With deepest gratitude to Chinamanda Adichie and how we think of A Better Africa
Posted by Janice Scheckter on 01 December 2015 3:05 PM CAT
The danger of a single story is the title of Chinamanda Adichie’s TED talk given in 2009, which a friend just shared. Adichie talks of the many single stories told of Africa where as a continent we’re thought of as a collection of poverty stricken, war torn regions waiting for the west to save us from ourselves.
She shares memories of her entry to a US university at age 18 where her roomie was astounded at her command of English, the fact that she knew how to use a stove and more.
A year or so ago, we fired up an online platform called A Better Africa which was intended as a collaborative hub around African initiatives and people doing good stuff. When we named our collaborative platform A Better Africa how did we anticipate people would read it? Was it about African’s deserving A Better Africa or was it maybe about Africa being better than most westerners and others perceived it?
Honestly, while well intended, I am not sure that we gave our title sufficient thought and Chinamanda Adichie has forced this issue in my mind. The collaborative communities that are already growing on our platform include DIMA, a pan African disaster management community who will share best practice, knowledge and capacity building, a literacy programme with an associated Spelling B that already has the interest of 8 African countries, and an incubation space that will assist NPOs in collaborating, among others.
So FYI A Better Africa is about Africa being better than some of our non-African readers think, about the resilience of people, about not waiting for some regions’ failed leadership to make a different but about ordinary people stepping into the gaps. This is a continent of growth, of innovation and one that I would not trade for any other.
Janice Scheckter, passionate African and MD and co-founder of Indigo New Media.