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#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou Snaps #Stereotypes in Two

Finally, we get to talk about how social media is helping reform the image of something, rather than make it worse.

We constantly seem to be writing about image problems that social media seems to support, or at least not object to. This is about the image of an entire continent that has been constantly trodden down by our western media, to the point where all we know is poverty, death and disease.

The hashtag, #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou has been gathering momentum since late June and its efforts to portray Africa in a positive light by showcasing the continent's natural beauty has not gone unnoticed.

The creator of the Twitter trend is a 17 year old called Rachel Markham from Ghana.

Rachel told Global News: "I know very well there is so much more than all the poverty and suffering. Behind that is something that is rarely shown." 

This is some truly inspiring work from a teenager. She is single-handedly showing the world some of the most stunning elements of her people and she is not afraid to call us out on our stereotyping.

We, as individuals, rely so much on the media that we don't take time out anymore to do some discovering for ourselves. With western news and media the way it is (depressing, bleak, dismal), we forget that there is more than that to the world.

Have you ever seen the lush, green landscapes of Rwanda?

Or the modern hotels and the lit up Ghana?

What about the pink lake in Senegal?

I'm not saying that we should through away everything we've ever known about Africa.
I'm really not.

It's not a lie that some parts of Africa are in extreme poverty but it is wrong that someone like Rachel Markham has been asked questions like "Were you born in a hut?" all because of the way we've been conditioned to view those on the other side of the equator.

The hashtag has been used nearly 100,000 times and the pictures you've seen here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are some absolutely stunning pictures that are worth looking through and whilst you do, bear in mind the reason this has all begun.

Is Africa really helpless? Do these people need rescuing?

Do Africans all live in a hut or in the desert?

Are Africans desperate for our attention and pity?

The answer is no and these pictures have done a great job at opening everyone's eyes and inviting them to think positively about Africa. Well done Rachel!

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

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#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou Snaps #Stereotypes in Two Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, July 18, 2015 Rating: 5

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