Do you remember the last time you saw a positive image of Africa on your TV screen or read an authentically African story in a newspaper? Likewise, what have you seen or read that inspired you to visit the continent?
The lack of an answers to these questions was the impetus to create
When I immigrated to the United States as a teenager I was seeking something authentic about my homeland of Africa in everyday America. However, I soon figured out that Africa is seldom discussed in America. That is unless it has to do with negativity and degradation.
In case you didn’t know – American high school students will go through their entire four-year period of education without learning even a rudimentary background on Africa, as I experienced firsthand during my own high school years.
When Africa was infrequently mentioned, the focus was on the colonial history or wars, diseases, and hunger. The most recognizable symbols of Africa to many westerners are the animals (Lion King) and the vegetation (the Safari). Since high school and even to the present, I find myself constantly shocked by what people tell me about their imaginative Africa. Mention Africa to those not familiar with it and they will ask you about the wild animals you lived with and they want to know if you ever caught a lion or a tiger.
Western television news outlets, newspapers and particularly Hollywood have not always been fair in their coverage of Africa and its people. So as an African I decided to tell the world about us; I am quite certain that there are many other Africans doing the same thing.
“Africa Inside/Out” is a web/television series that seek to demystify the negativities the cloak Africa and its people in an informative manner. Instead of blaming the media we seek to clarify their narrative and uncover their misrepresentations while providing our viewers with authentic information. The first episode explored the perception of Africa and Africans outside of the continent while the second episode explores the challenges the misconception of Africans as endlessly needy and incapable of taking care of themselves as well as exploring the human side of remittances, which outweighs international aid. The third episode is in the work, this one we are taking you to Africa what country? That remains a secret for now.