I do wonder how much relevance this fact holds in the entire globe. “Africa is not a country“ now quietly translates to a “call to action” mantra when it is, [in its total essence] NOT supposed to be so.
For ages undeterminable, Africa has been regarded with so many stereotypes attached to its existence as a continent. These misconceptions gladly point to Africa as a mere thing rather than the whole entity that it is.
As Chimamanda Adichie rightly defined in her TED Global address some years ago, the story being spread about Africa is “a single story – the formation of a truth borne out of perpetuated stereotypes”.
Africa Is Not A Country: Enough of The Stereotype
The narratives about Africa from outside its circuits strongly bothers on primitiveness, false representations, and pessimistic perceptions.
For emphasis’ sake, Africa is a continent just like Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica.
There is not one single language peculiar to Africans. The continent is an embodiment of evident cultural diversity, of languages and speech style; of traditions; of cuisines; of systems; of leadership; of democratic implications, etc.
Do you also know that people live independent of the Wildlife in Africa? The disposition that “Africans as people of one country share same room space and bed with wild animals” is one I consider ignorant. I mean, there is a media research and physical evidence to back this up.
Africa is home to several nations and a source of pride to people of its roots. Being African entails participatory citizenship in one of its member states. This truth runs deeper than the exclusiveness of the lies that have been circulated about it.
The Stereotyped Africa is Made up of 54 Independent Countries
A shocker right? It is, for those who would think Africa is just an abstract piece to describe as whatever they deem fit.
The countries that make up Africa as a continent are politically and constitutionally independent; they run their affairs under the leadership of either a monarch, a prime minister, or a president.
Imagine 54 countries referred to as one random phenomenon with little credit to its existence? Oh, you did? Yeah! That’s how the westerners see Africa; as void, without form, and with darkness over the face of its deep.
Africa Is Not A Country: More Than Just A statement
In recent times, Africa, as a continent has risen to the positive limelight with its advancement in science and Technology, Agricultural investments, and all-around sustainability. There’s so much just one country can do — another proof that Africa is more than what is said about it.
It is the collective progression of each country in Africa that makes this pride a reality. Ultimately, the progression matters and that is why the rest of the world should see us beyond the narratives that have made popular rounds over the years.
The myth – “Shithole Africa”, which we must debunk regardless of how long it takes, is a scandal that has eaten deep into the perception of non-Africans, generation after generation.
Out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, “African countries” not “Africa” make most of the list. The peculiarity of one region from its other African counterparts is visible – another confirmation that Africa is not a country but an encompassing phenomenon.
Healing From The Stereotypes: Why Africa is Poor
It’s public knowledge that there are huge bits of underdevelopment in most countries that make up Africa. This doesn’t make Africa outright poor.
Africa is rich in culture (a phenomenon people in the diaspora can’t help but keep talking about), Africa is rich in resources.
The continent holds a huge proportion of the world’s natural and most valued resources.
Africa is rich in natural resources ranging from arable land, water, oil, natural gas, minerals, forests, and wildlife. The continent holds a huge proportion of the world’s natural resources, both renewables, and non-renewables.
UN Environmental Programme
African Stereotypes evolved from the colonial era and the subsequent media interactions that continuously digress people’s perceptions from the wholeness of its culture to just a particularly marginalized “state of the affair”.
As much as there is a most common language in Africa – Swahili, [spoken by Afrikaans in Southern Africa] there are more than 2,000 other African languages with distinct historical attachments to them.
Africa is a conflate of multiple breeds. This should never be mistaken. A continent with its level of diversity should not be relegated to one single thing of nothingness. There are Indians, The Chinese, Americans. Africans exist, no doubt [people who originate from any country in Africa] but in Africa, there are Kenyans, Nigerians, Tunisians, South Africans, etc.
Will Africa Ever Develop?
Changing the narrative is a duty for every single one who is African. With access to all kinds of media, it is easy for individuals to take up this responsibility without shifting blames to public media platforms or those at the core of power.
In the confines of your comfort, you can tell stories that portray Africa in a commendable light [as it should be anyway]. Educating the world about the limitless nature of our continent is our job to commit to.
This commitment is one that we should engage in, to showcase and amplify African systems as a continent and not as a single nation.
The exciting future for Africa is overwhelming; this is concerning its global impact on cultural diversity, business innovations, and technological advancement.