The Hashtag Showing You a Side of Africa You Probably Haven’t Seen
If someone said the word “Africa” to you right now, chances are you’re not going to picture beautiful beaches, trendy street fashion, or gourmet food. Thanks to decades of media coverage of Africa as a place of death, devestation, starvation, and violent conflict, many people around the world have a negatively skewed viewpoint of the continent.
Now a social media hashtag is fighting back against those dominant stereotypes.
The hashtag was started by Twitter user @Mango, reports Global Voices, and her goal is to showcase Africa’s beauty and diversity. Several Twitter users who call one of Africa’s 54 countries home have since shared images of the Africa they know, posting a variety of pictures including the pristine beaches of Kenya, the vivid pink waters of Lake Retba in Senegal, or what cultural celebrations such as weddings look like.
So, Why Should You Care? While many developing countries are indeed grappling with poverty, sanitation, and health care, media coverage focused on these problems has often led to a certain country or continent being defined by its struggles. The coverage has been so pervasive that the term “poverty porn” is recognized by many. But the truth is, there have been huge advancements in these regions, including economic growth and innovative technology that’s improving the lives of people every day. As the world's future gets passed on from one generation to the next, it’s also worth noting that two-thirds of the world’s youth population will be in Africa by the year 2100.
Check out a sampling of some of the tweets and photos being shared on social media now: