Telling the African Story

Being a speech delivered by Veye Tatah, German based Migration Counsellor at the online international migration summit titled: Migration: Remedies for Covid-19 and the Economy on Saturday May 30, 2020.

Why is it important for us Africans to tell our “own” stories? Why do we expect the west and others to tell positive and inspiring stories about us, when we cannot do so? Why do many media outlets in Africa keep on buying News from the Western New Agencies?

How come Africans do not report about their Neighbouring countries but we know everything that is going on in Europe and in America.

The answer to these questions is because we are still colonized in our societies and in our mindset.  We believe in order to tell the African story authentically, we need to decolonise our mind-sets, our societies and more importantly our media.

Telling the African story also means we need to be honest and critical about the challenges we face in our countries and what can “we as a people” do to overcome them. Which role can each and every one of us play to bring about positive change in our countries?

Global media predominantly highlight the negatives about the African continent and its people. In 1998 the Africa Positive Magazine began telling the African story to the European public to promote balanced reporting. But we soon realised that we also needed to tell the African story to the African people. 

Because, generally Western Countries are mostly portrayed glamorously and in a positive light by our own media outlets. The youths in Africa consuming this one sided information believe everything and are ready to risk their lives for perceived greener pastures abroad.

Media reports in 2017 that showed black #Africans being sold as #slaves in #Libya and so many young Africans dying in the #Mediterranean sea touched us deeply and motivated us to look for ways to tell the African stories to Africans.

In 2018 we launched “The Ubuntu Animation Series” to tell the African Story to the African people and more particularly to the Youths.

The renaissance of #Africa lies in the accomplishment of the African Identity, by realizing the black consciousness and back-to-our-roots agenda, and by reloading our sense of humanity, fairness, justice, empathy, naturalism and the legendary consideration of the human being.

We Africans need to create conducive environments in our #communities and countries that encourage development at both the individual and national levels.

As Africans, our identity is our history and we have to wake up from our slumber and take our destiny in our hands. Africa is richly blessed and we must recognize and value this:

its strikingly beautiful landscapes, the abundant human and natural resources, and the rich and diverse cultural practices. Lets create opportunities in our countries for our youths and make our countries a paradise for our people.

The #Ubuntu Series aims at sensitizing people of African descent about behaviours that disrupt the development of our countries. We believe change in attitudes can #empower us to find homemade solutions for the challenges we face.

The African continent is very rich and truly offers a lot of hidden opportunities that are not always obvious to young Africans. Their focus is the West they see glamorized in the media. They are also led to buy into the age-old notion that nothing good comes out of Africa.

That is why we need authentic African voices to tell the African stories as well as to promote African products, Initiatives and life styles to the world and within the African continent.

Veye Tatah

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