The freedom of the African young mind
“Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed. Your African characters may include naked warriors, loyal servants, diviners and seers, ancient wise men living in hermitic splendour. Or corrupt politicians, inept polygamous travel-guides, and prostitutes you have slept with. Modern African is a fat man who steals and works in the visa office, refusing to give work permits to qualified Westerners who really care about Africa. He is an enemy of development, always using his government job to make it difficult for pragmatic and good-hearted exparts to set up NGOs or Legal Conservation Areas. Or he is an Oxford-educated intellectual turned serial-killing politician in a Savile Row suit. He is a cannibal who likes Cristal champagne, and his mother is a rich witch-doctor who really runs the country Bad Western characters may include children of Tory cabinet ministers, Afrikaners, employees of the World Bank. When talking about exploitation by foreigners mention the Chinese and Indian traders. Blame the West for Africa’s situation. But do not be too specific Remember, any work you submit in which people look filthy and miserable will be referred to as the ‘real Africa’, and you want that on your dust jacket. Do not feel queasy about this: you are trying to help them to get aid from the West. The biggest taboo in writing about Africa is to describe or show dead or suffering white people. make sure you mention that Africa is overpopulated. When your main character is in a desert or jungle living with indigenous peoples (anybody short) it is okay to mention that Africa has been severely depopulated by Aids and War (use caps).” (Wainaina, 2006)
Africa at the mercy of western media is on it’s own a challenge to the progress of our education system. Africa is portrayed not only as a dark continent but it also creates an image that Africans are only capable of violence, corruption, human violation, ignorance and most important that Africans are not capable of creating their own solution to their challenges. As Dambisa Moyo puts it, thate have been asked to raise young African to contribute to the global stage, and yet we are raising them in a negative vail of they can’t do certain things(Dambisa, 2009). This 21 century we can’t tolerate that our effort to create quality education for all Africans be in vain due to the superiority complex of western media.that’s why there is an urgency to include both critical thinking and critical pedagogy for both students and teacher training. We need our education to critically reflect and interpret the world and to contribute to the change of the world especially to the prosperity of Africans.
“helping to make people more critical in thought and action, progressively minded educators can help to free learners to see the world as it is and to act accordingly; critical education can increase freedom and enlarge the scope of human Possibilities” (Burbules & Berk, 1999), The freedom of the African mind from a media with a destructive agenda, necessitating the ability to discern all kind of inaccuracies and falsehood, there is no denying that there, poverty, corrupted leaders, conflicts on the African continent, however, I found it ridiculous the power that westerner media has to shift the African public opinion toward self-hatred and self demolition, they purposely forgot to mention that most of our nation is mostly 60 years old and theirs is more than one century old, trying to compare the so-called modernisation, development, democracy and capitalism is an outrage to justice because this incomplete truth has the power on what our African young mind believes.it’s though the western platform that African are denied the chance to own their own definition of democracy, capitalism and modernisation, the African context is complete;y different from the western context and so does it’s principles. That’s why African education systems have the obligation to teach how to be a critical consumer of information. Freire Paulo, a Brazilian educator strongly believes that the task of criticality is to bring members of an oppressed group to a critical consciousness of their situation as the beginning point of something he calls their liberatory praxis(Paulo, 1970)- for freire liberation is praxis and is, therefore, the goal of education is resisting in the world that attempts to dehumanize us (Zachary & Gabriel, 2013). Using the world oppressor isn’ a mistake of mine, it’s a word choice to try to explain how the media especially the westerner media is actually an oppressor to the education of Africans. Our African classroom is oppressed because we are been distracted from getting our own solutions to our problems on the African continent by the portrayed image of western media that the westerners are helping and speaking on the behalf of the powerless and dying Africans. How many time do you see a headline like “ The USA sponsor clean water project and how many time do you see headlines like” African boy create a windmill to save his village from a famine”. The answer to this question should truly define my point of view, we, Africans we are capable to structure our education systems toward questioning the motivation behind those who advance certainly opinion and views, their interest and the effect it has on us as the African society. it ‘s obvious that the media is not acting as a blending factor for cultural differences, it’s instead of working on its own agenda which certainly does not include the African population.
“You think you are the only ones who respect human rights, while for others it’s about violating human rights.” The cynicism, condescension and moral superiority displayed by many Western journalists when it comes to questioning human rights on the continent is laughable.” (France24, 2019)
During an interview, the president Paul Kagame said a controversial theory that it ‘s not common in Africa on how one part ( western ) is popularly known to fight for justice, freedom of expression and human right and another part ( Africans ) they are popularly known for violating those same principles. I am not shadowing the factor that we have cases of violating those rights and it’s definitely something that our young mind needs to tackle Urgently, what I am against is the portrayal of the partial picture. How many time do your hear cases of westerners violating human rights and how quickly do their evaporate while our own cases remained in history and it’s highly referred to in any occasion. A typical example, when white supremacist takes guns and lynch a human being(Shah, 2020), how many reports is written about it, or when the USA detained a 16 years-old boy for over two years without trial(Gatete Nyiringabo, 2019).Now imagine the same case scenario not in the USA but in Rwanda, at the heart of Africa, how much public debate will be held on CNN or BBC about those human rights abuses and how many are being held in the reality about westerners violating those same human rights. As Burbules and berk highlight it ”the object of thinking critically is not only against demonstrably false beliefs but also those that are misleading, partisan, on implicated in the preservation of an unjust status quo”.(Burbules & Berk, 1999) and that’s something our 21st-century education need. We need to be critical thinkers that do not only have the ability to interpret the world we live in but also the power to change it.
Our existence in this 21st century now define our survival by the way we think, none has the best intention at heart for Africa, then we do, as Africans. Quality education for all on the African can not be achieved if don’t question certain truths and who they are truly benefiting. Our education system has the obligation to help us to be more critical. “to be “critical” basically means to be more discerning in recognizing faulty arguments, hasty generalizations, assertions lacking evidence, truth claims based on unreliable authority, ambiguous or obscure concepts, and so forth”. (Burbules & Berk, 1999)
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Dambisa, M. (2009). Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa.
France24. (2019). ‘Just ridiculous’: Rwanda’s Paul Kagame dismisses EU human rights report [Video]. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXY1ttn-4SU.
Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of freedom
Gatete Nyiringabo, R. (2019). Western journalists: Angels of the devil. The New Times | Rwanda. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.newtimes.co.rw/opinions/western-journalists-angels-devil.
mama hope. (2012). African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes [Video]. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=160&v=qSElmEmEjb4&feature=emb_logo .
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Paulo, F. (1985). The Politics of Education: Culture, Power, and Liberation. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from.
Shah, K. (2020). Ahmaud Arbery: former police officer and son charged in shooting of black jogger. the Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/07/ahmaud-arbery-former-police-officer-and-son-charged-in-shooting-of-black-man.
Wainaina, B. (2006). How to Write about Africa.
Zachary, K., & Gabriel, S. (2013). A Curriculum of Liberatory Praxis. Retrieved 8 May 2020, from.
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