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.


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.


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