Caution: This may ruffle a few feathers. Still want to read? Let’s go.
It’s taken me about two days to get to this because if there is something we’re not reading about, then we certainly are not telling our own stories. Is that the case? I am certain that is an emphatic NO!
It is perhaps unfortunate that we probably did not have as much resources to tell our own stories in the past than we do today, thanks to the proliferation of the internet and social media worldwide. I think many authors and bloggers have told the African stories (there isn’t a single story according to Adichie) but the audience is too busy focusing on the old narratives of jungles, sunsets, monkeys, safaris, mud houses, malnourished and diseased children and illegal immigrants. Not that these do not still exist or are by themselves negative.
How about we tell their stories that we never read about:
Of being jobless, hungry, highly indebted and having no place to call home.
Of worrying that your color, gender or tongue twisting name is enough to warrant a few bullets in your skull, become another #Hashtag, jailed, unemployed or just being overly conscious about your mannersims and every S-I-N-G-L-E decision you take.
Of being afraid to seek health care because despite receiving the best of care, the bills will lead you back into the hospital.
Of having to take time off work to care for your children because granny though past retirement age is still working and cannot babysit for a few hours/days.
Of old parents being put away in a home with visits from children as often as their busy schedules can allow.
Should we tell them about the Africa where being unemployed though frustrating wouldn’t have you begging in the streets just for a loaf of bread? Where I could walk in the streets without fear of an officer ‘accidentally’ shooting you, or a gang stabbing you on your way home? Should we remind them how much family means to us and how fortunate we are to have our parents and grandparents raise our village together?
So, what is it about the Africa we never read about? Many bloggers are out there telling the African stories, it’s up to us what we feed them and what they choose to eat. Like a buffet, the choice is totally up to all of us.