Africa – Stopping Celebs & Stereotypes

Lohan’s time in rehab also led her to develop an interest in altruism and a desire to reach out to others less fortunate. “I’m planning a trip to Africa during the second week in December,” she told In Touch magazine.

First stop on Paris Hilton’s postjail goodwill tour – Rwanda. The hotel heiress said she will visit the African country this fall as part of her commitment to use her celebrity to highlight global causes, E! Online reported yesterday. “There’s so much need in that area, and I feel like if I go, it will bring more attention to what people can do to help,” Hilton said.

Paris Hilton? Lindsay Lohan? Coming to do what exactly??? We’re still trying to get rid of Brangelina and Bono!
I don’t know about YOU guys, but I’m really OVER this mad stereotype that is ‘Africa’. I’m also over this irritating ideology that Africa is THE place to go to prove you’re

  1. A redeemed criminal/drug addict/social psychopath
  2. Kind and loving
  3. NOT a stingy, arrogant son-of-a-gun

And you know what? It BLOWS. I’m also over the concept that

  1. Africa is one big country
  2. We all speak one language
  3. We live in trees, ride on camels and other stupid uncivilized crap
  4. We’re all black as sin and skinny
  5. We’re starving and have flies attached to our faces
  6. We all wear loincloths, have fluffy hair and speak weird clucking languages
  7. Africa is a humongous, hot wasteland with cracked floors and zebras on our front lawns
  8. Everywhere in Africa is war-torn.

What’s with all the bad press?! Ok, so we’re ‘under-developed’ and okay a few countries here and there are fighting. Yeah, we GET IT. But I think our continent is UNBELIEVABLY misunderstood and badly represented. Every foreign TV station is guilty. You haven’t depicted Africa till you show kwashiorkor infected children, or hungry looking women with loads on their heads. Good looking, healthy people? In cars? Nah, others may not get it.

*eye roll*

I looked at a group on Facebook, made by a few irritated Africans who were tired of being asked retarded questions. Here’s a sample:

  • “lol i managed to convince my entire high school that i had killed a lion – with my bare hands!in order to become a man!! i mean come onnnnn!!oh and apparently i learnt english in two weeks!and wait theres more…according to one clever girl theres a King of Africa!! Nelson Mandela apparently…”
  • “Please check out the ignorance that still resides in people’s mind about our wonderful CONTINENT. http://perezhilton.com/?p=5510#respond
  • “This is one question i get asked sometimes: so do you people have lions and tigers running around there? do you even have electricity? I just answer: Yes – I have a pet elephant that I use for transport..”
  • “The classic for me(it actually pissed me off) was during a uni lecture when my supposedly learned lecturer went on to talk about how things physically adapt to their environment, in this instance, how Africans have semi-webbed/claw-like feet because they climb trees and their feet need to be that way to be able to have a good grip of the tree trunks they climb. Shocking!!”

How did it come to this? It’s disgusting almost, how people can’t make an EFFORT to find out about things before they talk. Jay-Z actually said, when he came to Nigeria last year, that he was ‘impressed’. Oh, thanks Jay, what were you expecting exactly? Savannahs? Every time someone goes to Africa, everyone else thinks its ‘charity’ or ‘goodwill’. Yeah, there are just no VISITABLE places here, just hungry people to feed. Go you! Even CNN. They have shows for Asia, Europe, even the Middle East, showing lovely cultures and landscapes. Inside Africa? Friggin’ joke! The opening credits include a scary looking kid and wasteland, and the show NEVER focuses on positive things except the occasional artist.

I don’t want to get political. Or emotional. Or whatever. But I think it’s time we started trying to re-brand ourselves. At the same time, Geography should be taken more seriously by all those stupid foreigners. I don’t want to say white people, cos Black-Americans are equally guilty. Those are even worse. I’ve heard and read too much crap where a Black-American says stuff like, ‘I might not be so okay here, but at least I’m not starving in Africa’. WTF??? Your mates are over here driving Benz’s bro! GRRR.

And while we’re on it. Can someone PLEASE stop all these celebrities from joining this apparently trendy club called ‘I Helped an African’? I think it’s been added to a 12-step program or something cos APPARENTLY, it’s now a thing after you’ve been caught with your pants down to suddenly feel a need to ‘go to Africa and help someone’. WHATEVER. 75% of them do nothing but carry their paparazzi and hype over the Atlantic. FYI, it’s not cute, anymore. I, personally don’t want to hear that Paris Hilton might show up on my doorstep. You want to help? Get an atlas, and stop calling Africa like it’s a country. People go to France, Japan, Iraq. No-one ever says, ‘Person A touched down in Asia last night’. Yet it’s ALWAYS, ‘She went to Africa’. Get a clue.

If a celebrity wants to ‘help’, I really don’t care. But making a big deal of it, announcing it to anyone that will listen… It’s hypocritical and annoying.

I’m sorry if this post looks disjointed. I was just calling up the many offences as they came along in my head. And, it’s taken me too long to post this, so my anger has passed. For now.

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12 thoughts on “Africa – Stopping Celebs & Stereotypes

  1. True talk!! When i first got here some ignorant people who asked where i was from, would always be shocked to learn i was from Africa. They would tell their friends “can u believe she’s from Africa?”.

    It took me a while to figure out why they were so suprised. Apparently, i didn’t look like the stereotypical image of the Africans they were used to seeing.

    Let’s not talk about the “OMG!! your english is so good!!” I’m impressed, or Wow, you must be so smart to learn English so fast, and you speak it so well too. You don’t say.

    What about the wide spread belief that Africa is one country, or one Idiot asking me if i was sure i’m African cos africans don’t know how to match (clothes). Humm???? I know she is not talking about Nigerians, cos we own fashion.

    I don’t get mad, i actually get really amused. Someone asked my sister how she got here cos i guess they can’t possibly imagine us “Africans” having airports talkless of airplanes.

    It’s ignorance, i tell ya!!

  2. you summed it up perfectly! great writeup… and i dont even want to get started on some of the stereotypes i encountered when i got into the country… if i climbed trees.. lived in a house.. bla bla bla… i was always that african who also claimed to have a pet deer and lion coexisting in my home. STUPID IDIOTS!!! and its fnny how now when i tell most ppl i’m african they tell me.. ‘you dont look it’.. its like dude… do all africans look the same?! some bullshit!

  3. I hear you, girl! I hear you loud and clear. What is it going to take to get it through their incredibly thick skulls? The just seem to want to focus on the negatives. I don’t get it!

  4. Ignorance is all i can see their problem to be. But would they ever get it that Africa is not a COUNTRY? Only shows them they can’t know it all.

  5. paris and lindsay should chill where they r, if they’re looking for more publicity another sex tape or drg/alchy rehab should do…its freaking annoying the whole perception of jungle fever they have about AFRICA.remember at d 1st thisday concert when missy kept smiling and saying “y’all r my cousins” OMG i freaked out bad…like she was doing us a great favour by declaring a r/ship with us…
    i’m freaking jealous and triping bad for ur page, now i’m hating on mine…

  6. Woohoo, i disappear for 5 minutes, and i get comments!!!

    @bubbles and rinsola
    it’s an annoying kind of ignorance, especially in times like this of internet, cable tv and the likes. People really should not still be talking like this!

    @fantasy queen
    what, this ole thing? it took ages to put up, and it looks like CRAP in firefoox. Grrr. but thanx! and hey if ur using the old Blogger layout, maybe i could offer a helping hand!!!

    @obiwanne
    i think we should start protesting.
    just banning all these random vistors from using us to lok good.

    @overwhelmed naija babe
    thanx, i try. *blush*

    @eji
    🙂 It’s a peeve ive been meaning to document for a while now.

    thanx for stopping by!

  7. Have yu been talking to my cousin? Yu took the words right out of his mouth especially the part where folks refer to Africa as one large country.

  8. i love, love, love you for this post…well written and hit the points well…i am not waiting for these fuckers to change the images…i’m going to have to start on my own…with photography and writing…we must…and we must chastise fellow africans who foolishly follow or spearhead such stupid endeavors as: ‘i am african’…that was iman’s brainchild, for idiot celebs to paint some stupid native-american paint on their faces and claim to be african…whatever…i don’t know any african who looks as such…well, i am going to retire to my studies…trying to learn african, the language so when i travel to africa, i’ll be able to communicate…the animals speak african too right?..

  9. Hello!
    I just want to say thanks for making me feel stupid! In a good way! I am an American and I have been guilty of sterotyping Africans, even my fiancee ( he is nigerian). When you are growing up and all you hear is bad things about Africa you can’t help but to believe it. I have to admit up until I met my fiancee two years ago, I thought that Africa was one united country. This is the teachers and the medias fault , because this is what they teach us. I wish I could write more but I have to head back to class! I look forward to reading more from you. Thanks for the enlightenment!!

  10. well, tnat’s really nice to hear! am glad to see my rants has broadened SOMEONE’s horizon. But you’re right, the media really is at fault. We really need to start re-branding Africa, as I always say!
    Thanx for stopping by!

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