What Kenyans did to Bloomberg Business handle on Twitter: 5 lessons for Africans

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Today is one of the days I can say I am really proud to be African. Finally, we are vindicated. It seemed for a long time everyone has refused to believe that the West could be using the media to lie about Africa.  Bloomberg, CNN, and even the seemingly fair BBC. They all paint this image of a decrepit and wasting Africa, forcing the world to see only that one side of the African story. I have since taken any story from the west with scepticism. Hollywood is just there for fighting boredom; no unnecessary attachments.

Coman see as Kenyans showed up en masse for Bloomberg’s handle! The business news site had reported that Kenya was in turmoil over the elections. Apparently Kenyans had been enjoying their lives until some ITK, shoboloyoke reporter somewhere started dreaming of war in Kenya. These Kenyans have no chill buttons at all, they were all over the place to call Bloomberg to order.

This is not the first case of American or European news media misrepresenting situations in Africa. It will probably not be the last.

So what does this teach us?

Africans are an endangered specie. It seems we will never be allowed to thrive without intense resistance. Here are five lessons we should give attention to:

  1. The need to be proactive with information: Why is African news and information so slow? We cannot afford to always be reactionary. There are major events in every nation’s history, we should be the first to report OUR events.
  2. Be aware: it’s everywhere. Stories reeled out with little or no consideration for facts. After all it’s Africa, right? They cannot have peaceful elections – so a reporter spins out a “business as usual” piece of news and gets away with it.
  3. Understand the losses we bear: perception is powerful and we must learn to wield this. The evil and disaster in Africa is not much worse than other continents but we have darker and more fearful stories about Africa. This closes us off economically, we are always seen in a bad light. We are put in a comparatively more vulnerable position in business negotiations. This needs to stop.
  4. It won’t stop unless we stop it: people don’t just stop dumping crap on your lawn, sometimes you get a stick and chase the miscreants. Just like the Kenyans stood up for themselves, every social platform should be used to fight false news about Africa.
  5. Share your own story: we can make the world to see the beauty that Africa has. This will not be achieved of we cannot talk about our triumph and achievements. Be black and proud!

What do you think we can do to fix this terrible narratives about Africa? How can we tell our own stories better?

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