Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Dear Developed world, Africa is on twitter.
When I first watched the Kony 2012 video, I remember tweeting about it saying ; “I once thought I could save the world too".
And I did.
There's countless blogs I've done before about a better Africa, and what I can do about making it better. Here and Here are some of those that display what I sometimes think is a passionate naivety. But I believe in that. And after this week, I know that I am not alone. Regular African's care a lot about Africa; passionately.
Kony 2012 is a great attempt at making the world stop and listen. Such is the stuff award winning campaigns carry. Much like the Obama campaign which made the world respond as if we were electing a Global president. Kenyans and several African countries displayed "Obama, yes we can" merchandise in very bold spaces, on their cars, homes, and they wore T-shirts that supported Mr Obama's candidature. We, Kenyans, also got a public holiday the day after he was decaled the president of the United States. Ha!
It was a euphoric moment, much like the #Kony2012 and #SomeonetellCNN hastags that trended worldwide last week.
For me though, it wasn't so much where Kony is or what Uganda and its neighbours have done or not done to aggravate the situation; it was the coming to age of what I would like to refer to Africanism. Never before have I seen Africans show so intensely what they think about what pan african analysts call the "Inteference of the Western World" in African matters.
When I saw the CNN banner "Violence in Kenya" I thought,sarcastically "there we go again, let's hype this as much as we can."
I will not go into the lifelong debate about who shapes the western world’s perception on Africa,and how they do it. We know that, and we have let them and ourselves continue to do it. It's the balance of reporting that we seek.
The "white saviour" mentality that has been much talked about by people like Teju Cole ( An American of Nigerian descent, and in my books joins the likes of John Githongo who enjoy western Bliss and continue to bite the hand that feeds them. ) and others; is perhaps deep down, the same "naivety' to save the world. Why? Because first of all, if Invisible Children really knew Uganda they would know it isnt a "central African country", and they also lost me completely when they talked about Bono.
This week I have learned that Africa has a voice, which may not be ignored for a long time. I also learned that CNN makes mistakes and Africa notices it, and confronts the situation, by making it a trending topic on twitter, as well as a real patriotic phone call to a lady who sounded like she was chewing gum at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
African's are no longer the quiet group of remote black people watching the world happen. And when they do, they are passionate about making sure the proper perception is acieved, somehow. Oil finds, Gas, Platinum, Gold continue to rule the world economy, Africa is rich with these natural resources, and these African's beginning to talk about such things are growing to be more patriotic than the Africa that has been seen in the past.
So Dear Developed world, Africa is on twitter, and we have a voice too.