Unlocking A Continent of Stories

On a continent of 54 sovereign states and several territories made up of at least 3,000 distinct ethnic groups speaking over 2,000 languages, what makes the news isn’t always a true representation of what matters.

At the expense of news items deemed less worthy, the continental stories that make it into the primetime spotlight are often those cherry-picked by foreign actors whose interests hardly, if ever, hold the best intentions for Africans. And when we leave our storytelling to people who do not care about what matters to us, what matters to us never gets told. At least not effectively.

So for every sensational headline sourced from Africa, there are dozens, maybe hundreds more everyday stories that are allowed to fall between the cracks for whatever reasons the formal and informal gatekeepers of global news base their biases on. This conscious left swiping makes for an incomplete picture of Africa, one in which the ‘big’ stories are thoroughly covered, perhaps one-sidedly but covered nonetheless, and everything else is filed under ‘etc’.

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But the collective African story is not etcetera. It does not come in one size, one dimension or one angle. It is as complex as it is simple, as diverse as it is local and as international as it is ethnic.

This continent deserves a revolving stage that gives fair exposure to all sides of its ever-unfolding narrative, one that is ours and no one else, unrestrained and unmuted.

And that’s why we are here.

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