Why telling AFRICAN Stories is important

For a long time now, since Africa was colonized by the Europeans, stories told on the continent have been foreign. Beginning with childrens’ books to tertiary school textbooks, most narratives and references belong to cultures outside of Africa. The media plays a huge part in ensuring that the audience is continuously fed content from America, Europe and Asia.

STORYTELLING

deangichuki

7/6/2021 2 min read

group of children photography


For a long time now, since Africa was colonized by the Europeans, stories told on the continent have been foreign. Beginning with childrens’ books to tertiary school textbooks, most narratives and references belong to cultures outside of Africa. The media plays a huge part in ensuring that the audience is continuously fed content from America, Europe and Asia.

However, it has become increasingly apparent that it is high time we started telling African stories as Africans for Africa and the world. The Identity of African people is at risk if all they grow up reading about and seeing on mainstream media is people who are in many ways different from them. This heavily alters one’s psychology where their minds communicate that what is good is that which is foreign and convinces them that there must be something wrong with them. 

The lack of enough authentic African stories also affects the preservation and celebration of Culture in the continent. Before colonization, there were informal gatherings where stories would be told, advice given, songs sang and merry to be made in different African communities. However, what we see today is a broken system that does not have the true traditions, culture and history spreading as quickly as it’s imported competition. 

Knowing our stories as Africans will not only reveal the truth behind who we are, where we come from and what our cultural values are, but will further educate us. One of the quickest ways to learn is through other people’s experiences. Reporting on the trials and triumphs of African heroes and everyday men through storytelling is a lot more vital than it may seem. It is by seeing a dark skinned Kenyan actor Lupita Nyong’o take on the world, and win the most valuable prize in performance that many young Africans creatives started looking at themselves as worthy of the worlds respect. 

Whether it be as comedies, documentaries, games, investigative series, animations, music, poetry, or film,  it is very important that African stories are told, told by Africans and told well. 

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