Twitter Campaign Shows A Rosier Side Of Africa
Such a great hashtag: #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou— Femi Oke (@FemiOke) July 6, 2015
Photo ht @SiphileHlwatika Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa pic.twitter.com/KBGUQze3LM
Fed up with depressing images of starving children used in the media to portray their home, Africans are taking to Twitter to show off the beauty and diversity of their continent.
A group of young Africans is using the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou to push back on generalizations that people elsewhere may have about their home continent. So far, there have been more than 75,000 tweets using the hashtag since the campaign began on June 23.
"I got involved because growing up, I was made to feel ashamed of my homeland, with negative images that paint Africa as a desolate continent," said Diana Salah, a first-generation Somali-American student who helped create the campaign, when she talked to Fusion. "It's so important to showcase the diversity and beauty of Africa, and with the mainstream media not up for the task, social media was the perfect outlet."
Abdoulaye Ndao, a photographer and art director in Senegal, also felt compelled to get involved.
"When I go to the Internet and type, 'What are African people like?' the results are sad," Ndao said in an interview with the BBC World Service. "Really frustrating. Because the thing you see is hunger, poor people, war, it's just like, this is the only face of Africa that is known. But believe me, the Africa I know, my Africa, is more than this. My Africa is all about amazing people, all about amazing places and landscapes."
Enjoy some of our favorite tweets below.
My beautiful🌅 #senegal. Beauty is in the eyes of the viewer. #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou. http://t.co/176FOVwiBk pic.twitter.com/M4LWOhVdhL— Layepro 🇸🇳 (@layepro) July 3, 2015
Happy independence day to my beautiful country Somalia.#SomaliaHaaNoolaato #Somalia #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou 💙 pic.twitter.com/ugfzKnxGNg— Hafsa. (@HafiaJay) July 1, 2015
Dope! RT @THECAROLDANVERS: african fashion. model destiny owusu. #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou http://t.co/6d1hsM5PLF— "Luv" (@LustyLeroy) July 1, 2015
#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou Simien Mountains at Simien National Park #Ethiopia pic credit @AbsolutEthiopia pic.twitter.com/So3IeYImFL— ፍሬህይወት ነጋሽ Frehiwot Negash (@FrehiwotNG) July 10, 2015
My family's beautiful country of Cape Verde#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou pic.twitter.com/14KSQZ0fuI— not just a clown, but the whole circus 🎪 (@lavidatina) June 24, 2015
Correction July 16, 2015
The original version of this post included a tweet with four images that were identified as Senegal's Lake Retba or Le Lac Rose, the waters of which have a pink hue. In fact, not all of the images were of this lake. We have deleted this tweet.