9 comments on “This Is Africa

  1. What’s the point of the first two paragraphs of this article? The rest tallies largely with what I’ve experienced personally, but the first two paragraphs serve no discernible purpose and read like a snippet from the famous piece in Granta: ‘How to write about Africa’: http://goo.gl/f8gvM (by Nairobi resident, Binyavanga Wainaina, incidentally)

    • The first two paragraphs capture what often appears to be the stereotype that many people [particularly those whose only exposure to the African continent comes through the mainstream media] revert to when they think of Africa. It’s the impression given in many Hollywood movies and in much news media reporting on African issues. It’s the stereotype I trust the rest of the article dispenses with.

  2. don’t mind what the other poster said. your entry was good read. should it be “patterned” to a certain style or text, you still delivered the message.

    anyway, that’s what most people think of africa or with other 3rd world countries in general. people tend to compare themselves to “the other’s” state and that’s where stereotyping begins. it’s one of the reasons why i hate some charities. although the means are good, the premise behind the actions are flawed. instead of helping what the community needs, the focus then turns into “civilizing” them, which then creates the division – “us” and “the less fortunate” – making charity an affirmation of one’s stature than just charity per se. what we need is understanding and acceptance that, as you said, life goes on in other places despite the environment whether the citizens are living in huts or high rise condos.

    • Thanks for your response & kind words. And yes, I fully agree re: charities, they so often reinforce that notion of the stereotypical other. In my own work, ‘Africans’ tend to be represented most often like the stereotype given at the top here, and it can be frustrating trying to communicate a different message. Sadly, when it comes to issues to do with sub-Saharan Africa and aid, the public has a very short attention span, and soundbites (and ergo stereotypes) tend to be all that’s communicated. This is the one platform I get to present a different perspective.

      • … which i think is a very effective advocacy on your part. there are so many travel blogs popping up which are either unimaginative and unoriginal. yours has a vision. i really admire the drums you installed for handwashing. for me that is true charity. kudos!

  3. Beautiful photos and an uplifting vision of Kenya. I think many developing countries have a stereotype such as the one you mention, and unfortunately Africa is stuck with the “save the starving children” hype. When in reality, there are starving children everywhere, even in our home countries, just as there are well fed ones. Thanks for sharing your insights for those of us who have yet to visit Africa.

  4. Pingback: Where in the World was Morealtitude? « WanderLust

  5. Pingback: Images of Africa « WanderLust

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