Africa, the destitute ridden continent, where misery never ends and humans are monkeys or worse?!
And the only images that come to you are that of Ethiopia or DRC’s poverty, Somalian crisis or Rwandan Genocide? You must be from another century, to be alive with those notions! And to the rest of us, this Twitter campaign that took mainstream media by its tentacles with a million tweets last month, assures otherwise!
The campaign, started by <g data-gr-id="36">17 year old</g> Ghanaian girl, Rachel, on 23rd June with the self-explanatory hashtag – ‘#AfricaThatMediaNeverShowsYou’, went viral with all the youth from several African countries pouring in breathtaking pictures of their respective countries. The world’s media later woke up to it and covered the beautiful images, which would never come out if it were not for Rachel’s frustration. The reason behind creating this furore was in Rachel’s words, “I started this Campaign because I felt that it’s time the world knew the truth about Africans, to hear our stories and to see the Africa we know and see rather than what some/most media outlets show to them. Being in Ghana, and being an African as well, I know there is so much more than the poverty, ethnic wars, and the disease. The world deserves to know there is something behind that”. The unparalleled African culture, the exotic foods, the heavenly landscape shots, their highly evolved sense of fashion, the beaches, the greens, the gems, the diversity and yet those mesmerising smiles - everything came out, tumbling and how! It felt like a huge treasure had been uncovered for the world to witness, in AWE! And remain in awe, because the heavy downpour did not end for a while. I feel it’s good it <g data-gr-id="31">were</g> only digital, if it were physical, it would be a transcendental experience. The richness could kill.
Young Africans are so much like us, young Indians; they won’t put up with crap anymore. And they take to Social Media and let the world know they have arrived! Diana Salah, a Somali-American student who contributed in creation of the campaign, shared, “It’s so important to showcase the diversity and beauty of Africa, and with the mainstream media not up for the task, social media was the perfect outlet.” South Africans, Kenyans, Ugandans and Senegalese took the lead and moulded it into a worldwide movement with facts, anecdotal images and video treasures - which is now accessible to the world. And oh, it also got amply clear that Africa is NOT a country!
Ruchi Ahuja is a New Delhi-based writer who loves communication. Her current profile includes writing for advertising, editorials and films. Her interests include culture, current affairs and philosophy