I have to say, that I cannot remotely imagine being a mother who received word 2 weeks ago that her daughter was one of the girls kidnapped from a boarding school in Chibok, Nigeria. I have to say, that I cannot imagine being the politician who knows what avenues can be taken and efforts made […]
And Yes! Africa is not a Country!
Posted in Life and Culture on February 12th, 2014 By Yvonne Mtengwa
So enthralled I was to bump into a piece on CNN’s website entitled “Africa is not a country’: Students’ photo campaign breaks down stereotypes.” The first thing I thought was “Wow! Finally a people have taken it upon themselves to visually dispel the myths regarding all which Africa isn’t!” A group of students from Ithaca College launched a social media initiative coined “The Real Africa: Fight the Stereotype,” wherein members of the college’s African Students Association took remarkable images of themselves wrapped in various flags of countries belonging to our beloved continent Africa.
What got me thinking though was how I moved back to Zimbabwe almost 7 years ago now, after a 7 year stint in the U.S, and students today were still confronted by the same questions I endured on my university campus, in the neighbourhood Bestbuy or Target, or over a coffee break during another day at the office. “Say something to me in African”…”So like what kinda cars do y’all drive over there?”…”So you guys know about Gap and Baby Phat?”….Ummm….yeah ok!
See my thing on this issue has always been and still stands at; in the age of Google and a vast array of media outlets, in a country that deals with management of diversity and cultural issues on a large scale (possibly more so than any other in the world), could it really still be a fact that there are a certain people that carry no curiosity whatsoever about countries outside of their own? Could it simply be a case of a nation seemingly having access to any and everything such that they become devoid of the need to find out more about an environment that differs from theirs? You see in Africa, most students want to pursue a higher education in western societies because well, it’s different, the west has systems that work, opportunities are endless when pitted against those on home ground – really the reasons are numerous for anyone considering to migrate to Europe or the Americas. What gets me though is how then it is possible for anyone to not find it questionable to ask such questions.
“Africans do not all look alike”
“Africa is not a land filled with diseases” – (yes Justine Sacco…this mentality that had you tweet “‘Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m White!’… IS WHAT GOT YOU FIRED!)
“I don’t speak ‘AFRICAN’ because ‘AFRICAN’ is not a language”
“Africa is not defined by poverty”
“Africa existed before colonialism”
…are some quotes as presented by the photo campaign. So simple yet so profound, with such truths embedded in them one can only wish that audiences far and wide would really process what is being articulated here.
If only more people knew how hospitable a people Africans as a whole are. How we greet with smiles notwithstanding the day to day challenges we find ourselves navigating through. If only the world’s citizens knew that part of the privileges they enjoy are being milked from our land by powers who claim investment and development as opposed to the real truth that is exploitation. If only more people took the time to find out more about the various ethnic groups that call Africa home, that our people “do not need to be saved ” because they carry the propensity to save themselves; that we “speak really good English for Africans” because we went to school just like everyone else. If only more people knew that Africa is not a country, but a land of vast wealth in its people and natural resources…a land of unimaginable beauty on more than just a few fronts.
I bumped into someone’s status update on Facebook wherein (with such courage) she asked who Lupita Nyong’o was and what her claim to fame was. I thought to myself “What!? Who is Lupita? Is she just not the most tweeted and talked about Kenyan woman, Oscar Winner and Hollywood’s Award Season darling??” I then […]
Posted in Beats & Soul with Carly on February 26th, 2014 By Carly Mond
If you have not kept up to date with the world of music recently then you have missed possibly the greatest few days in RnB revival history!! It seems that some of everyone’s favourite artists of the 90s have all woken up from their artistic coma in synchronization and here is the outcome….. During on […]
Posted in Life and Culture on February 25th, 2014 By Yvonne Mtengwa
So the adage goes that when opportunity meets preparedness success has every potential to ensue. Roman philosopher Seneca defined luck as the moment when preparedness and opportunity collide. Others simply assert that it is about being at the right place at the right time. In the advent of the economic collapse in my home country […]
I remember walking across a patch of grass in front of the B. Jones Center at Atlanta’s Emory University a good 12 years ago now. Bright eyed college freshman I was, who had categorically been placed under the “International Students” sub-group…you know; the group that arrives on campus earlier than the rest and endures lecture […]
The first famous black footballer I can remember was John Barnes. He was the fast, athletic left winger for England and Liverpool. I think my dad along with other dads in Zimbabwe supported John Barnes and Liverpool as a result. As much as I hate to admit it, I followed suit. Barnes was subjected to racism […]
On a winter night in early July 1994, my brothers and I switched off our old Panasonic TV after a disappointing loss for the Nigerian Super Eagles. It was way past our bedtime but we didn’t care. Plus I think my parents were out and made it easier to watch the game. Pajamas and all […]
It’s very rare that I come across somebody in the media spotlight whose life I envy. However, I have just read Ahmir Thompson aka Questlove’s book ‘Mo Meta Blues’ and wow I would happily trade lives with him for a while!! ‘Mo Meta Blues’ is described as a memoir/autobiography but it is more a journey […]
Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy aka Puffy aka P.Diddy aka Diddy often liked to make the claim that Bad Boy Records (meaning him) invented the remix. I’m not too sure who definitively invented the remix, but one thing is certain and that is Puffy was responsible for some of the greatest remixes ever produced. The […]
Posted in Guest Posts on November 20th, 2013 By Tinashe Mabasha
The Black Album was released on November 14 2003. At the time, this was Jay-Z aka Hov’s last album and he was retiring to become President of Island-Def Jam records and pursue other business interests. Last week was the 10 year anniversary of this record. The Black Album is widely recognized as Hov’s best […]