Kenyan student on a mission to change view of Africa (Video) - The Sauce
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Campus

Kenyan student on a mission to change view of Africa (Video)

africa-tree

If you have studied or are currently pursuing studies in Western countries, you have probably experienced some dim view about Africa, thanks largely to western media.

A Kenyan student studying at the Washington and Lee University in the American state of Virginia sought to establish from her fellow students whether the apprehension that ‘Western’ media deliberately portrays Africa in a negative light goes beyond Kenyans on Twitter.

In a documentary titled Africa in Western Media, Waringa Kamau speaks to both African students at the campus as well as students from the ‘West’ and the consensus, it appears, is the same; a lot of the ‘Western’ media reports on Africa are not flattering to the continent.

“They portray Africa as a place where there are starving children, and they always will need help,” one student from the ‘West’ told Kamau with another concurring, “I guess the first thing that I think of are those commercials that have the starving children with the bones sticking out.”

It is these images which helped the Live Aid concert of 1985 raise billions of pounds to help fight famine in Ethiopia; close to 30 years on however, Kamau feels these depiction of Africa is outdated.

“When I first came here, I had a really hard time adjusting to Lexington because it’s a very tiny town. I shared this with a friend and he looked at me and dismissed what I had said because in his mind I should be used to rural environments,” Kamau narrates in her documentary.

Emmanuel Abrebrese, another Washington and Lee student, from Ghana has also had to deal with the negative impressions created by biased broadcasts on Africa, “Sometimes when I’m speaking English people ask how I do so fluently and assume I must have lived here for some time implying that in order to speak good English you must have lived in the states for a long time but there are good schools in Ghana and that’s where I learnt most of my English.”

Waringa:

Waringa: young people are using social media to challenge stereotypical images that make headlines in the West

 

“Imagine if African media only told Africans of the shootings in New Town Chicago and Virginia Tech and that became the only story that Africans ever heard about America?” Kamau reasons, “Africa just like the rest of the world has its own set of challenges, but these are not the only story (to be told).”

Another student, Johanna Cho, however believes it will be an uphill battle before stories told by the ‘Western’ media on Africa gain more balance, “People already have an attitude and mindset about Africa and to have the media stray from that storyline is going to be disconcerting to people or they won’t believe it… I think it’s hard to break the mould.”

Blaise Buma, a Washington and Lee student from Cameroon agrees with Cho, “Everyone knows of Somalia, everyone knows of the Boko Haram in Nigeria. Those are the kinds of stories that people always want to read about and that makes it difficult for journalists to go into Africa and provide a balanced report.”

In her documentary, Kamau still insists that change will come, one tweet at a time, “Africans, especially young people are using social media to challenge stereotypical images that make headlines in the West… I believe young Africans can contribute by being more vocal about their experiences and the great things they are doing on the continent.”


By Olive Burrows

CapitalFM

1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Some More Sauce...

Lifestyle

Kenyans on Twitter woke up to an explicit video that has since gone viral. In the video, a woman who is known on social...

Da Squeeze

Kenyan beauty Tanasha Donna Oketch recently opened up about her life. The 24 year old former radio presenter, musician and mother of one is...

Featured

Ugandan TV journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala’s face has got to be one of the memed faces of 2019.   But how did this Ugandan...

Da Squeeze

Who remembers the time when sex was simple. Well, nowadays there are a lot of weird fetishes that we can’t even keep track of...

Featured

The Free Mason society is known to be secretive and very private, but not anymore it may seem. The Freemason society based in Nairobi...

Da Squeeze

Kenya has a robust matatu culture and some people around the world love it. Award winning American singer and dancer Chris Brown yesterday (23.03.20)...

Da Squeeze

Is there a woman making your heart skip a beat? She might be a secret woman of your life.  Most women love, but they...

Da Squeeze

Kenyans on Twitter are not to be messed with, they bring guns to a knife fight. The hard-hitting K.O.T recently got into a Twitter...