After thoughts: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

by ale

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”


My mother will not allow us to go to Cambodia. She thinks it a dangerous place with minefields, and diseases lurking in poor sanitation.

She also will not allow us to go to China. She thinks all meals will be dog meat and caterpillars and that the air is dark, polluted and toxic.

But more so, she will not allow us to go to South Africa, or Kenya, or any country in the continent called Africa. Start a charity or social cause for the children in the Sub-Saharan?  “There is no point, they have too many problems and they lack everything.”

In reality, there are many more stories than what is often portrayed about any less developed country. So the idea of starving children, people dying of AIDS and malaria, should not be considered the norm in the context of Africa as a whole. Just as stories of malnourished children reduced to the bone and exploitation of child labour are shocking to you living in a developed country, it is also shocking, heartbreaking and unusual in an African context too.

It is so easy to become desensitized to suffering around the world, or pass of another countries catastrophe as a norm. And that’s where the problem starts.

This video has left me with a jolt of shame. Perplexed with the cognisance of our ignorance. I do not know what I will do, but these thoughts will continue maturing in time to come.