When Trump was said to have referred to African countries as shithole countries, many Africans agreed with him. So many Ghanaians on twitter were quick to run their mouths about how terrible living conditions in Ghana are. Some went to the extent of attacking well-meaning Ghanaians who wanted to go against the stereotype and show the positive part of Africa that the foreign media refuses to show. Okay, maybe it’s true.
It’s true that there’s a lot of corruption in our country, and the gap between the rich and the poor keeps getting wider. It’s true that we have a huge problem when it comes to sanitation, and that our streets and gutters are littered and smell like 3 day old fart. It’s true that the government only focuses on developing the cities, so our rural towns have looked the exact same way since the British left us. It’s true that some towns have no access to electricity, and drinking clean water is a privilege more than a right to local people who share their water bodies with cows and other livestock. It’s true that even in the cities there are people who can’t afford a single meal, and eating three times daily is a dream which may never come true for them. It’s true that our health facilities are few, and falling sick is a luxury for those who can afford it. It’s true that we have policemen who will gladly refuse to arrest accused people because, ‘the police car has no fuel in it’. It’s true that we have politicians who will beg the Western and Eastern worlds for money only to fill their pockets, stomachs and the Gucci handbags of their mistresses. Do I need to continue? So oh yes, Africa is all the bad things you say it is.
But take your time o, I hope you remember that there are people abroad who think we live on trees, and dance naked with wild animals in the moonlight? There are people who think that we all sleep to the lullabies of the sound of bullets and wake up to the sight of dead bodies being consumed by vultures. There are people who think we bathe in AIDS and brush our teeth with Malaria. There are people who think that we are barbaric, uncouth and disgusting creatures from a very far away land. There are people who think the conflict in South Sudan means that Ghana is unsafe. There are people who cry at the knowledge of the fact that a loved one is visiting Africa, regardless of the country. Because Africa is doomed, a dark world, a land of no return, a free-trial of hell on earth. Do you accept this?
So allow those of us who want to prove the stereotypes wrong. Allow those of us who want to say that yes Africa is all the bad things you say it is but there’s another side of story. Allow us to tell the West and East to move on to the next chapter of our story. And to turn to page The Africa The Media Refuses to Show You. To look at our breathtaking landscapes and tourist sites, our beautiful arts and culture. To look at our educated professionals bringing change one heavy step at a time. To look at our hardworking women and our brave and fearless men. To look at our beautiful children who are the hope of a difficult tomorrow. To ask, “Have you seen our clothes, organic beauty products, baskets, jewelry, dances, pots, sculptures, architecture, wine and food?” To say that, “These represent the sweat of the toiling African.” So allow those of us who believe we are better than our problems. Allow us to think.
Here is Ghana through the lens of J. Adoosey.
He’s a talented young photographer. Follow his twitter for more