When we lose focus of what is important, sometimes others will have to tell our story the way they see fit.
When the story of #TheAfricathemedianevershowsyou started trending last week, the first thought that popped into my mind was the following quote:
“If you don’t like my story, write your own” – Chinua Achebe
The story started by a young woman who felt media is biased in their representation of Africa – they focus on the negative aspects of our everyday living, she says.
In the end it wasn’t so bad paying attention to what these ‘sick and tired’ Africans have to say about the continent. There were lots of photos highlighting many beautiful places on the continent that I didn’t know existed.
Lake Retba or Lac Rose/Pink Lake in the northwest of Dakar, Senegal and historic place such as rock-cut churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia are among many other beautiful photos circulated online that were new to me – I am grateful for the young woman who started the chat and many others that contributed.
Reporting positive news about the continent is as important as reporting all true stories especially if we are truly serious about change for greater good.
Take Nigeria for example, I know our stories are not all about lack of infrastructure, wasteland for talents, war-torn, corruption and poverty-stricken land.
I am aware that public schools in Nigeria today is nothing to write home about – some buildings are unfit for purpose and so are the teachers.
The way I see it, if we truly want change, we need not wait for Western media to report important news, we should be the one reporting it to one another – constructive criticisms from within is what we need more of.
Poverty – This is old news that half Nigeria population live in abject poverty. We also knew that most of these folks live in the northern part of Nigeria. We knew that a few of northern states struggle to pay state workers and depended on federal government bail out.
Now, as a Nigerian, what I struggle to get my head around was that the same states have now contributed millions of $s to lesser Hajj for hundreds of citizens.
Does this even make any sense at all?
On humanity/justice system – Two weeks ago, Prof. Albert Ilemobade, a retired Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Akure was murdered by the house help in his home, depending on the reason for this terrible crime – the murderers may be set free tomorrow.
Two days ago, an elderly woman of 82 years old was hacked to death in her Ijebu home for offending the wrong people – justice may never be served.
These are not isolated events, people seem not to pay attention anymore.
I think the future of Africa depends on Africans telling their true stories – be concerned enough to not be ashamed of telling the not-so-rosy ones, after all, it is all for the greater good.