Sunday, September 4, 2011

Africa Rising!...

There are a lot of things that absolutely get on my nerves, but one which makes me terribly upset is the one where people have a certain way of viewing Africa as a continent. Ignorant people who have never even been to Africa - or had any relations with Africa, their country or culture at all - are more easily fooled by what they are being fed by the media. They are not interested in truth, but information. It seems they are satisfied as long as they are being fed information. What they do not know however, is that news in raw form passes through a successive amount of filters before it is served  presented to the public.

I've nothing against people serving aid to places in the world where it is actually needed, but I believe in fixing one's own issues before thinking broader. Why is it that the media - most often than not - lie about the conditions in certain places in the world? Or worse, never tell it like it is?

I would often marvel at people who believed Norway to be 'paradise on earth'. How terrible that they have no idea about the crime rates, the 'drug abusers' flocking the capital of Norway or the homeless people begging for money on the streets, or how badly most elderly people are being treated in so called homes for the elderly. All of this is overlooked and at most times brushed out of sight. But no matter how much people try to cover up truth, it exists and it's there.

I usually laugh at snide comments like 'You should eat your food because there are hungry children in Africa' or 'She looked as skinny as the hungry children in Africa.' What's wrong with these comments? Well, for one, when people use the words 'children in Africa' they are already generalising, thinking that absolutely all children living in Africa are both poor and without food. Another thing wrong with these comments is the fact that Africa isn't the only continent in the world where some people are suffering or starving. Show me a place in the world where there is no suffering and I'll be more than happy to move there. Finding such a place is almost, if not already, impossible.

Africa has it's good and bad like other continents, but it baffles me how much focus there is on the bad and almost no focus on the good.

 A good example of the associations which are easily made with Africa are that of AIDS. But it's interesting to have found out that as much as the West believe that AIDS is associated with Africa, that people in Africa associate AIDS with the west. (Joffe, 1999) Read about it if you do not believe me. It must have started somewhere, right?

The people whose responsibility it is to measure poverty in countries, do so by comparing the incomes in each household of each country (the more each household makes, the richer the country is considered). If they would measure in actual riches (resources), I am positive that countries in Africa would not end up at the bottom of the 'poverty' list. But most people don't understand that.

It is in Africa you find the most rich resources, such as oil (for one), diamonds, gold, minerals, cocoa beans etc. Sadly there is also exploitation and corruption within the trade industry and therefore also unfairness. Because of greed, resources are unevenly distributed and money put into the pocket of the elite.

There is an Africa people are yet to know of, and it's rising at a quick pace, so fast that the immigration are already counting the amount of people 'running' back to Africa - now that things are 'crashing' in the West - by thousands.

The wise man builds his house on a rock, but the foolish man builds it on the sand, and this is true in the sense that instead of staying in a foreign place all their lives, most Africans are now returning to their continent to help rebuild it, contributing with their professions. It's only a matter of time before I myself return to my homeland. Although I'm happy I had the privilege to live in Europe and realise that it's not where I want my kids to grow up, I am still quite fed up and wish to return.

In a short period I will be travelling to Africa with my family to spend our Christmas. I had a lot of fun the last time I was there and am more than excited to go this time. I wish I could share my experience with people, just to let them know what they are missing out on, but I'll save those words for the many photos I will take and upload unto my blog.

We have endured all sorts of hardships, experienced the birth of freedom and independence; on our backs we have carried nations, on our shoulders lifted them, but right before the very eyes of the world we are taking back our dignity and what rightfully belonged to us from the start. 'Africa is rising'.