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“Why I blog about Africa”

(See Part 2 on why anglophone bloggers blog about Africa here)

A few days ago, Théophile Kouamouo [Fr], a blogger based in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), started a meme asking bloggers to reflect on why blog about Africa:

Bloguons nous pour la diaspora et le vaste monde, coupé de nos contemporains sur le continent ? Blogue-t-on sur l'Afrique comme on blogue sur l'Europe ou l'Asie ? La blogosphère afro-orientée a-t-elle quelque chose de spécifique à offrir au concert de l'universel version 2.0 ?

Do we blog for the diaspora and for the world at large, cut off from our contemporary on the continent? Is blogging about Africa done in the same way as blogging about Europe or Asia? Does the African-oriented blogosphere have something specific to offer to the world version 2.0?

After tagging a few fellow African bloggers, Téophile offered his own answer to the question:

Je blogue sur l'Afrique avec joie parce que je crois que c'est de nos voix individuelles et mêlées que naîtra la renaissance africaine qui arrivera aussi sûrement que le rêve de Martin Luther King est devenu réalité quarante années plus tard. Je lis les blogs afro-orientés avec bonheur parce qu'ils me donnent une image moins monolithique et moins catastrophiste du continent et de ses habitants.

I blog about Africa with joy because I believe that it is from our individual and mixed voices that the African renaissance will sprout, which will come as surely as Martin Luther King's dream became a reality forty years later. I read African-oriented blogs with joy because they give me a less monolithic and less doomed image of the continent and its inhabitants.

Amongst the many Francophone bloggers that participated in the meme and gave some thinking to Téophile's question, here is a selection of their answers.

Hilaire Kouakou [Fr], also from Côte d'Ivoire:

… parce que l'Afrique ne peut se soustraire du monde. Ensuite bloguer sur l'Afrique, est la preuve que ce continent a une vie, existe, a des voies.

… because Africa cannot escape from the world. Thus blogging about Africa, it's the proof that this continent has a life, that it exists, that it has its ways.

Claudus [Fr]:

Je voudrais pour nos petites sœurs, nos petits frères et nos enfants une Afrique respectée dans le monde car devenue digne et sure d’elle.

For our little sisters, our little brothers and our children I would like an Africa respected in the world, proud and self-confident.

Ramata Sore from Burkina Faso, commenting on l'Atelier des Médias [Fr] of Radio France Internationale:

Parce que l'Afrique, fait partie du monde,
Parce que ce chaleureux Continent fait toujours l'actualite
c'est le Continent aussi dechire par le cri de ses Enfants

[…]
Parce que c'est un Continent qui existe tout simple
Et parceque c'est Nous l'Afrique.

Because Africa is part of the world,
because this warm continent is always in the news
it is also the continent torn by her children's cries 

[…]
Because it is a continent that exists, that's all
And because We are Africa

Africa 2.0 [Fr]:

* Essayer de gommer la mauvaise image qui colle à ce continent à mon niveau
* Rencontrer d’autres personnes ayant le même idéal
* Informer les autres peuples sur les réalités africaines
* Faire bouger les choses
* Participer au débat planétaire
* Faire entendre la voix de l’Afrique
* Discuter de nos problèmes et essayer d’y apporter des solutions

* Try to rub out the bad image stuck on this continent with my contribution
* Meet other people with the same ideals
* Inform other peoples of the African realities
* Shake things up
* Participate in the world debate
* Make the voice of Africa heard
* Discuss our problems and try to bring solutions to them

Maintikely [Fr] from Madagascar collects a list of common stereotypes about Africa before describing how different she can be from them:

…l'Afrique n'est pas seulement la couleur noire, elle n'est pas seulement synonyme de SIDA, ni de guerre civile à tout bout de champ. Elle n'est ni la malnutrition, ni la pauvreté ni la misère, ni la mortalité infantile. Elle n'est pas la corruption, les pirates, le braconnage, la lutte pour le pouvoir, les dettes, les safaris, les pyramides, ni les paysages exotiques, ni le Sahara, ni Mugabe et compagnie, ni les lions et les éléphants etc…

L'Afrique c'est aussi le berceau de l'humanité, le berceau de toute civilisation, le sourire de sa population, son sens de l'accueil et de l'hospitalité, l'amitié, sa population, son diaspora, l'espoir d'un jour meilleur, le soukouss, la diversité de ses habitants, la diversité du paysage, l'esprit de famille et les valeurs familiales, le maghreb, l'accent qui caractérise tant un africain mais qui vous rend nostalgique loin de votre pays, kouakou, les couleurs vives , sa culture diversifiée etc…

…Africa is not just the black colour, it's not just a synonym of AIDS, or of civil war at every turn. It is not malnutrition, or poverty, or misery, or children mortality. It is not corruption, pirates, poaching, power struggles, debts, safaris, pyramides, exotic landscapes, the Sahara, Mugabe and company, or lions and elephants, etc… 

Africa is also the cradle of humanity, the cradle of all civilisation, the smile of her population, the hospitality and welcoming sense, the friendship, its population, its diaspora, the hope for a better day, the soukous, the diversity of her inhabitants , the diversity of landscapes, the family spirit and family values, the Maghreb, the characteristic accent of an African that makes you nostalgic for your country, kouakou, bright colours, her diverse culture…

And finally she answers the question of why she blogs about Africa:

[…] parce que je suis africaine, et fière de l'être. Une africaine qui connaît mal l'Afrique mais qui l'aime et qui souhaite qu'on jette un regard nouveau sur ce continent, un regard qui transcende les clichés qui lui sont associés, un regard au delà de l'opinion touristique, et des maux de l'Afrique pour voir aussi l'autre côté de la médaille.

[…] because I'm African, and proud to be. An African woman who doesn't know Africa well but who loves her and who wishes for a new look on the continent, a look that would trascend the clichés associated with it, a look beyond touristic opinions, and beyond her troubles to see also the other side of the coin.

(Map of Africa tagged by participants of Barcamp Africa last October, from the Maneno Flickr photostream)

38 comments

  • […] I Blog About Africa Jump to Comments This post is in response to a meme that is making its way through the Afroblogosphere, having been tagged by […]

  • Le link pointing towards Ramato SOre’s contribution on l’Atelier des medias is broken. The correct link is http://atelier.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1189413%3ABlogPost%3A37646&page=1#comment-1189413_Comment_37854

  • Philippe, thanks for the link -it’s been fixed.

    And thanks to everybody that continued the meme and wrote about why they write about Africa. I think a second roundup from the anglophone blogosphere will come soon…

  • […] is my response to Why I blog about Africa meme by  Théophile Kouamouo made popular by the Global Voices blog. There is no grand reason behind me blogging about Africa. I do not blog for hungry kids or […]

  • I, too, blog about Africa – and I’m inspired to follow up the meme on my own blog. But then something struck me when reading the English translation of Théophile’s blog. He writes:

    Is blogging about Africa done in the same way as blogging about Europe or Asia?

    .
    It’s just that I can’t find anyone writing about Europe or Asia. Sometimes people write about America, but then they mean the US. But on Africa we all blog. To me it is partly the sign of a great need, partly sign of an inferiority complex. What I would hope for, was for people to write about issues springing out of their context. When I write about Africa, I write about my visits to Kenya and Zambia, but I don’t know anything about Senegal or Ghana after travelling to these other countries. Writing about Africa? Isn’t it one way of segmenting stereoptypes in a somewhat damaging way?

  • […] bloggeren Théophile Kouamouo som har satt i gang et meme med akkurat dette spørsmålet, og Global Voices følger opp med en oversikt over blogger som har fulgt opp utfordringen fra Théophile Kouamouo. Siden Kouamouo […]

  • […] whose posts were translated, condensed and presented in English through the brilliant blog portal Global Voices Online. This again was picked up by the anglophone African blogmog, with bloggers like Mootbox, […]

  • […] couple of weeks ago, we collected some posts from a meme that was doing the rounds in the Francophone blogosphere answering the question of why […]

  • […] Africa divide and I think holds a certain amount of power as I read others posts. See a good mini-aggregate post at Global […]

  • dusan

    ludi su ljudi koji se voli,paze i maze……ljudi se vole radi razloga

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