“ Africa is special because there is little common understanding between Africans and Americans to provide context for interpretation” (Hawk 1992:4)
What are the first things that come to mind when you think of Ethiopia? Poverty? Famine? African children with bloated tummies from lack of food? Ethiopia and other regions of Africa are usually viewed in only a negative perspective. This is because mainstream media tend to hide the beauty and elegance of Africa by focusing on stereotypes. I believe these stereotypes were created out of lack of knowledge.
Mainstream media has a huge impact on the way we view the world. They feed us false facts about Africa, thereby blinding us from the truth. Common misconceptions include visions of a land completely covered with forests and exotic animals; African people as “tribal”, poor, and uneducated; and Africa is shown as HIV-ridden, corrupt, violent, and unsafe. Calling Africa a country is also false; it is a continent.
As if sharing false information wasn’t enough, media sources seldom show the existence of the upper class regions of Africa, the regions with beautiful, prospering cities. Rarely do we hear or see stories or images of Addis Ababa, the beautiful capital of Ethiopia. There is even less talk about how Africa and its culture have inspired the world.
The video above shows Africa’s artistic, architectural enriched cities and gorgeous landscapes. These are things that are rarely seen on TV, if ever.
Missie Hahn is a freelance journalist, photographer, and regular contributor to As NOT Seen on TV.