Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blame it on the...

An African proverb goes thus, "Until the lions can tell their stories, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter."
This is a proverb that goes on to say that unless people tell their own stories, whether of triumph or defeat, people will always believe whatever is out there telling that story and this is true when it comes to Africa.
Who will ever tell the African story? Everybody has their story about Africa but it all has one thing in common, that Africa is a doomed country full of AIDS, poverty, wild animals and some of the most backwards people. I don't blame the West (atleast not entirely) for casting Africa in bad light.
I blame us, we are always complaining but we are the first to show off our poverty to the world. Kibera has now become a tourist attraction site in Kenya, any high profile person who lands in Kenya is whisked there even before meeting the President and the American media will replay that shot a million times until people believe that is Kenya.
After that, lets go to the movies, I always hate watching movies on Africa because they just perpetuate the poverty notion. Again, what do we do, we just complain and flock the cinemas to watch the film.
Any celebrity in America who is considered A List material wants a piece of Africa's latest import; orphans! Am not running away from the truth, no, this issues do exist but they also do in the US and Europe!
We have very many stories we can tell but unless they are told from the eyes of an outsider, we don't take them seriously. Heck, even a movie like Blood Diamond which is shot in Africa had a white person as the lead.
We have National heroes, isn't it time we honoured them by doing feature films on them and applaud them for what they did for Kenya?
Come on, Americans shoot movies about anything and make it sell, why cant we start small and see what we can do for our own heroes like Paul Tergat who is the second most popular African in Brazil after Nelson Mandela or even Henry Wanyoike who has proved you don't need to have eyes to have a vision!
Yes, Riverwood is doing well but isn't it time they started concentrating on telling the "Real Kenyan" story? Not to take to Hollywood, but to give us Kenyans a sense of patriotism and need to get rid of this notion that it is the West that will save us, no, its us and our God! Believe that!

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