SEATTLE — In the media, Africa is often portrayed as a place ravaged by poverty, civil war and disease. Recently, Africans have attempted to challenge this stereotype by showing that there is more to Africa than what Western media shares.
The hashtag movement began on June 23, 2015 when twitter user @mango tweeted, “#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou join us in the HT showcasing the beauty of Africa!”
Shortly after, mango’s tweet was trending and receiving re-tweets.
In an email to Global News, 17-year-old Rachel Markham says, “As a Ghanaian I know very well there is so much more than all the poverty and suffering. Behind that is something that is rarely shown.”
On June 25, twitter user, Ayan, tweeted a picture that highlights several of Africa’s stereotypes. It made the following four statements: Africa is not a country, Africa is a continent made up of 56 countries. Africans do not all look alike. Africa is not defined by poverty. I don’t speak “African” because African is not a language.
Markham wrote, “I cannot understand how the media has done so little coverage on the progress African countries have made. From the luxury apartments, shopping outlets, office complexes and also the creation of new cities, townhouses, and much more.”
Ever since the #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou movement began, people have tweeted images of the culture, beauty, and successes of the African continent.
Another user, Princess Lexi, bashed the stereotype that all Africans live in huts.
Many other tweets showcased the beauty that is abundant in Africa. Twitter user This Is Uganda displayed four photos of the greenery in Uganda, and Blige highlighted the beauty of African architecture.
In recent weeks, the hashtag has been mentioned 70,000 times. Through the hashtag movement, twitter users have been exposed to the good, successful, and beautiful aspects of Africa.
Although Africa needs help and support, especially in rural and impoverished areas, it is essential that the good news is not forgotten and outweighed by the bad news.