The African Hollywood Syndrome.

Let us be real for a second here…when rubber meets the road, Africans have more to lose- it’s not like the Chinese, the French, the Americans and oh… yea the Brits are not rushing to get a hold of the resources.  Even Turkey is catching on.

But all that is changing slowly- Right? innovation is taking root in Africa. Young people are rising up and making great strides in leadership. Education is slowly catching on….

Yet, what should be the hope of innovative ideas has turned into a Hollywoodesque drama in the African Diaspora. It is rather sad actually, to be fascinated by a culture  that is slowly taking ours away.  A few media powerhouses- using that word really lightly- have decided that they need to change the image of Africa, or reinvent Africa, and they are caught in the American dream, they forget that where it is all happening is at home. Where change is happening is not so much in the diaspora- but at home.

Forget remittances- forget brain drain- Think of Africa, where rubber meets the road; that is where the real action needs to be documented, highlighted and celebrated.

This is rather a rant- the frustration of seeing that only few individuals get the glamour of being “Most important Africans”- yet those who are working hard, and doing real work get sidelined. Lets make it clear- if you are in the diaspora, and you have the resources to make some real changes in Africa- then you have no excuse not to. No accolades are owed to you.  However, there should be encouragement for those who struggle to do some good, those who go beyond their means to make real change happen- those are the ones we celebrate- those are the ones we give awards to. – Yes, by all means let us honor those who have started projects in Africa. Let us celebrate their work- but let that be the exception and not the rule.

But then again, isn’t that the story, that those who actually work hard to realize the dreams of a people are always on the sideline.

But maybe, just maybe, it is time to change that. Recognize great work, by great people going beyond the two or three people who everyone seems to be awarding left and right.

So next time you think of celebrating the African people, changing Africa’s image, or reinventing Africa- think twice. Unless off course you have the license to do so….


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