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Here’s How Young People Are Changing the African Narrative

It’s one thing to have Hollywood re-render a major global event to make its scope and story fit the big screen, but it is something entirely different when a credible Western media organization attempts to rewrite African history. In “Rwanda: The Untold Story” the BBC repeats statistics with no basis in reality when referring to the number of people killed, choosing to feature two obscure academics who claim that there were only 200,000 Tutsi victims during the months of chaos. In contrast, the United Nations, African Union, Oxfam, and the International Tribunal on Rwanda have provided vast evidence to support the widely accepted estimate of 800,000 Tutsi lives taken. Can you imagine a greater indignity to victims and survivors of the genocide than the revisionist elimination of their deaths?

For so long, the African narrative has been war, poverty, hunger, and disease. While some of these things are still a reality across the continent, it is exciting to see the new generation working toward changing this narrative.

A closer look at the rising wave of young people determined to make their lives better without waiting for foreign help shows a generation that is not ready to sit and wait for the proverbial “future.”

Technology & Innovation

Africa has some of the brightest and most-innovative minds that the world has ever seen. The need to be better has compelled young Africans to be creative. With unique technological inventions, these Africans are not only applying themselves but also changing lives across the continent.

Jamila Abbas

Photo credit: Jamila Abbas, the CEO of M-Farm (www.twitter.com)

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A good example is Jamila Abbas, a Kenyan CEO and founder of M-Farm. With a simple Android app, Jamila has helped Kenyan farmers connect to the right market, enabling them to sell their products to the highest bidder. Arthur Zang, a 28-year-old Cameroonian, is another African innovator who invented Cardiopad, a touchscreen tablet that’s simplified the whole process of heart examinations.

Entrepreneurship

In the past, many Africans believed that only older people had the capacity to run multibillion-dollar enterprises. Luckily, this misguided idea is slowly changing, with more young people venturing into serious entrepreneurship.

In June 2015, Forbes listed 30 young African entrepreneurs, most of which are in their early 20s. And despite their tender age, these young entrepreneurs are running multimillion-dollar firms — the majority of which are recognized globally.

Fashion

The African fashion industry has always maintained a steady rise thanks to young, creative Africans who have realized their potential through unique African fashion designs that the world has fallen in love with.

Adama Abbas

Fashion show organized by one of Africa’s top fashion designers- Adama Paris. Photo (www.scheena.com)

With the likes of Adama Paris, Christie Brown, and Thula Sindi, Africa’s fashion industry is certainly destined for greatness. And the fact that their products are dominating the global market is a sure sign that Africa is rising.

Music & Poetry

Since time immemorial, Africans have always used spoken word for sensitization. Instead of picking up arms, many youths are using spoken word (music and poetry) to express their feelings, transforming the African narrative.

Africans have been made to believe that they are the future leaders. But with the new generation of young leaders, entrepreneurs, musicians, and innovators, it’s clear that young people want to be in control of their destinies.

 

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Written by How Africa

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