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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Africa & Celebrities

link –> spiked – Welcome to the People’s Republic of Bono * A Similar Article spiked – When Celebrities Rule the World

I liked these articles. It spoke my mind, in more ways than one. Why should some rock star be campaigning our cause more than us (because, believe it or NOT, there were actually AFRICAN leaders at the G8 summit)? More importantly, why should ANYONE be campaigning ANYTHING? As Africans, I’ve come to believe we are the victims of our own foolishness. There’s NOTHING stopping us form progressing but our greed, ignorance and absolute LAZINESS. People dying of hunger in some country? Maybe if the citizens would STOP fighting for power, they wouldn’t have that problem!
The only African countries that actually have actually progressed some are awash with white people! Are we, as blacks just doomed to self-destruction? Even the ones in other countries are usually trailed with issues. It’s sad, really. And not to sound negative, but I seriously never see Africa becoming like say, Asia. At least, not before the second coming of Jesus.

P.S. Words cannot even begin to describe my beef for Brangelina

Motherlan’

I made the mistake of Googling “Nigeria”, in my attempt to find some dude’s blog. I was ASHAMED to see the results. Most, no all the results were from other nationalities complaining about Nigerians, how they’re drug lords, or scam artists, and some said Nigerian students should just be banned from some countries for a few years.
It’s sad that we can’t use all the intelligence and effort to do something useful. Everyone’s so greedy, so cunning. People that can afford it, fly out all the time, see the order and civilty that’s going on elsewhere, and choose to come back and do nothing about it.
I mean, our Vice-President actually got on a plane cos he SPRAINED his knee. He never made any effort to boost the medical care in his own homeland, did he? Everyone in politics is falling over themselves, shooting themselves in the back, literally killin themselves so they can get a cushy post and assign themselves tons of money. Money they would use to send their children AROAD, as opposed to fixing things up. The wealthy ones simply go and situate themselves in the fanciest parts of the country and stay there.
I won’t act like it hasn’t bothered me.
I know someone, who has lived all his life on the island, and one day, had reason to see a really sad part of Lagos. What tripped me was his surprise. Here’s a dude, early twenties, who’s actually spent so much time living in a presentable area, he didn’t KNOW people lived like that a good 30 mins away from him.
I live at Agbara. Which means, if i was going home from work, I would move gradually from one of the finer parts of Lagos to a quite literally forgotten part of that same state. It’s ridiculous. It irritates me going from Ikoyi to Obalende or vise versa, cos the contrast is astounding. Obalende is HORRIBLE. There’s actually a canal filled with rubbish. WTF, people? But it doesn’t matter, because a few minutes away, are outrageuosly priced, lavish apartments with no view of the poverty for the rich and ostentatious.
It probably goes on in other countries. But that doesn’t make it any better.
This country in some ways, is going to the dogs. We have a lot of patriots in our generation, but until the current hoard of old-man, godfather politicians and socialites just DIE away, I think we’re screwed.

Another thing that has peeved me for years, ever since I was a kid, was how IGNORANT Western people are of Africans in general. It was once so bad, I considered forming an organisation when I was older devoted solely to educating people that we DO in fact live in houses, DRIVE on roads, and wear jeans. In this day and age, in this time of WWW, and global villages,, people still don’t know any better. It’s a stereotype that has outlived itself. It’s safe to say we are the most misunderstood lot in the world. And it’s time something’s done about it.