Misinterpreting sub-Saharan Africa

Nanjala Nyabola writes a compelling and strong article on the wrongdoings of Western news reporters when writing and researching on sub-Saharan Africa.

The author makes some remarks about the tendency by western writers of looking at African dynamics as mainly ethnic-based. To do so is indeed non-sense! Yes, there  is an ethnic element but it is surrounded by other elements with the same or even bigger relevance. Ethnicity in itself is also mutable and fluid, a statement that contradicts the general belief of westerners that ethnicity is hardened and rigid.

The author also highlights a common wrongdoing by western writers: to speak English, French or Portuguese is not enough to understand the full extent of what people say and express – it is a matter of interpretation. It is essential to consider the element of interpretation if one wants to understand the social dynamics between the different peoples of one region.

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One thought on “Misinterpreting sub-Saharan Africa

  1. Very well thought out and written article. Western media are well known for their Euro-centrism ( white man’s world, that is), their colonial patronizing (they deeply believe they know the so-called Third World/South countries) and their biased reporting when South countries are concerned.

    Like

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