“Why is it that five thousand units of our currency is worth one unit of your currency, when we are the ones with the actual gold reserves? It’s quite evident that the aid is in fact not coming from the West to Africa, but from Africa to the Western world. The Western world depends on Africa in every possible way, since alternative resources are scarce out here. So how does the West ensure that the free aid keeps coming? By systematically destabilizing the wealthiest African nations and their systems, and all that backed by huge PR campaigns. Leaving the entire world under the impression that Africa is poor and dying, and merely surviving on the mercy of the West. Well done Oxfam, UNICEF, Red Cross, Life Aid and all the other organizations that continuously run multi-million dollar advertisement campaigns depicting charity porn, to sustain that image of Africa globally.”
Mallence Bart-Williams, Change your channel, TEDx Berlin
This speech resonates deeply with me, I am a firm believer in this truth. Africa is the richest continent in the world. I mean that in the most literal sense, Africa is simply wealthy. Media has been used to deceive, influence and control the world since it’s conception. The image painted of Africa is no coincidence, it is deliberate and purposeful.
For years we have been conditioned, through media, to fear the black man because he is dangerous and capable of all sorts of evil. We were purposely brainwashed into believing that black people are violent and uncultured. Today, innocent black men and women are being killed by police officers, and justice isn’t being served because well… “He’s black so the law understands that your life must have been in danger, even though you were the one with the gun.”
The media tells us that Africa is poor and dying, despite the abundance of natural resources, precious minerals and vast land. The rhetoric is that Africa is weak and needs help urgently, just look at the poverty porn… the charity porn we’re constantly being bombarded with on a daily basis.
The media has convinced the world that African women can only be one of two things: suffering immensely but trying to survive regardless or finally successful despite immense suffering. According to media, African women are only powerful and determined. We are never frivolous and insanely taken by a new shade of MAC lipstick. Let’s be clear, I’m an African woman and I do get carried away by a new shade of lipstick that does the thing!
It is clear that we have been conditioned to believe many lies… Lies about ourselves. These lies have resulted in the state we find our rich and beautiful continent in. Most of us have come to believe and accept these, and other such lies. Furthermore, some of us believe that we’re helpless bystanders in our struggle, we believe that there is very little to no hope for us.
How wrong we are…
We possess more power than we realize. What we need is to know our truth and be authentically true to it. We need to unite and rebuild our empire from the rubble and ruins. The truth is that Africa was looted, raped and killed. Let me ask you this: If a wealthy man’s home is looted by criminals, do we then call him poor? Of course not! Africa is not poor, it was simply invaded, colonized and terrorized. Africa suffered a cancer, and she is recovering. She’s gone through chemotherapy, lost her hair, her strength, and sometimes her will to live. But Africa is a survivor, she is well on her way to good health.
Let’s use media as a weapon of mass destruction against the myths and stereotypes that are used to define and confine us. Let’s use media as an armour and protector of truth. Let’s tell them the truth! We need Africans to be in the forefront when it comes to telling African stories. We have to be deliberately authentic. In whatever career/ field you find yourself in, speak our truth and be our truth. We’re capable of changing the world, you have to believe that.