Stereotypes harm dignity. How many times must I be asked about "the poor" in Africa when I say I lived in Kenya. First of all, i'd like to acknowledge that Africa is not a country, as it is referred to all too often. Just like the rest of the world, all continents have a vast amount of cultures within it. Would it be fair for me to compare Poland to Ireland, or China to Iran for example? Of course not!
Anyways the point I'm actually trying to get across here is that Africa is not poor, (as many may think), but rather, it is rich! Rich in culture, in diversity, in art, in landscapes, in cities, in music, in language etc. etc. etc. Yes we cannot ignore the percentage of Africans living in poverty, but we also cannot ignore the fact that 1/3 Africans is "middle class", or the fact that 6/10 of the worlds fastest growing economies are in Africa!
Furthermore, there seems to be this perception that the west is helping Africa, and is used as a 'role-model'. While this is true in many accounts, we must also acknowledge the fact that Africa should be seen as a role-model for the west. In Kenya the use of mobile banking, called Mpesa, has been around now for several years! Way before other countries started to use it. Furthermore, 50% of Kenya's energy comes from hydroelectricity, whereas in the UK only 11% of their energy comes from renewable sources.
Rather than creating these videos which allow us to pity the 'African', we should be using other means on the media to empower them! Music videos, movies, books, art, fashion... You name it! Through this will come dignity, and through dignity we will slowly unchain Africa, and allow it to be represent for what it actually is.