What’s Wrong Africa?

Welcome to Africa, the second-largest continent with many natural resources and tourist attractions. However, it has been depicted in a gruesome way by the media. The press portrays the continent in a substandard way which isn’t honorable.

The western media most times generalize Africa as a solely poor continent. They make the world see a particular picture which affects people’s knowledge about Africa. Sophomore, Amal Adan explains the misinterpretation that Africa receives.

“Well, I want to speak about my African country, Somalia. If you were to search Somalia, you would see people crying and starving children. Although that is the reality for some places, it isn’t the reality for all. I think with the majority of African countries that you get, there’s a lot of like miss interpretation about them and biased images,” said Adan.

Sometimes, people view Africans as helpless illiterates because of the lack of technology. The news shows Africa’s lack of development in most aspects, especially in AI. Freshman, Imani Ameziane describes how people picture African countries as LDC.

“I remembered my dad telling me about his first experience attending school as an African in the US. He told me how people assume Africans use blackboards and chalk in school. How people assume our means of transport is by leg because of no vehicles available. At one point, he allowed them to think like that because everyone has received false news,” said Ameziane.

The era of colonialism had a vast impact on Africa. Although it provided modern education, it created superiority between both races. Advanced biology teacher, Kimberly Wallace discusses reasons why the media stereotypes Africa.

“I think the media gives Americans a feeling of life superiority. I think part of it goes back to just the whole part of black people experiencing slavery and being enslaved and coming to America. I assume part of that fuels their thinking about helping Africans when they were using them for labor. I don’t know, but it’s a little bit weird seeing people adopt kids that are not of the same race as them. It’s not that that’s a problem or anything, but there are several topics about white savior-ism. Like they are saving people that don’t look like them from whatever their destiny was. Also, I don’t think we are displayed in a way that makes us seem like humans and have a desirable lifestyle,” said Wallace.

Most times, the government plays a role in what the press shows. Often they are financed by the government, so in most cases, the media displays the negative parts of a place if they share no political partnership. Adan explains why the press exhibits the negative side of some countries.

“For example, Europe is a dangerous place as well, but they are pictured as wonderful because they’re a friend of America. I think certain parts of Southeast Asia, like Indonesia and Malaysia, they’re portrayed poorly. The northern part of Asia, like Korea, is described well by the press. I think it all depends on which political parties are friends with which, and at the end of the day, you have a choice on what news you receive. I think Africa is second to worse. Depicted continent,” said Adan.

Africa sometimes is labeled a certain way because of their social economy. Contrary to other continents that possess more improvement in schooling, jobs, and healthcare, Africa struggles with poor infrastructure and government corruption. Ameziane talks about the struggles in Africa’s economy.

“One reason Africa is represented poorly is its economy and bad government. If you look at the United States, they have a better economy because the government creates facilities to make things easy, although they don’t have a moral compass. In Africa, the government uses the money for their selfish interests; therefore delaying the economy’s progress,” said Ameziane.

The continent of Africa has been depicted as the dark side of the world. The stories shown by the media put fear in the minds of those who would like to visit. Despite the negative pictures, Africa is home to many exotic wildlife and has many natural resources that the world uses today. Negating pre-installed judgments of Africa is crucial for a better understanding.