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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Stop the negative portrayal of the continent

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Their media have been one of the most active in this regard. Western people are no less guilty. The recent portrayal of Gunjur as a community of starving children by the British boxer Amir Khan is one of many instances. The continent has since been seen as the ultimate land of gloom.

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Many of the NGOs that are mostly funded and aided by the West are guilty of this act too. They embark on this in the hope that they will have more funding when they paint those they are helping as the most wretched and horrible of human beings. In so doing we are marketed as victims and a helpless people who will take handouts or donations just to live through the next day. What this type of imagery promotes is the easing of guilt for those who perpetuate those crimes that keep the ordinary Africans in such awful condition. By donating a quarter of what is unjustly taken, the corporations that thrive on the sweat, tears and blood of the people are left scot free to act more treacherously than ever. 

 

There is a problem of human rights violations and bad governance on the continent and it’s something no sane African can deny. But to use that as a tool for staging a campaign of maligning Africa as a whole is simply out of place. There are people here who laid down their lives for the actualisation of all that is just for every human being and there were leaders that lived by those principles which is the hallmark of democracy, but by virtue of the fact that they didn’t glorify the West, and instead fought hard to end domination of every type, they were demonised and character assassinated by those western media outlets that use every chance to attack the integrity of the continent. 

 

The ethos that define the secular civilasation of the Western world is seen most patently in the way its media operate with other peoples and races. The medium through which they express their ideologies and beliefs unequivocally saw that there civilasation is at best exclusivist and doesn’t go the extra mile in protecting the integrity and dignity of the other.

 

Africa being the most ill portrayed continent on earth, needs more than a campaign on the problem of the western media and personalities in their malignant stories. The next generations of Africans are growing up with a much brainwashed mindset. They are victims of the same propaganda that saw many young black women bleaching their melanin and others disowning their lands due to the harsh way in which its portrayed. With this shame and guilt ridden pathos that has encircled our people, it becomes only necessary to embark upon a systematic decolonisation, which would stem the impact of western propaganda on our populace.

 

The blame has gone on for too long and it has solved almost nothing from the myriad of problems that Africa is in the grip of, which these negative media portrayal is a fraction of. The core of our problem is more internal than it is external. What we should now venture on, is the increment in quality education and encouraging the academic performance of the younger generation, thereby developing strong institutions in the form of media houses and vibrant citizens that would sell the image of the continent in a positive way. Development is null and nonexistent if it’s not grounded in sound and quality education. The illiteracy and ignorance in the various African lands, is amazingly daunting. Africa like any other continent, owes its progress in the productivity of its youth force, and the best way of ensuring a productive youth population is in investing in its education.

Again we are not calling on the Western media to not talk about anything negative concerning the continent. The call is to be objective and to balance their media coverage. As for the celebrities that have genuine hearts to alleviate the suffering of people down here, they are to do it without hurting the dignity of the people involved. The African continent have her shares of woes and triumphs; positives and negatives, so when it’s been placed in the spotlight, let that be realised and acted upon, otherwise it’s going to be a subjective outlook and not a narrative that is worth our people’s dignity or respect.

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