Story Tellers…

The Danger Of A Single Story

I just ended my freshman year in college and am about to spend my summer working on designing costumes for an original play, which is sure to be a highly educative and rewarding experience, albeit slightly depressing, since after all, it is based on a Holocaust memoir. The thing about Holocaust memoirs is that, usually, everyone except the author dies. The plots are heartwrenchingly predictable; you know that this person’s friends and family are probably all going to die, the main variable is just the order in which this happens. Yet there is a burden placed on me, on us as a design team, to capture the story presented in as objective a light as possible, and present it through the lens of the woman who chose to share it. I feel strongly bound to this undertaking because I have a personal vendetta against the international media and their portrayals of my beloved continent, Africa, which has only grown stronger since I have attended school in the United States and come into contact with people from all over the world who have a very skewed and largely incorrect picture of the African continent. I myself have tried to educate the people I come into contact with, but it is a painstaking and often infuriating process. In my reading, I have come across stories told by non-Africans, and even foreign-born Africans, who have not done adequate research, and write pieces that build up the stereotypes surrounding the continent. This makes me mad, simply because it is not the whole picture. Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addresses this in a speech she gives, titled “The Danger of A Single Story”. I am not saying that Africa has no problems. I am just saying that the international media should make more of an effort to portray Africa in its entirety.

It is my dream that African and international media will start to show the world how far the continent has come, instead of showcasing its problems.

[Link to Chimamanda Adichie’s speech on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg ]

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5 Responses to “Story Tellers…”

  1. Aba Hammond Says:

    Excellent work Lisa 🙂

  2. Matekwor Says:

    The task of story telling is more important than many realize, because in telling a story, people inadvertently propagate their perception of the truth. Every story teller has to answer; is the story you tell the truth or that of your understanding? 🙂

  3. I’m sorry people are so ignorant D: (myself included sometimes… :C ) you’ll just have to set us straight >D

    it sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun this summer, at least! 😀 Good luck~

  4. Selasi Ewurabena Ahema Tsegh Says:

    I believe that the onus is on us as Africans to tell our own story just as you try to do because just as you have said the impressions and perceptions of the outside world concerning our BELOVED AFRICA is a tad bit beyond skewed and borders on outrageous. Even within our continent the perceptions we have of each other ought to change so that the right steps in the right direction can be taken. Good job sister and i’m behind you at the same percentage of Zimbabwe’s inflation.

  5. I totally agree……

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