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Confronting Euro-American media biases against Africa

The origin of humankind has been debated heavily over the years. However, there is a new twist to this development following the finding in Kenya that suggests that these species of homo sapiens and homo habilis may have co-existed over a 500,000 year overlap. The earliest fossils found in East Africa have led most scientists to assert that Africa is the ancestral home of every single human being alive today on planet Earth.

While this is news to celebrate, the Malawian blogger on africa-aphukira (African Rebirth) chronicles serious biases by Euro-American media and scholars against Africa in not crediting the recent archeological finding to a Kenyan, Fredrick Manthi, who, in fact, is Senior Research Scientist, Palaeontology Department, National Museums of Kenya, and has a PhD in the field. The author Steven Sharra argues that Africa should be given its due credit just like Dr Manthi whose work has not been duly credited:

When the news broke out in August of this year that new archaeological research in Kenya urged huge reversals in the conventional wisdom about the theory of evolution, the chasm in the reporting between the African media and the Euro-American one was astoundingly wide. Almost all of the media in the United States and in Britain who wrote about the news attributed the finding to Maeve Leakey and other Euro-American scientists. The African newspapers, on the other hand, attributed the discovery to Kenyan palaeontologist Dr Fredrick Kyalo Manthi. One writer, writing in the Daily Nation of Kenya, pointed out the discrepancy, while everyone else just reported on the finding and its hard facts.

He continues:

The question for us now becomes how to move beyond the cliché that describes the blatant anti-Africa biases not only in the EuroAmerican media, but also in the entire knowledge enterprise. Africa and Africans continue to occupy a liminal, marginal space in the Euro-American imaginary, and the media representations of the Kenya fossils story make that gladr-kyalo-manthi-jpeg.jpgringly clear. What is perhaps not as easy to articulate, however, are the effects this travesty has on the image of the continent, its people, their histories and possible futures. The story of Dr Kyalo Manthi and the way the Euro-American media has portrayed it is another reminder of the ongoing struggles for the re-assertion of Africa and Africans both on the continent and outside. They are not struggles for their own sake; rather, they are struggles about the truth of an entire group of people striving to tell their own stories to a world long used to hearing tales of the hunt from the hunter’s perspective.

Traffic counter frustrates blogger

Clement Nyirenda had a rude Saturday when he discovered that he could not track the traffic to his blog just because Statcounter had had a problem. He writes:

To begin with, I have always pointed out on this blog that I really like Statcounter. I signed up for Statcounter in the early stages of this blog and it has become my tracker of choice. This tracking software provides free information on 500 page views per month…..

But after a ruined day, he says had humbly confessed that they had a problem which ruined his day.

Now, I am pleased to report that the Statcounter Support team humbly confessed that indeed they had a problem and that they were really embarrassed because of what had happened. They further assured me that they will work on my account and ensure that I get back all my stats. After a few hours, my two projects were back to life with all the stats for the period when no new stats were being displayed. I have now renewed my love for Statcounter.They handled this crisis professionally.They were very humble and really worked to help me not to lose any stat. I have since deleted my account from the lesser known stat provider. I will stick to Statcounter.

The just ended budget session in Malawi approved only 1 Kwacha to the state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). Opposition parties and some commentators had argued that the state broadcaster did not deserve any funding as it is merely a mouthpiece of the ruling party and government. This is happening at a time in Malawi when there are about eighteen radio stations and a couple of newspapers, which provide alternative views to the nation unlike the pre-multiparty days when there was only MBC.

Blogger Hastings Maloya supports the decision to give MBC only 1 Kwacha (less than a cent in any European or US currency) for a full year:

Now the people of Malawi are free to chose which radio station to tune to. Malawians can make a judgement as to which radio station breaks the news and which one has most entertaining and quality programming. We are free to listen to what we like and switch off what makes no sense. Even advertisers have the freedom to fly their adverts on radios of their choice depending on what audience they are interested in. The question still remain, why should Malawians contribute to MBC when the radio is not open to the listeners’ choices? In a free society that we are Malawian citizens should be free today to criticise their government, and offer thoughts. This is not happening on MBC. Malawi enjoys freedom of expression and opinion, and this can be strengthened by a fairly leveled playing field for radio broadcasting. MBC, as it is now with the changed landscape that we are in, does not deserve any public funding. Let it receive if the laws say so and we should work tirelessly to re-look at those laws and see whether they are making sense for the time that we live in.

One of the major tribes in Malawi is Tumbuka whose peoples mostly occupy Northern Malawi. The tribe comes from the Nkhamanga Kingdom which dates back to over three hundred years ago. The recent elevation of Themba la mathemba Chikulamayembe to the position of paramount chief has excited Malawi born and blood relation of the chief, Mercy Gondwe. Though she missed the occasion, which took place at the Nkhamanga Headquarters in Rumphi, she writes:

This is extraordinary honour to the chief as well to us the Nkhamanga people….. This is very important and something that we the Nkhamangas have always wanted. Am very happy about this and I think people will be move d forward and it will make a difference to Nkhamanga. I believe as the first paramount chief, His role will be quite challenging and he has more to do ahead of him. I wish him all the best.

Normally a day in October is set aside each year to celebrate when the chieftainship started operating.

And this round-up should end up with another excited Malawian blogger Soyapi Mumba who now has an Apple's iPhone:

Soyapi and the iPhoneI recently had the privilege of holding and playing with Apple's iPhone. Wow, What an experience it was! It was wonderful to play with the device's on-screen keyboard, iTunes’ Cover Flow, shifting photo slides, turning the little animal 90 degrees and the like. What I realised after playing with the iPhone is that there is new paradigm of User Interfaces from What You See is What You Get (WYSWYG) to What You See is What You Touch (WYSWYT).

1 comment

  • Thanks for reviewing my post.Now I can see that you are back to Sweden.Great to see you writing for Global Voices after a long break.Keeep well:)

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