‘The A-Z of Africa’ [Column]

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George C Kimble stated that, ‘The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of it’. This daunting statement alone has some hidden truth to it, waiting patiently as a knot to be unravelled to the outside world. Despite Africa being the second largest continent after Asia, and having endless alluring natural resources beyond human comprehension. Unfortunately stereotypical connoting ideas on Africa as a whole still exist in this modern era. As a young roaring lady born, raised and living in this glorious continent, I will break down some of these quotidian walls of negativity imposed.

By: DEBBY N. J. NDJADILA 

Africa is a continent and not a country! Scintillating as it may seem, there is quite a handful amount of people that utterly believe that, Africa alone is one complete country and not a continent. I was prematurely introduced to this notion at the tender age of eight years old when, my father travelled to Europe for a business meeting. After his long-anticipated arrival back home, one of the first thing he said to me with disappointment reading on his face and melancholic voice, is on how some people in Europe as old as fifty years old were in awe and amazement to learn from him that Africa is a continent and not a country. In actual reality, Africa is indeed a continent that houses 54 beaming countries. The largest country and smallest country recorded in Africa is Algeria and Seychelles respectively.

Another stereotype is that, despite the massive technological improvements, many people are glued to the concept of Africa being behind the rest of the world, when it simmers down to technology. This is entirely not true, Africa just like the rest of the world, has openly welcomed and embraced technology into its arms, as though it were a prodigal son. It is an everyday norm to see many people in Africa who own iPhone, computers and all the latest gizmos available. In fact, Iyorah (2016) articulated that, it was a no brain teaser that, South Africa ranked on top in Africa, on the Current Global Innovation Index (GII), the country itself boasts boldly of incredible inventions such as, Ubuntu-Linux and Multi-Choice. This in itself defies all odds of Africa staggering slowly behind, while the truth of the matter is that, Africa is at the same pace as the rest of the world when it comes to technology and it further continues to attract foreign investors in the technology sector.

‘Poverty has no colour, religion, sex or continent of origin.’

Misconception on poverty in Africa is extremely over-rated, but be careful to take my statement out of context. Usually, the first thing that immediately pops into people’s minds whenever they think of Africa, is one massive gloomy continent filled with, poverty and little to no sanitation. Poverty is indeed a global crisis that exists all over the world and not just in Africa alone. Poverty has no colour, religion, sex or continent of origin. Many factors cause poverty such as inequality of income distribution within a particular country. It is not left to our leaders alone to curb this problem but we all have to pitch in and tackle this global puzzle around the world and not just in Africa alone.

That is the actual A-Z of Africa, different stereotypes about Africa still exist apart from the above mentioned but I could only highlight the most common of them all. Despite that, Africa is a continent on the rise that continues to flourish higher than the average, but mere every day stereotypes on it. I personally feel that, stereotypes often at times have the ability to hide facts from fiction, blinders have to be removed from one’s eyes in order to see, appreciate and truly fall in love with this bright continent called Africa.

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