungle with lions and he didn’t walk around clad in leaves.

So much misrepresentation and misinformation of Africa exists at the global platform.

Making a mediocrity of the continent is what the media portrays.

Africa is trying hard to display its brightly coloured Ankara but the media wants to show its ash cloth
to the world instead…

-Ama Asantewa

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