‘But how do you make it in your country to survive?’. This question appeared naturally during a conversation. This question left me wide-eyed. It was my first journey to Europe and because I was coming from Africa, I was asked that question.
And yet, my life has never been about surviving. I grew up in a big African city, in a relative material comfort, I attended well equipped schools, I never knew hunger, and the only place where I saw starvation and war scenes was on television.
This is a lot of people’s reality, but the image of Africa today – except for South Africa and the Northern Africa – is the image of a continent which has never given anything to the humanity, and which retarded people lives starving in huts, in the middle of war zones.
This appalling image is how the rest of the planet sees us. This is also how Blacks of the Americas ended up rejecting this continent – often violently and irreversibly – whereas there are also part of it. This is also how islander Africans such as the Malagasy or even the Cape-Verdians see Africa, as they think the sea and their mixing saved them from the continent.
This is also the same thing for lots of South Africans who don’t know very well the continent and esteem themselves saved by the white presence; reason why some express this murderous hate against other fellow Africans.
This extraordinarily negative reflection is the image the western media has chosen to depict Africa. So, we are going to tell you about the stakes of the perception other people have about us, and about the importance of definitely taking control of it.
The importance of image
43 million poor and 15 million hungered people, 2.1 million people in prison, nearly 16 000 marriages with minors every year, 13 200 dead by fire arm in 2015. These are United States’ figures. And yet, the USA probably remains the country with the best image in world. That is a country lots of young people dream of, because it gave itself the means to stir up admiration.
Its building jungles, its billionaires, hip-hop and the show-off of wealth etc… That is mostly what the media show about this country. Therefore, American citizens are automatically valued whenever they go somewhere. They are respected, admired, their word is listened to, this because they benefit from the image of their country.
What we know about Dubai are its fiery buildings and other state-of-the-art infrastructures. But behind the scenes there are 53% of its population composed of workers from the South of Asia. They earn in average less than 100 000 CFA francs per month, an insufficient income that in the African countries drives into a relative poverty. They live in disastrous conditions, work under extreme heat, commit suicide at a breakneck pace. And yet, Dubai doesn’t show that. The image must be clean. Today, the life of an Emirati is seen as precious.
All the countries which have understood this stake, project a positive image of themselves and do not in any case flaunt excessively their problems. This is what is called the Nation Branding. The positive image of a nation goes with the upgrading of its people. Very few people today would try to attack verbally or even physically a White American, an Emirati or a Chinese citizen, since it’s true that the image of power they project is strong.
The image is also a great economic lever. It is the foundation for tourism and if a product is said to be American made for example, it is enough for its value to be multiplied and for people to rush on it and buy, even when its quality is not the best. This is also the reason why lots of French products have the mention ‘Paris’ written beneath the name of the brand, since Paris projects a good image. The image is an important factor of enrichment.
A country’s positive image on the international scene grants it with influence, protects its citizens abroad and gives its economy an added value.
The reality of the African situation
It’s believed that nearly 40% of the Africans lives in the cities, it is to say, almost 500 million people. What do the cities look like? These cities have buildings, supermarkets, universities, entertainment places, large way roads, lots of auto mobiles, electricity, running water, internet, beautiful residential neighbourhoods and poor popular neighbourhoods.
If the continent is lagging economically in comparison with the rest of the world, the global picture is more contrasted than what we think. Even in the villages, the solid buildings are being spread.
Over the 49 countries of Sub Sahara Africa, 39 of them do not face any armed conflicts currently, and 44 do not know starvation. The great problem of Africa currently is the mass unemployment and low wages. The mass migration is the result of the lack of economic opportunities and of a desirable future perspective. This economic situation is engendered by the looting of Africa by the West and its African associates. Those that migrate come from the big cities and not from huts.
The West’s war of image against Africa
Today the image of Africa is determined by the West because Africans did not understand how important it is to control it. Smearing Africa is the policy of the West to justify their crimes against us since the beginning of the slave trade 500 years ago. The method has not changed, more than before the slave trade, Africa used to simply be richest continent of the world.
To spread pictures of huts, wars, famine, and diseases, is a way to deprive Africans of dignity, to depict them as useless and harmful people, to destruct the value of their lives. This enables an easy looting, because those who are stolen are worthless people who spent their time making war.
This is how 8 million people have been killed over the past 20 years in Congo, amid general indifference, on a background of a grabbing of the country’s extraordinary riches.
Tarnishing Africa also enables to keep alive the myth of the White superiority which is the West’s doctrine. Each time a Black person is looked at with disregard around the world, it is partly because they bear the image of Africa.
Every Black person in the planet carries the image of Africa. It does not matter the determination with which a Black person denies Africa and the Africans, it does not matter how lucky they think they are for having escaped from that Africa, it does not matter how they try physically and culturally to assimilate themselves to the Whites or any other ethnic group, the Black will always be associated to that image.
The media manipulation, along with the falsification of the history of the Africa that has civilized humanity and with the curse of the Black or of its culture by the judo-Christian and Islamic texts, is the foundation on which stands the justification for damaging Blacks all over the world. The controversy about the African birth rate was a striking example.
Following the French president Macron’s remarks and the unspeakable submission of the West African officials, we saw a media excitement in Europe that tried to impose the limitation of births in Africa. Pictures of lots and poor children were shown on a loop.
But yet Africa is not overpopulated at all and it must keep absolutely its birth rate as we have explained it before. The aim to these publications was to influence the public opinion with the idea that the African population must be reduced at all costs.
So the idea is that Africans are numerous, unintelligent, poor, sick, belligerent, and having sex constantly. Wouldn’t it be better without them then? This is how a genocide is prepared. This is how all the genocides in the history of humanity were psychologically prepared.
The importance of taking control of our image
It is therefore necessary to show the world a positive image of Africa, to provide the continent with an influence power on the global stage, to protect Africans and the Africans of the Americas, and to value our economy. As we always like to say, if they are the problem, we are the solution. There is no sense in asking others to change the bad image they project on us. We must create our international media power.
For example, Lisapo ya Kama has been created in this regard. It was out of question for us to ask others to correct their lies on the African history. Thanks to our historical consciousness that we have recovered, and driven by the conviction that we could accomplish anything, we have created our own media of history
Today no television channel intended to be Pan-African lives up to the stakes related to the problem of our image. There is therefore a need to develop the existing media or to create others, with the clear purpose to project onto the whole planet an essentially positive image of our continent throughout its history, its current events and its culture.
This is why there are CNN, BBC, France 24, CCTV of China, Al Jazeera of Qatar, Russia Today, i24 of Israel, Press TV of Iran etc… These international channels were not created and financed by the States and the individuals simply for the pleasure to inform. They have well defined goals.
The image is a vital security, influence and economic prosperity stake. A people with a disastrous and unfortunate image is – in an extreme case like ours – a people ready for the genocide. If we want to remain in existence and strive for prosperity, then our reflection must reach that stake.
Our work consists in creating a media with an international dimension in order to promote a positive image of Africa. This image will be more positive if the progress follows. It comes down to every African to strive for exemplariness in their lives, and also to diffuse all around them a positive image of the continent. Each one of us is responsible for it.
By: Lisapo ya Kama © (All rights reserved. Any copying or translation of the text of this article is strictly forbidden without the written approval of Lisapo ya Kama)