#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou: When Social Media Fights Stereotypes

A group of young Africans is taking to Twitter to fight stereotypes about their continent with the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.

Africa is a country where AIDS, poverty and famine are omnipresent. All Africans embrace voodoo magic. These are among the most common stereotypes that you’ll hear about Africa. Myths about this part of the world have not been dispelled and racial stereotypes about it persist. This is why the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou was born.

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou- When Social Media Fights Stereotypes - Clapway

The Africa the media never shows you

From “hipster fashion” and gourmet food, to female Heads of State and amazing landscapes, the campaign has already earned tens of thousands of tweets, and is adding more by the second, showing the “Real Africa”.

“I got involved because growing up, I was made to feel ashamed of my homeland, with negative images that paint Africa as a desolate continent,” Diana Salah, who helped to organise the campaign, told Fusion.

The people behind the hashtag underlined the importance of showcasing the diversity and beauty of Africa. “With the mainstream media not up for the task, social media was the perfect outlet,” they said.

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou- When Social Media Fights Stereotypes - Clapway

Africa doesn’t need to “be saved”

Militant groups, corruption and poverty persist in the continent of over 1 billion people. Yet that doesn’t mean that Africa is synonym with utter desperation. Unfortunately very few positive aspects are ever allowed to come to the forefront.

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou wants to share stories and images showcasing the multi-ethnicity and modernity of the continent. Young users in particular emphasise little known facts about Africa’s 54 countries.

Changing perceptions

Some recent Tweets feature Nigerian women winning the 2015 Global Technovation Challenge. This is a competition that aims at inspiring girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology.

The campaign has already successfully changed perceptions about the continent with social media users such as Sivarchana Mareedu admitting that she held a completely different notion of Africa until she came across #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.

This initiative is the living proof that social media platforms can be exploited to portray more positive images of communities and countries.

Do you think the idea is replicable? Take a look at the pictures here and share with us memories of your African travels or origins in the comments section below.


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