LOOKING AT AFRICA THROUGH “A LENS OF OPTIMISM.”
by Marlon Katsigazi
Africa has been marginalized for so long, termed as a continent of ‘backwardness’. Sadly, some people are afraid to go to Africa simply because of media stereotypes. Pessimism has been eternally tagged to the continent. The AIDS scourge, tribal wars, famine, drought, and poverty are common topics in media outlets. I am determined to change my glasses, and change the glasses of those around with words of enlightenment.
A continent, not a country.
A treasure trove, locked tight.
Mesmerizing contents within: an abundance of untapped natural resources. Food that can feed the world and talent that can lift it higher than we’ve ever seen.
Recently, nations from China to India to Brazil have taken notice of Africa’s hidden potential. As these nations try to work hand-in-hand with Africa, the tight lock of pessimism can gradually begin to unravel. Through glasses of optimism, these nations are working with Africa to help benefit the world.
Numerous Africans also have the wrong glasses on, their cynical vision clearly progressing to the tip of their tongues. Some of them say, “Africa is full of corruption. Nothing can come out of the continent. I have lost faith in my country. There are always tribal wars. Africa is so poor, there is no need to invest.” Words are powerful and phrases like like this only slow, and sometimes halt, the progress of the continent. The greatest book says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
All I ask of you is this:
Speak positive about Africa and find ways to assist in unveiling its hidden treasures.
Yes, Africa might need aid and go through upheavals, but the continent wants to trade with developed nations to boost its economy. The recent revolutions in North Africa are a positive sign. People who were once victims of incompetent governance can now have a chance to be under a government for the people, by the people.
A youthful mix of witty leaders can bring new ideas and innovations to countries that are lagging behind. They should be given a chance. Nothing is impossible when the right minds come together. People should not scorn Africa, but find ways to help the continent fulfill its hidden potential.
Put on the right glasses. Look at Africa through the lens of optimism.
– Marlon Katsigazi
Co-founder, Discovering Africa Network