Talk about stereotypes and be sure that Africa has had an unkind dose of it. “Africa is poor, they live in jungles, wake up next to lions and yes, they are not that smart”. Such were the hilarious assumptions about Africa, all as a result of poor and erroneous representation of the continent in the media. Good enough the same media through current inventions and innovations are beginning to show Africa for the marvel that it truly is and will always be.
The truth about stereotypes these days is not so much about what everyone else is saying but what such things impact in the minds of the victims, Africans. When people say you will not amount to anything, there’s need to refute that mindset in totality through evident corresponding actions. On a less brighter part, it is a fact that some Africans still buy some of these implied negative stereotypes. The modern mama Africa does not in any way want to feel enslaved by anything but Ironically we still define our “freedom” with the western idea of being and living. However with a much lesser emphasis on racism, every human being of this day and age wants to be free and feel good enough about themselves.
So this article is dedicated to Africans who live on their own natural terms; not letting any form of racist fallacy limit their chances of success and growth as a person, as an African, as a human being made for a purpose. To get the gist more clearly, and live life fully and freely as an African, here are modern African myths you need to do away with:
1. It’s A Man’s World
The world is not so mainstream with the myth of man’s world, that women have no place in it. Looking around and judging things for yourself will clear your doubts. Women are also doing things that are worth the while in the society. Just like men are known to be the typical money makers, women have also stepped into that realm of responsibility, especially on the basis of economic necessity, just call it a basic demand of our time. Africa has a long list of leading women entrepreneurs; same could be said in the field of politics and technology. Not all African bread winners can cope with the financial demands of the present world, so some women see the need to get busy with a source of regular income.
However, gender equality does not entail competing with the men folk; neither is the term “equality” in gender relations a mathematical logic, it’s simply complementary. The idea of submission to the husband is the most misconstrued concepts in African environment. Submission equals respect, marriage is not capitalism, where laborers smile and suffer for no worthy course. It is a union that demands understanding and a high sense of respect for and from involved partners. But as much as we encourage gender equality in Africa, the African woman must understand that no one expects her to go around lifting bricks and proving points. The goal is just to be a solution in your family and the society in any possible and available capacity, simple.
Thus, doing away with the mentality that you cannot be as successful as you could be is just the cheapest excuse to hide your light under the bushel. The world and the skies are big enough for everybody. If you can contribute to the family and society at any level-small or huge, feel free to do so. It could be business, humanitarian, speaking up for the good of the society, supporting a good course or in any other way that will yield development in the society. You must not be a man to be a light in your capacity. If an obvious good is to be done, and you can lend a hand, go on with it.
2. Africa Is Poor
No we are not poor, we just have management issues. Under serious but fair scrutiny, we could suggest that there is no poor country anywhere in the world. The only problem is that we have leaders with misplaced priorities and are satisfied with mediocrity, plus rival nations who seem to be taking advantage of the supposedly “poor” nations. In fairness Africa has not fully recovered from the exploitation of the past, that might be a perfect reason why we do not seem to be where others are. Besides, there is no justifiable basis to compare the development rate of both worlds. Reason? Our tech-genesis did not all kick off at the same time.
Management is a very vital issue in Africa; with the likes of Teodoro Obiang and the lavish lifestyles of our dearest billionaires, one can clearly see the direction of the concerns of the average African man. It’s almost like the survival of the fittest, where the biggest takes it all. Did you know that Africa generated $7 billion on hair care? Such are the things that question our way forward and Africa’s scale of preference.
Did you also know that Africa is home to 60% of the world’s natural resources? Believe it when I say that Africa ideally should be the world’s richest continent. So when they go on about poverty in Africa, tell them they are dead wrong since poverty appears to be a global trademark if we really take time to look at it. It will be worth it to embrace the fact that more and more African countries are becoming the world’s fastest growing economies.
3. You Only Need Connection
If you are African and aspiring to be successful, be sure that the only connection you need is linking up initiatives with skilled and seasoned action. If you are that good, you’ll get noticed someday. If you have the connection, that’s amazing, if not don’t panic about it, just get it started; all you need is the skill and ingenuity, the quality of your work will do the trick; don’t be afraid to start small probably with just a few believers in your craft. The quality of your work speaks volume and will draw more eyes to your work. Not all the successful people you know had affiliations with big shots before they made it. So just do what you know how to with enormous hardwork and trust in your crafts or creation.
4. It’s All About The Money
There are things money can’t and will never buy, in other words some things actually matter more than money. If you have all the fund in the world to start a business but you have no business acumen, well… you are just busy for nothing. And if you have the acumen and money but not in good health, well… you’d most probably devote the cash to your health. Summarily, life is more important, family is more important, being on your feet and happy with your neighbors is worth more. Life, love and happiness matter the most. Be grateful with your life at every stage of your journey, money or not.
You need money for that business but not as much as you need to be proactive. Start with what you have from where you are. The economy by default is making more Africans pro-entrepreneurship; in any case, not every entrepreneur will end up a trillionaire, thus contentment is an African virtue that has sustained a lot of people through the ups and the downs of the economy. Generally speaking, Africans are a communal people, it’s all about the people; It’s all about family.
5. It’s The Trend
It’s not the trend, it is who you are and the purpose for doing what you do. The world should not do your thinking for you, because God had already blessed you with a thinking faculty. Add reason to the trend and be certain that it represents your essence. If it suits you and makes you comfortable and totally rocks your boat that’s fine, if not, someone needs to be a little more realistic… and smart. We are all born unique with distinct traits, identity and philosophies, being true to yourself even if it makes you unpopular is worth trying out. Your uniqueness is in itself a pace-setting trend, uncommon. If everyone was lost in the Brazilian weave band wagon, perhaps there would not be a sample of the goodness of the natural Afro hair, which has become a trend in demand for most African women. So it’s not always about the trend, it’s purpose, it’s being African, being original.